Fresh onion breaking the surface of water as it is dropped in - Isolated on white
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What is Onion Water and Why You Might Want to Try it

Who would’ve thought we’d be having this conversation. About onion water and why it may be worth a try. The pungent veggie-infused water that is lighting up social media is actually nothing new. People have been consuming onion water for centuries. Currently it is touted as a natural remedy for colds, congestion, coughing and more- the kind of viral crud that  typically goes around this time of year.

As best we can tell, searches for onion water ramped up after @earthenchild on TikTok started singing it’s praise. Claiming it can fight RSV, flu, sinus infections, coughs and colds. This is really catching on this year with people concerned about a Tripledemic. (A combination of covid, flu and RSV which are all viral illnesses, expected to hit simultaneously.)

Which is why doctors are being asked to weigh in with their opinions as to whether onion water really is a miracle cure-all. While there is no hard-fast scientific proof to back it up, onions are friends with benefits.

Dr. William Li, author of Eat to Beat Disease, says onions contain a natural bioactive called quercetin which has anti-inflammatory properties. Many rheumatologists believe the selenium found in onions may decrease inflammation and kick-start our immune system.

Onion contains chemicals that seem to reduce swelling reduce lung tightness in people with asthma, and reduce levels of cholesterol and sugar in the blood.

Sounds good, right? If you’d like to try this home remedy, there are several variations. But at its core, onion water is simple to make. Here’s the basics:

1- Peel the raw onions (red or yellow NOT white.

2- Chop into small chunks. Size matters because smaller pieces provide more opportunity to release the onion’s.

3- Place the onions in a bowl or jar, adding filtered water.

4- Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. After 8-12 hours it’s ready to consume.

Other recipes involve using the onions to make a tea. Following the same steps as above, only boiling the water and then letting it steep for an hour before straining and drinking.

Some experts believe putting the onions in a blender and adding a teaspoon of honey along with water enhances the benefits. Namely encouraging weight loss, immune boosting as well as improving skin and hair. 

All in all, it has a lot of potential upsides, with very little, if any downside. So no reason to throw cold water on the onion water trend.

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