Onion For an Oops!


“I will not move my army without onions!” – Ulysses S. Grant

Fun Fact:

Ulysses S. Grant had such a strong belief in the healing properties of onions that he refused to move his soldiers without them! This was in 1864 during The Civil War and Union soldiers were very ill with dysentery. Grant sent word to the War Department that he wasn’t budging unless he had those onions. He wholeheartedly believed that onions would help keep his people healthy and dysentery-free. The very next day, three trainloads were shipped to him. Folks may not believe that it was simple little spherical-shaped vegetables called “onions” that were the real weapons that won the war, but I can only imagine the look on Grant’s face when the victory came. He just might have felt his heart flutter and skip a beat!

History and Health

It is believed that onions originally came from Asia, possibly some time in the 1900s. They are members of the allium family (along with garlic, shallots, scallions, and leeks), and are loaded with disease-fighting compounds.

According to the National Onion Association, studies of onions show that the quercetin found in them helps cataracts, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

In Cornell news, a study was conducted and it was discovered that onions have “antioxidant and antiproliferation activities”, and that certain onion varieties (such as shallots, Western Yellow, pungent yellow, and Northern Red) are especially effective in fighting cancer. Lui Hai Liu, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of food science, led this study. You can learn more in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Onions are also thought to aid in asthma relief, build your immune system, and more.

Raw Onions Contain:

•    chromium
•    vitamin C
•    fiber
•    manganese
•    molybdenum
•    vitamin B6
•    tryptophan
•    folate
•    potassium
•    phosphorus
•    copper

Onions Save the Day

Money was hard to come by in times such as the Great Depression, so folks relied on home remedies. Not only were the ingredients fairly inexpensive, they were most always items readily available and already in their kitchen cupboards, pantries, or cellars—onions were one of them!

Great Depression Cough Syrup:

•    1 onion
•    a big bowl
•    enough honey to cover the onion

•    Cut the onion into rings.
•    Put the rings in the bowl.
•    Pour honey over them, covering them.
•    Let sit for 10-12 hours, overnight.
•    Strain the mixture, removing the onion slices.

Dosage Information:
Take 1 tablespoon of this “Great Depression cough syrup” 4-5 times a day.

Extra Precaution: It isn’t safe to give raw honey to small children, especially under the age of one.

Onion on an Oops!

Years ago, I discovered the true healing power of a raw onion myself. I was walking barefoot in the yard and stepped on a thorn; it went deep into my foot. The pain was horrific! Even after I got the thorn out, it caused tremendous grief and throbbing pain. By nightfall, I was not only in tears due to the pain, I had red streaks starting up my leg and my foot was so swollen, and hurting so badly, I couldn’t even put it on the floor and walk on it! My miracle? An onion. That’s right. A thick slice of onion, seared in a skillet without oil, was my answer. I placed it on the bottom of my foot, being sure to cover the flesh punctured by the thorn, and secured it and covered it with my sock so the onion slice wouldn’t slip off in the night while I slept. The next morning I experienced the results of a tried-and-true home remedy: The red streaks were gone. The swelling was gone. The throbbing pain wasn’t there anymore. Raw onion had healed my foot!

Copyright 2009 Michele L. Tune All Rights Reserved

The preceding information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. It is valuable to seek the advice of an alternative health care professional before making any changes.
These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using these or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.

Eating Well Healthy Food Guide: Onions.
Jean Karen Thomas, A Jerry Baker Health Book, Oddball Ointments, Powerful Potions, & Fabulous Folk Remedies, American Master Products, Inc.
Merriam Webster: Dysentery.
Merriam Webster: Onion.
Michael Murray, N.D., and Josheph Pizzorno, N.D., Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, (Revised 2nd Edition) Prima Publishing, 1998.
National Onion Association.
Selene Yeager and the Editors of Prevention Health Books, The Doctor’s Book of Food Remedies.
Ulysess S. Grant, The Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, Part 2.
WholeFoods.com, WH Foods: Onions.