If you have a runny nose, sore throat and cough, you've probably fallen victim to a cold. And between your search for natural remedies, you've likely stumbled upon onion tea. While the folk remedy for the common cold and flu does contain antioxidants and vitamins that may help boost immunity, there's no surefire cure.
Nevertheless, this simple, caffeine-free tea can be a good drink to try if you're fending off the sniffles. Most people recover from the common cold within a week to ten days, so see your doctor if your symptoms persist, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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Onion Tea for Colds: Does It Work?
Warm fluids — like tea — can help soothe your symptoms and loosen congestion, according to the Mayo Clinic. So while onion tea can't cure a cold, its antioxidants and hydration properties may be able to alleviate cold symptoms.
Onions contain a polyphenol called quercetin, which is linked to improved mental and physical performance and a reduced risk of infection, according to a March 2016 study published in Nutrients. More commonly, though, quercetin is known for its immunity-boosting, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.
When viruses infect your body, they cause inflammation in the membranes that line your nose and throat, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. This may cause your throat to feel sore or your nose to run. The anti-inflammatory properties of quercetin may help alleviate these symptoms.
Onions also are also rich in vitamin C, providing about 13 percent of your daily recommended value per cup. Vitamin C plays an important role in immune function, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and can also help regenerate other antioxidants in the body.
Read more: 5 Surprising Foods That Boost Your Immune System
Onion Tea Recipe
Making an onion tea can be as simple as cutting an onion, boiling it and drinking the juice to make a quick remedy for your cold. You can add ingredients like ginger and green tea, too.
Here's how to do it:
- Wash and cut five slices of ginger and half an onion
- Put the ginger, onion and green tea into a teapot.
- Pour boiling water into the pot and allow the tea to steep for three to four minutes.
While you're getting over a cold, it's important to keep your body hydrated and avoid caffeine, according to the Mayo Clinic. Onion tea will not only help keep your body hydrated but it's also naturally caffeine-free since onions don't contain caffeine.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.