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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Bundle yourself up with blankets while you rest.
- 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.