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Cold and Flu Center

How to Use Onion as a Home Remedy for a Cough

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How to Use Onion as a Home Remedy for a Cough
How to Use Onion as a Home Remedy for a Cough Photo Credit Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Coughing is the body’s way of expelling an irritant in the throat and airways, and can be caused by many factors, including allergies, asthma, pneumonia, flu, colds and postnasal drip. While coughing is a normal occurrence, if it persists longer than a week you should be evaluated by a medical provider to determine the underlying cause and receive proper treatment. Some people use onions as a home remedy for a cough, but they cannot replace conventional treatment and have not been proven effective against coughs.

Onion Cough Syrup

Step 1

Dice one large onion into very small pieces and place into a metal sieve over a large bowl.

Step 2

Use a wooden spoon to macerate the diced onion, allowing the juices to seep into the bowl below. If using a food mill, run the diced onion through the mill. You will end up with more onion pulp in the finished result this way, which is acceptable.

Step 3

Mix equal parts onion juice and honey in a sealable container such as a glass jar with lid. Allow to sit for at least four hours for the honey and onion to fully combine.

Step 4

Swallow 1 tsp. of the honey and onion mixture twice daily to alleviate coughing.

Onion Broth

Step 1

Chop a large onion into pieces roughly the size of quarters.

Step 2

Place the onion and 2 cups of water into a pot and bring to a boil at high heat.

Step 3

Reduce the heat to medium low, or as appropriate to maintain a simmer for 15 minutes.

Step 4

Remove the pot from the heat and allow the broth to cool completely.

Step 5

Pour the broth through a colander to strain out the onion pieces, which can be discarded. Drink the onion broth as tolerated throughout the day. You can sip on it continuously or drink it in ¼ to ½ cup intervals three times per day. This mixture might help relieve congestion and mucous that causes a cough.

Children’s Onion Syrup

Step 1

Slice a medium-sized onion in half, then cut each half into ¼- inch pieces. Separate the onion pieces with your hands.

Step 2

Arrange the onion pieces into the bottom of a glass jar. Cover with an equal layer of sugar.

Step 3

Macerate the onion and sugar mixture with the end of a wooden spoon to combine and break up the onion. The juice will begin to extract from the onion. Continue mashing with the wooden spoon until the onions are broken up as much as possible and you can see the juices.

Step 4

Cover the jar with a lid and allow to sit overnight for the onion juice to fully extract, creating an onion syrup.

Step 5

Administer 1 tsp. of onion syrup to your child every two to three hours to relieve coughing.

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