Onion syrup is nat­u­ral op­tion for treat­ing coughs and colds

Houston Chronicle - - STAR - JOE AND TERESA GRAEDON Con­tact the Grae­dons at peo­ple­sphar­macy.com.

Q: I read about onion syrup for coughs and colds. How does one pre­pare this? I have never seen it in a store.

A: This old home rem­edy is not dif­fi­cult to make. One reader de­scribed her ap­proach: “When my kids were ba­bies and got croup, I made onion syrup on the stove. I cut a few onions in half and cov­ered them with wa­ter. First I’d bring it to a boil, then sim­mer the mix­ture real low and slow with enough wa­ter just to cover for a cou­ple of hours. The onions would get soft and the cook­ing wa­ter would be syrupy. I’d sweeten it with a lit­tle sugar or honey, de­pend­ing on the child’s age. Noth­ing worked bet­ter.”

An­other reader of­fered this: “I re­ally be­lieve in the onion syrup. When my daugh­ter was a baby, she had colic and was cough­ing all the time. A friend of mine sliced an onion, sprin­kled sugar all over the cut edges, and waited about 30 min­utes un­til the juice be­gan to col­lect. Then we gave the baby a tea­spoon, with in­stant suc­cess. We con­tin­ued to give it to her, and she slept well.”

Q: My doc­tor told me to use Prom­ise mar­garine, noth­ing else. Over a pe­riod of time my choles­terol dropped to 100 and has been stable for more than 20 years. Is Prom­ise re­spon­si­ble for this? A: Prom­ise and Benecol mar­garine both were launched as a means of low­er­ing choles­terol. They con­tain plant sterols or plant stanol es­ters. Reg­u­lar con­sump­tion of such prod­ucts in place of but­ter can lower LDL choles­terol by 7 to 12 per­cent (Nu­tri­ents, Sept. 7, 2018).

Q: My neu­rol­o­gist rec­om­mended al­pha-lipoic acid for numb­ness in my feet, and it helps some. How­ever, walk­ing the dogs around the pond in the cool morn­ings means I start out the day wear­ing my hik­ing boots, and that seems to help the neu­ropa­thy even more. This seems more than a lit­tle weird to me, but the com­fort is wel­come. I al­ready own boots, so I didn’t have to spend money. At 74 years of age, neu­ropa­thy’s ef­fects on my bal­ance are not triv­ial. A: We’re glad the hik­ing boots are help­ful. You also might want to con­sider the syn­thetic B vi­ta­min ben­fo­ti­amine in ad­di­tion to al­pha-lipoic acid. It has been shown help­ful against di­a­betic neu­ropa­thy (Min­erva Med­ica, Oc­to­ber 2017). There hasn’t been much re­search on this com­bi­na­tion to treat nerve pain and numb­ness not due to di­a­betes.

Al­though this is only an anec­dote, one reader wrote: “I know that ben­fo­ti­amine with al­phalipoic acid can elim­i­nate neu­ropa­thy. I had it so bad in my feet that it felt like I was walk­ing on the sharp part of a huge spike! I have been tak­ing both of these for years now and have not had one pain. I could not walk with­out them.”

Q: I had a deep cut on my fin­ger and the blood was puls­ing out. I grabbed the black pep­per, poured it on the cut, and the bleed­ing stopped im­me­di­ately. I left the clus­ter of black pep­per on the cut. The cut sealed shut and was healed in two days. Thanks for writ­ing about this rem­edy.

A: We al­ways en­cour­age any­one with a se­ri­ous cut to ap­ply pres­sure and seek im­me­di­ate med­i­cal at­ten­tion. That said, you are not the first per­son to re­port that ap­ply­ing ground black pep­per can some­times be an ef­fec­tive way to stop bleed­ing. To read about other sim­ple ap­proaches for com­mon ail­ments in­clud­ing cuts and bruises, you may find our book “Quick & Handy Home Reme­dies” of in­ter­est. It is avail­able at Peo­ple­sPhar­macy.com or your lo­cal li­brary.

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