Coughing is normal and is a way your body uses to expel an irritant that’s blocking your throat and airways. A cough can be caused by pneumonia, colds, flu, asthma and allergic reactions. Since no one appreciates being sick, when we start to feel coughing symptoms, we always want a quick fix. People have been known to try anything from weird concoctions to over the counter medications to homemade remedies. One remedy that’s making rounds on the internet is using onions to treat coughs.

Health Benefits of Onions? Immunity Boosters

Onions contain certain phytochemicals that act as stimulants for vitamin C within our bodies. And as we all know, vitamin C boosts our immunity and helps to fight off infections.

Sore Throat

Onions are laden with sulfur compounds which promote the expulsion of mucus to help clear the airways. Onions are natural antibiotics which can fight bacterial and viral infections. This makes them a great remedy for sore throat.

Colds and Flu

Onions are known to clear blocked nose due to the strong flavor. The antioxidants help to fight off colds. Onions have been used as an Indian home remedy for many years to treat high fever and is still a common practice today.

Homemade Cough Remedies

This might sound like an old wives’ tale but, it has been used for many centuries to treat coughs. When you cut an onion, your eyes become watery, and in some instances, you have to get some air first. This strong flavor can also help stop coughing. Dr. Russell, MD, University of Alabama, Birmingham Center, explains that this onion home remedy is popular in France and Spain, and can even be used on children.

Honey, Onion, and Garlic Elixir

We all know the goodness of honey. It helps to soothe the throat and relax the cough reflexes. All these ingredients have antimicrobial properties and will help to fight off the infection that’s causing the cough.
To make this mixture:

  1. Combine a half cup of honey and a half cup of water.
  2. Chop one large onion and one clove of garlic, and then add into the mixture.
  3. Sprinkle a dash of oregano, thyme or sage and allow the mixture to steep overnight at room temperature.
  4. Strain the mixture and use it to treat coughs. Keep the elixir refrigerated and use when needed.

White Onions, Lemon Juice, and Honey Salad

This simple yet effective home remedy can be used to treat dry coughs. The honey soothes your throat and relieves the irritated tissues. Lemon helps to fight inflammation and releases vitamin C, which helps to fight infection.

Onions, on the other hand, contain certain compounds that trigger the cough reflex, bringing out phlegm, hence reducing the coughing symptoms.

Onion and Honey Syrup

Onion by itself is a powerhouse of virus-fighting agents. Combined with the soothing effects of honey, you can get rid of cough in a matter of days. This syrup is so simple to prepare, and it’s delicious too. What you need:

  • One large onion, thinly sliced (white onions have a stronger flavor). You can also add ginger for extra healing benefits.
  • One cup of organic honey.
  • A jar or pot.


  1. Put the thinly sliced onions in the jar or pot.
  2. Pour in the honey until all the onions are covered.
  3. Heat the syrup on very low heat to avoid killing any compounds.
  4. Strain the syrup using a mesh strainer


  • Adults – one tablespoon, every two hours until the symptoms start to disappear.
  • Children over one year – one teaspoon after every two hours. Honey is not to be used if your child is younger than one year.

Onion, Garlic, and Ginger Cough Syrup

This homemade cough syrup has been used for many generations and there are people who swear by it. It’s known to quickly soothe your throat and ease your coughing symptoms.


  • One large onion or two medium onions.
  • Three heads of garlic.
  • Fresh ginger.
  • Three to four cups of sugar (white or brown).
  • A jar.


Peel the onion, garlic, and ginger.

Slice them into thin pieces and place them on the bottom of the jar, to cover about an inch thick.

Pour the sugar evenly until the onions are completely covered.

Add another layer of onions, ginger, and garlic on top of the sugar, about an inch thick.

Pour in the sugar again until you cover all the onion slices.

Repeat this process until the jar is almost full.

Cover the jar and let it sit for approximately four hours or simply leave overnight.

You can strain the mixture to remove the ginger, garlic, and onions or you can just leave them in the mixture. When you want to use this elixir, simply press the onions back using a spoon to get the syrup.

Take one tablespoon for an adult and one teaspoon for children over one year two to three times a day. This syrup can stay up to six months without refrigeration.

All images by Pixabay


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