Saturday, February 26, 2011

Magic Onions

Photo credit:Wikipedia commons
At last count, I have at least five friends and three family members (neither of whom are my sisters, just for the record) who are pregnant and due within a month or two of me.  And most of them can tell you from personal experience what a drag it is to get sick when you are expecting.  I've actually kind of gotten used to not being able to take most medications when I fall victim to the latest bug since I've spent most of the past five years either being pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding.  My husband reminded me this week of one great natural treatment for chest colds that sounds bizarre but actually works.  When I was about six months pregnant with my son, we took a weekend trip to a tiny town in Northern B.C. to visit some family.  We were about two hours away from the closest doctor, so of course I developed a wicked cold in record time that started to develop into bronchitis.  Fortunately, there was a nurse practitioner in the town, and she recommended making an onion poultice.  It sounded vaguely familiar, like something that my grandmother had told me about doing in the "olden days."  I was willing to try anything at that point, so my dear husband cooked up some onions for me, and I gave it a try.  It gave me enough relief from the chest congestion to get a good night's sleep, and I  felt surprisingly on the mend the next day.  Even if you aren't in the baby producing/feeding stage of life, it's handy to have some non-pharmaceutical tricks up your sleeve in case you find yourself sick and not able to get to the drugstore.
There are several different methods for making an onion poultice if you google it.  Here's what we did: Chop up a big yellow onion, or a few smaller onions.  I recommend just slicing it into rings so that the onion is easier to deal with later on.  Put the onion in a large frying pan along with some oil/butter/margarine - I've never measured the amount, but I use quite a liberal amount.  Cook the onions until they are translucent.  They just need to be soft, not browned.  Lay out a tea towel on the kitchen counter, and be sure that it is an old tea towel that you do NOT care about anymore, because it will never be the same!  I have an old tea towel that I keep specifically for this purpose, because the grease will obviously stain the towel.  Spoon the onions onto the tea towel, and fold the tea towel into a rectangle in such a way that the onions will not easily escape.  Put your feet up, pop in a good movie, and relax for the next couple of hours with the towel-packet-full-of-onions on your chest.  Be sure that the towel is not so hot that it burns your skin.
It's a little ironic, I think, that I started writing this post earlier today, and now that I am finishing it up...I think feel a cold coming on.  Maybe it's just allergies?  Please?

1 comment:

  1. good to know!

    this may be tmi for some people, but when i had mastitis coming on, one of the methods I tried was grated potato on my boobs and it worked!!!

    instead of using a tea towel, i stuck it in an old bra. as you said with the tea towel, it was never the same again.

    way to go veggies!


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