by Gavan on April 17, 2012

Hey guys,

I got this email from a friend recently with an article in it about the toxicity of onions so I figured I’d pass on what I learned and see if any of you have any experience or have any comments on it. Basically the crux of the article says that onions are a magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. It says that when you cut an onion but only use say half of it, you should never reuse the other half even if it’s been stored in a Ziploc or container in the fridge. Instead we should just chuck out the other half. I’ve always reused leftover onion and I’m still kicking so take this for what it’s worth. I know I’m not alone but I hate to waste food so I always try to use up everything but now I might have to rethink this.

How ’bout this one: In 1919 40 million people died from the flu. A doctor went to one family’s house and saw that everyone was healthy. When he asked them what they did to prevent them from getting the flu he found out that had put an unpeeled onion in every room of the house. The doc put one of the onions under a microscope and found the onion had absorbed the bacteria which kept the family from getting it. Might be worth a try next flu season.

Another example: This lady said she got pneumonia and obviously was pretty sick. She had heard that putting an onion with both ends cut off in a jar and putting it next to a sick person would turn the onion black from absorbing all the germs. She tried it and said it did turn the onion black and she started to feel better. Who knew?

Now if you do have some leftover onion one way to get around having to chuck it out would be to cook it there and then and keep it in the fridge for next time. I wouldn’t keep it for for too long but at least you’ll use it.

I’ve never heard of any of this so I’d be interested to hear what you guys think. Anyone have any first hand experience with this?? Do tell.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Aimee Sherrill April 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm

As someone who has studied Medicinal Herbalisim, Chineese Medicine and Ayurveda I can attest that this is actually TRUE!!!! Onions have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine both internally and externally for bacteria fighting properties. If you have an ear ache the trick is to bake half of an onion at 325 degrees for 15-20 min, let cool until able to handle it with bare hands (yes still warm) and use as a compress on the ear. If you lie with your ear on top of the open end of the onion (approx. 30 min), the fluids in the ear are drawn to the onion. The potent smell will also help open ears, nose and throat. Onion compresses can also be applied to the chest and back over the lung area to loosen congestion and aide in breathing when sick. Like wise raw garlic cloves may be put in the ear for a similar effect. However, if you are not a garlic lover this might not be for you, as it only takes about 20 min. before you can actually taste it in your mouth. As for what to do with the left overs, my dear friend from Sri Lanka just leaves it on the counter in the kitchen for health and aroma. If it’s collecting “icky” germs then it’s not really a waste after all!!! It’s just being used in a different way….many of the foods we eat are considered medicine, and as you’ve just learned it’s not always eaten!!! Isn’t the plant world just AMAZING? Hope this helps affirm the articles…..there is so much more to learn about when it comes to what we eat and how important it is to eat for better health! Happy cooking!

Rainie Iocca May 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

I placed the cut side of a raw yellow onion on a daughter’s bee bite years ago and now she craves onions with honey. :>) No No!!! :>) Actually the onion drew out the bee venom. You could see the venom stain on the onion & the swollen bite area on her arm went back to normal. Pretty cool!

SteveINtheUKok January 1, 2013 at 5:02 pm

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