A quick online search will list many different health benefits of onions, including things like regulating blood sugar, boosting immunity, and reducing inflammation. Clearly they are a wonderfully healthy food.
However, did you know there are healthy uses for onions besides eating them? In the last few years I’ve learned about various ways to use onions that have now become part of my routine. I’ll list a few things here. I hope you’ll find something helpful.
1) Fighting infections – Onions are anti-bacterial, so anytime I feel like my body is fighting an infection, I cut an onion in half and hold it in my right hand for anywhere from 7-12 minutes. (Be sure to throw it away after holding it.) If it’s a tough infection, I sometimes do this twice a day. Obviously there are other natural things you can do to help your immune system when fighting an infection, but this has become one of my preferred tools to use.
2) Absorbing smells – One time when some food had burned badly and the house was filled with smoke, a friend told me how to use onions to get rid of the smoke smell. You can cut some onions in half and place them in a bowl of water, cut side up. (They’ll usually just float.) Set the bowls of water around the room with the smoke smell for about 15-20 minutes. Then throw away the onions. If there’s still some smoke smell lingering, you can repeat this until the air smells clear again.
3) Absorbing toxins – Similarly to setting out onions in bowls of water, you can also just set them around by themselves in order to absorb various toxins. Cut the onions in half and set them on plates or on paper towels (so the onion juice doesn’t drip on anything, because it will stain). Leave the onions out for about 10-15 minutes, then throw them away. I’ve used onions this way to help absorb toxins such as:
– cigarette smoke (for example: if you’ve bought used furniture or a used car that smells like cigarette smoke)
– certain cleaning products (like if a workspace is cleaned with strong chemicals, take your onion and set it out to help detoxify the space)
– chemicals from air freshener plug-ins (such as some homes or workspaces have)
– some (not all) mold-related toxins (for example: if you’re staying overnight somewhere where there was a mold exposure, you can set out the onions to help reduce the toxicity)
4) Cleaning the air inside – Depending on where you live, if you’re not able to open your house and air it out frequently, then you can set the cut onions around your living space periodically to help improve the air quality. Again, leave them for about 15-20 minutes.
A few notes about using onions:
1) After you remove the onions you’ve set out, you might want to set out a few plates of baking soda to absorb any lingering onion smell. Unless you don’t mind the onion smell. =)
2) Generally speaking, do not leave onions sitting out for more than 20 minutes. If you read on the internet to leave onions sitting out all night, just know that’s not really a good idea. Once the onions have absorbed all they can, they need to be thrown out. Otherwise those germs or toxins in the onions will be sitting there affecting the environment.
3) When throwing the used onions out, it’s good to put them in a ziploc bag, and then put them in an outside trash can (because they will stink).
4) I try to always buy organic onions. If you can’t find organic ones or can’t afford them, then at least you can know that onions are low on the pesticide level list. (See ewg.org for a list of the most toxic and least toxic non-organic produce.) I prefer to use yellow onions, though I have occasionally used red ones for these things.
Well, I hope these tips are helpful! Let us know if you have any other healthy uses for onions, by posting in the comments. =)