I once read that back in the early 1900’s there was a flu going around in the rural Midwest. Almost every family in one particular town was affected by the loss or devastating illness of at least one family member. A few months after the illnesses some health workers or doctors went around to interview the families. They heard that there was one family who wasn’t affected at all. Not one family member became ill. When asked what the wife’s secret was, she said she placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in every room of the house.
Now I don’t know how much truth there is to this urban legend but, raw onions are known to absorb harmful microbes, so much so that they are prone to make people sick when eaten after having been out for just a few hours. It is for this reason that we must be careful to add the raw onions to our salads just before serving because the germs that they absorb can give people food poisoning (I know right, and we always thought it was the mayonnaise). Once cooked, the onions are fine, but raw, they are powerful absorbers of harmful micro-organisms that make us sick.
That said, should the flu bug (or any other bug) creep into your home this season, try cutting both ends off some raw onions and place each one in a bowl. Put a bowl in every room and change it once a week during flu season.
This just in! I was discussing strange home remedies with one of my coworkers at lunch and she told me that her father used to wrap onion slices around her and her siblings ankles and wrists with a cotton cloth overnight in order to draw out fever. She said it worked every time. Thanks Ms. Hope!