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How to Make an Onion Poultice for Chest Congestion

How to Make an Onion Poultice for Chest Infections

Over the holidays our family was hit with a chest cold that settled deep into my teenage daughter’s lungs. Her coughing was intense, kept her up at night and left her feeling exhausted. I tried many remedies to help bring her relief and the good old onion poultice worked like a charm to ease her coughing so that she could get a good night sleep.

An onion chest poultice is an old medicine treatment that is surprisingly effective for chest infections. It is a great home remedy that will improve circulation to the lungs, reduce congestion and help to fight infection. Here are the steps:

  1. Chop and lightly sauté 1-2 onions in a small amount of water for 4-5 minutes. Carefully drain the cooked onions and their juice into an old dish towel.
  2. Fold the sides of the dish towel into the center to make a square poultice. Being careful to make sure it is not too hot, apply the poultice to your chest and leave in place for 20 minutes.
  3. Bundle yourself up with blankets while you rest.
  4. It is common for some productive coughing to occur after the onion poultice as mucus is being cleared from the lungs.

Warning: the compress can be quite hot when you first apply it to the skin. If you are treating a child, be very careful not to burn the skin.

Dr. Shannon Sarrasin is a naturopathic doctor who is clinically trained and naturally focused.
She is co-owner of Flourish Naturopathic at Moss Healthcare.

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