The Ancients Â? and Breathing
The common onion, Allium Cepa, has a long history in healing. The first record of it comes from Babylon, but it was the ancient Egyptians who got really excited about it, seeing the onion bulb as a symbol of the universe and sacred to the goddess Isis. Commonly used in mummification and to repel snakes, it was also reputedly acceptable as currency. The EbersÂ? Papyrus of 1550BC contains over 700 prescriptions for onions, to heal: the sting of insects; animal poisons; and, the bite of a mad dog.Ancient Greeks used them for frozen feet and to destroy warts and corns. They believed onions were good for eyes and ears, the flow of urine, loosening mucous which rattled in the throat, and the bronchial symptoms of children and old people. We know for certain, they were right about the breathing: because of their strong, pungent properties, onions in the stomach initiate the release of a flood of tears into the throat and lungsÂ? airways, breaking up mucous congestion, and easing breathing. This is often useful in, for example, hay asthma.
Onions v Evil - and Bacteria
Chinese, Egyptians and Arabs used onions and garlic to trap evil influences directed towards the home. These included epidemics, plagues and the baleful influences of the moon. (The plant waxes while the moon wanes.) A cut onion absorbed bad energy in the house. Mediaeval Europeans hung bundles of onions on doors to ward off the plague. More recently, the inside of onion skins was used like a plaster on cuts and scratches; onions were placed or rubbed on a wasp or bee sting to alleviate the symptoms. Onions were tied around the necks of children to ward off winter colds and diseases. A cut onion was believed to absorb germs. These antibacterial properties of onions and garlic were recently checked, and they were confirmed to be the most potent of the 150 plants tested.
Like cures like
Homoeopaths practise the notion of Â?like cures like,Â? and test their remedies on healthy human beings in a Â?provingÂ?. Most of us Â?proveÂ? Allium Cepa whenever we cut up an onion, and some of us have the red, tearful eyes to show for it afterwards. The onion releases mucous secretions from the mucous membranes (these are the moist linings of many tubes and cavities of the body, like the mouth). Allium Cepa, the homoeopathic remedy, has an affinity for the mucous membranes, especially of the nose and eyes. From the proving, we know it can cure watery, streaming, red and smarting eyes. Tears are bland; and the eyes are sensitive to swelling. There is rawness in the nose, and the thin and watery discharge burns the top lip. The nose and catarrh are both better for cool air and bathing, the two things most of us try after a good onion-slicing session. The patient is generally worse for warm rooms and may desire raw food. Because provings record important subjective symptoms, we also know that the person in need of Allium Cepa may describe their sensations as if: the whole head was wrapped up in warm water; the larynx would be torn by coughing; as of a large aching lump on the root of the tongue; as if the mouth and tongue were scalded. CanÂ?t you just feel it?
Unsurprisingly with this picture, Allium Cepa is a homoeopathic hay fever remedy. Other hay fever remedies to name a few are made from eyebright, sulphur, the windflower and common salt. My daughter, who has a Saturday job in a greengrocerÂ?s, tells me that onions are about 55p a kilo. Professional Homoeopathic treatment is a bit more, but just as good value for the hay fever sufferer.
About the author:George Garlick, trained at the North West College of Homoeopathy and is registered with the Society of Homeopaths. You can contact George directly on 01706 220965 for information about clinics in Manchester, Rossendale and Burnley. If you would like further information about training in Homoeopathy then please visit www.nwch.co.uk or call 0161 225 1028 for information on Manchester courses or call 0161 257 2445 for Manchester Clinics including the Friday night drop in clinic treating acute hayfever problems.
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