Is onion water good to treat cough and cold? Here’s what a doctor says

Onion water is one of the latest online trends that's been touted to be a remedy for cough and cold. But is it really effective?
onion in socks
Is onion water a safe home remedy for cough? Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Updated: 29 Dec 2022, 02:39 pm IST
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Come winter and you’ll find your child coughing or sneezing. As a mother, you look for home remedies to treat cough and cold. Joining the list is onion water, which has taken over social media. Many have claimed that it’s a sure shot remedy for cold, and that it helps to kick symptoms like coughing as well as congestion. Women start with cutting up raw onions into small pieces and placing them in a jar or bowl and adding water. While some leave the onion and water mixture in the refrigerator overnight, others skip the cold treatment step. Then they drink it up! Let’s find out if onion water is a safe remedy for cough and cold.

The pungent concoction seems like it will leave you with just bad breath, but a lot of women are vouching for it.

Health Shots connected with Dr Namita Nadar, Dietetics – Head Of Department, Fortis Hospital Noida, to find out if onion water can help to get rid of cough and cold.

onion increase underarm odor
Know benefits of onion water. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Onion water is the new buzzword

One look at social media and you’ll see many hashtags revolving around onion water. Dr Nadar said there are many people who believe onion water helps in controlling cold and cough. But she says there is no scientific evidence behind it. The expert adds that onions consist of sulphur, and it helps in cutting down inflammation in the body, so it may help in treating cough and cold.

Side effects of onion water

If there’s no scientific evidence to prove that onion water helps in treating cold, you may think that drinking it could be harmful in some way. Dr Nadar says there is no such side effect. It may, in fact, help in cutting down the inflammation in the body or any kind of pain. The benefits of onion for hair are also well known.

remedies for dry cough
Onion water as remedy for cough and cold is trending online. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Benefits of onion water

You can either have onion water or raw onions to reap the benefits. Onion consists of lots of fiber, folic acids and vitamin B6, so it helps in forming the new cells in the body. The expert shared that it also consists of antioxidants and sulphur compounds which help in reducing cancer cells, improving the blood sugar level and improving the bone health.

Who should avoid onions?

While onions can be consumed by most people, the expert suggested that people who are suffering from sulphur allergies, should avoid eating raw onions. Even people who are suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome should keep onions out of their diet because they consist of oligosaccharide and monosaccharides, and they may interfere with proper digestion and absorption in the intestine.

Home remedies are not always backed by science, but sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. You can always give onion water a shot and see if it is the answer to your cough and cold problems. If not then just reach out to your nightstand and grab the cough syrup.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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