January has been surprising chilly this year, with cold wave conditions persisting throughout India. Such a weather plays havoc on our immunity as we suffer from the various common cold symptoms. Onion-honey syrup is an herbal homemade concoction that has been used to treat cough and cold symptoms and has also other benefits as well.
The syrup is made with a large onion or two that are chopped into small slices. They are heated with ample amount of honey on low flame for a couple of hours. The onions are discarded and the concoction is then poured in a jar through a strainer. Alternatively, the raw onion slices can also be soaked for a day in a honey-filled jar without cooking.
Benefits of onions
Onions have always been used for medicinal purposes across households. The vegetable has antibacterial properties that help fight infections. Onions contain flavonoids and alkenyl cysteine sulfoxides, two chemical groups that act as antioxidants and neutralise free radicals which cause oxidative damage. These compounds are also known to aid in the prevention of cardiac and other human diseases.
During common cold infections, the virus causes inflammatory reactions in our nose and throat, which cause nose congestion and inflamed sore throat. Onions contain the flavonoid quercetin, which not only act as an antioxidant, but also as an anti-inflammatory agent, helping ease the cold symptoms and aiding recovery.
The winter months also see a rise in cases of allergies. This is because most of us spend the colder months inside our houses and don’t go out much. We get exposed to dust, dust mites, pollen, molds, pet hair and dead skin flakes that can cause allergic reactions. The flavonoid quercetin as mentioned above, was found to have antihistaminic properties which can reduce allergic inflammation.
Benefits of Honey
Honey has always been used as a treatment to relieve cough. Honey has antimicrobial activity, especially when taken undiluted. Apart from this researches have revealed that honey also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, all of which collectively help in fighting cardiac ailments and cancer among other ailments.