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ONIONS: Very Informative. An email that’s been around a few times. s’Funny when I tell others about it it seems to revive a ‘folk-memory’ or a collective conscious in very many.  It seems we forget so much old wisdom in our headlong rush to gain ‘knowledge’.
> My mother was born in 1912 and she always talked about this. When she
> was young there was an epidemic killing people in Ashby and Grandma
> hung onions inside every doorway and none of them caught what the
> neighbours had. She always threw away a half used onion.

> In 1919 when the ‘flu killed 40 million people there was this doctor
> that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the
> flu. Many of the farmers and their family had contracted it and many
> died.   The doctor came upon one farmer and, to his surprise, everyone
> was very healthy.
> When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different,
> the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in
> the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then).
> The doctor couldn’t believe it and asked if he could have one of the
> onions. She gave him one which he placed under the microscope he found
> the ‘flu virus in the onion.  It had obviously absorbed the bacteria,
> thereby keeping the family healthy.
> Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser in AZ.  She said that
> several years ago many of her employees were coming down with the flu
> and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several
> bowls with onions around in her shop and, to her surprise, none of her
> staff got sick. It must work…and no, she is not in the onion
> business.
> The moral of the story is, buy some onions and place them in bowls
> around your home. If you work at a desk, place one or two in your
> office or under your desk or even on top somewhere. Try it and see
> what happens.  We did it last year and we never got the flu.
> If this helps you and your loved ones from getting sick, all the
> better.  If you do get the flu, it just might be a mild case.
> What have you to lose?  Just a few bucks on onions!!!!
> Now there is a P.S. to this story.
> I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to
> me on health issues and she replied with this most interesting
> experience about onions:
> Weldon, thanks for the reminder. I don’t know about the farmers story,
> but I do know that I contracted pneumonia and needless to say I was
> very ill.  I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an
> onion, put one end on a fork and then place the forked end into an
> empty jar…placing the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said
> the onion would be black in the morning from the germs.
> Sure enough it happened just like that…the onion was a mess and I
> began to feel better.
> Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed
> around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have
> powerful antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
> This is the other note:
> I have used an onion which has been left in the fridge, and sometimes
> I don’t use a whole one at one time, so save the other half for later.
> Now with this info, I have changed my mind….will buy smaller onions
> in the future.
> I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, makers
> of mayonnaise.  Mullins is huge, and is owned by 11 brothers and
> sisters in the Mullins family.  My friend, Jeanne, is the CEO.
> Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I
> learned from a chemist.  The guy who gave us our tour is named Ed –
> he’s one of the brothers.    Ed is a chemistry expert and is involved
> in developing most of the sauce formula.  He’s even developed sauce
> formula for McDonald’s.  Keep in mind that Ed is a food chemistry
> whiz.
> During the tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about
> mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil.
> Ed’s answer will surprise you. He said that all commercially-made Mayo
> is completely safe. “It doesn’t even have to be refrigerated. No harm
> in refrigerating it, but it’s not really necessary.”    He explained
> that the pH in mayonnaise is set   at a point that bacteria could not
> survive in that environment.  He then talked about the quaint
> essential picnic, with the bowl of potato salad   sitting on the table
> and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.
> Ed says that when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the
> officials   look for is when the ‘victim’ last ate ONIONS and where
> those onions came from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it’s not the
> mayonnaise (as long as it’s not homemade Mayo) that spoils in the
> outdoors. It’s probably the onions, and if not the onions, it’s the
> He explained,  onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially
> uncooked onions . You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced
> onion. It’s not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it
> in your refrigerator.   It’s already contaminated enough just by being
> cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you.  (And
> doubly watch out for those onions you put on your hotdogs at the
> baseball park!)
> Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy, you’ll
> probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put on your
> sandwich, you’re asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist
> potato in a potato salad will attract and grow bacteria faster than
> any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.
> So, how’s that for news? Take it for what you will.
> Personally,  I’m going to be very careful about my onions from now on.
>    For some reason, I see a lot of credibility coming from a chemist
> and a company that produces millions of pounds of mayonnaise every
> year.
> Also,  dogs should  never  eat onions . Their stomachs cannot
> metabolize onions.
> Please remember it is dangerous to cut onion and use or cook the next
> day.
> It becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic
> bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess
> bile secretions and even food poisoning.


Two further notes.

1. An aunt of mine back in Dundalk swears by chopping strong-onion and mixing with equal parts sugar – this will form a ‘juice’ that is great to stop a tickley cough.
2. A Dutch friend wrote; I was born and raised with this: When you suffer from a severe cold, slice up (part of) an onion, put it on a dish and place it close to your bed. The next morning the room smells like hell, but it kept your otherwise clogged nose free from snot and therefore you had a better night’s rest


About pfiddle

Fiddle teacher - mostly Irish trad. Fiddle, mandolin and concertina. Eco-warrior, won E.U. Green Flower Award for Eco Accommodation. Also Irish (Gold) GHA. Green Hospitality Award. Mad keen on self-build - especially straw-bale and cob. 55 with a full head of (slightly) graying hair. No tattoos or piercings. Fond of animals - but legally so. Fond of food - I eat nothing else. Vegetarian by choice, Irish by the grace of birth, Munster by force of (rugby) arms.

One response »

  1. Wow – I found that ABSOLUTELY fascinating! I have flu just now and have turned to eating raw onion as I always do to try and help me breathe when unwell. And I’ll try the cut up onions in my room tonight (and be throwing them away tomorrow). Thanks for posting this!


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