This year back to school brought endless respiratory infections which continue to increase more and more as the cold increases. It’s not just the COVID-19it is also influenza or respiratory syncytial virus. In addition, in the case of the smallest babies, many of these pathogens are leading to the increase in cases of bronchiolitis, a condition that can become very serious in this age group. Pediatricians are the ones who should provide the most appropriate treatment for these diseases, if necessary. However, many families still opt for home remedies, such as placing a plate with onion chunks in the room where the children sleep. There are even those who go further and place this vegetable directly inside your sock.
This is a tradition that seems to date back to the century XVI, when it was thought that the onion could absorb the disease of the rooms. Later, other hypotheses have been given, such as that its content in sulfur compounds can help treat infections. Or even truth has been given to its placement in the sock under the hospice of the beliefs of the reflexology.
However, to this day there is not the absolute scientific evidence that it is of any use. What’s more, if we trust the wonders of the onion, we could stop resorting to other treatments that are really effective. And it is that normally these diseases remit on their own, without the need for treatment. But, if that were not the case, it is clear that no vegetable will be more effective than medicine.
Onion for colds: from the 16th century to the present
In the sixteenth century it was not known exactly how diseases were transmitted cause of large epidemics. It was suspected that the air was poisoned somehow, so that the conditions passed from one person to another. Later, in the 19th century, Louis Pasteur proposed the germ theory of diseasewhich maintained that microorganisms were the ones that passed from one person to another, transmitting all kinds of infections.
In the 16th century the use of onion spread because, supposedly, it could clean polluted air. Therefore, when proposing the germ theory of diseases, this assumption was modified to propose that, in fact, the onion is capable of absorb viruses and bacteria that cause diseases, removing them from the body of the sick.
All sorts of legendary stories have sprung up about it. Like that of a supposed family that was completely cured in the middle of the Spanish flu epidemic by placing onions in the rooms where they rested. But none of this is true. At least It is not true that the onion was of no use. Basically, because the infection takes place inside the body of the sick. There is no way to absorb those microbes. Much less with an onion that, in addition, It is not a very favorable environment for the proliferation of these pathogenss.
Yes, there may be people who think that the onion has cured some flu or cold. But this is because they are usually viral infections that go away on their own, No treatment. If the cure happens to occur just as you start using the onion, you might think that it was responsible.
Reflexology also has no scientific evidence
Although it has been studied possibility that sulfur compounds in onions may help relieve colds, there is no evidence that they are really that effective. Much less for something as simple as placing it on a plate in the room.
As for putting it in the stocking, today those who support it are the defenders of the reflexology. This is a form of alternative medicine that assumes that the feet are a kind of map of the whole organism, so that if specific regions are manipulated, specific organs can be treated. That’s what the onion would do: press into the foot.
However, there are no studies with a good experimental design that demonstrate the efficacy of reflexology. In addition, even if it were effective, the placement of the onion is usually random, without affecting specific regions of the sole of the foot
In short, the onion, in any of its formats, is useful against respiratory infections that this winter are invading nurseries and schools. Hand washing and the use of masks in risk situations it is much more effective than any vegetable. And, once the infection starts, if the symptoms get complicated, only modern medicine has the keys to try to solve them. I wish it was as simple as sleeping with a little onion.