How to Eat Raw Onions for a Cold and Stuffy Nose

Onions come from the "Allium" family of plants, with many species consisting of a bulb that grows underground with a vertical stem appearing above ground. A relative of garlic, most onions have a sharp, spicy flavor, although some are sweet and mild. They are used in dishes throughout the world and also medicinally. Onions carry inflammatory and antioxidant chemicals that may act as remedies. One way they are used is to fight colds. Consult your physician before using raw onions for any respiratory illness.

Sliced onions on a chopping board. (Image: VvoeVale/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Peel and cut onions, preferably red onions, into thin slices. All onions have medicinal properties and work to treat colds, but red onions have the highest level of quercetin, a flavonoid high in antioxidants that battle free radicals and inhibit histamine production.

Step 2

Place the onions in a bowl and pour honey over them. Use enough honey to coat the slices. This will lessen the severity of the taste or "heat" of the onions and also bring out more of the power of honey as a natural cough suppressant. Some varieties of honey also contain quercetin.

Step 3

Put the onion slices in a refrigerator to sit overnight and eat them in the morning. Any leftover honey that has been infused with onion properties may also be consumed.

Step 4

Incorporate onions into dishes. Raw onions may be added to soups and sandwiches and many other recipes. Onions may be added to almost any savory dish and some sweet ones. The goal is to ingest as many raw onions as possible to treat your condition without compromising your diet.

Things You'll Need

  • Red onions

  • Bowl

  • Honey

  • Refrigerator


Onions are best consumed raw when fighting a cold and stuffy nose, but cooked onions don't lose many of their nutrients and may also be eaten for health benefits.


Onions absorb bacteria when exposed to air and therefore should be kept in a refrigerator.

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