Natural Remedies for Edema (Swelling in the Tissues)

Onion-Milk Remedy
Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 02/16/2024

The Onion in Medicine

The ancient Egyptians it is said, were forbidden to eat the onion, garlic and leek. According to the priests of Pelusium the onion was barred because it caused a flow of tears, hunger and thirst and hence was manifestly out of place in fasts and during religious ceremonies. It did not seem right to weep on occasions of joy or to be tormented with hunger and thirst on days set aside for fasting.

The Hebrews regarded the onion purely for it's culinary value. The Greeks were fond of both onions and garlic. The former were apparently used when drinking to increase thirst and enhance the pleasures of the cup. But in the palmy days of Rome, the two vegetables had become largely the badge of the rabble.

In the Middle Ages any well-set table contained a plate of red onions. The chief repute of the onion in medicine was as a diuretic and remedy for dropsy. This belief has persisted up to the present time and it is somewhat strange to find that as early as 1853 onions and a milk diet were pronounced the best remedy for dropsy (a term used to describe generalized swelling and was synonymous with heart failure). In 1868, Trastour reported that a case of parenchymatous nephritis (renal lesions in parenchymatous nephritis are confined to the kidney tubules), with edema (swelling caused by too much fluid trapped in the body's tissues) and albuminuria (too much albumin in your urine), cleared up under the onion-milk regimen. In addition to anasarca (a condition characterized by severe generalized edema of the body) of both legs there has been a hydothorax (is a noninflammatory collection of serous fluid within the pleural cavities. The effusion is clear and straw colored. Hydrothorax is unilateral or bilateral. The most common cause of hydrothorax is cardiac failure, but it is also frequently the result of renal failure and cirrhosis of the liver). The treatment had provoked a strong diuresis (increased or excessive production of urine). In 1910 Mongour saw a still more remarkable case of cirrhosis of the liver with ascites (a condition in which fluid collects in spaces within your abdomen) clear-up after three days of onion eating with a critical polyuria (a urine output greater than three liters per day in adults). Cruchet had seen a patient with dropsy recover after a period of onion eating – 15 or 20 daily. In 1912 Dalche published his article on the “onion cure”. He spoke of a case of a three-quart diuresis produced in a dropsical patient by this resource. During the war Leclerc to whom we are indebted for the preceding information (La Presse Medicale, February 25, xxx, 16) frequently witnessed this diuretic action in soldiers, notably in a Senegalese with serous effusions and dropsy due to nephritis. From the book: Medical Record, Volume 101 edited by George Frederick Shrady, Thomas Lathrop Stedman, pages 629-630 April 15,1922.


Note: I edited this article with (notations) of medical terms to make it easier to read.

Onion-Milk Recipe:

Boiled onions in milk

By soaking onions in milk helps dilute their sulfur content, taking away that pungent, raw bite. Use whole milk will work for the recipe. Fats are a natural lubricant for inflamed tissues.

General rule of thumb is: For every liter (34oz) of milk, take four medium onions.

For a single dose, one onion (50-60g = 2oz) is taken per 100 ml (3.52oz) of milk.

Boil the chopped onions in milk for 1-2 minutes - (with subsequent infusion in the pot for about 2 hours).

Milk is brought to a boil on slow heat. After boiling is achieved, add onions to it. During the boiling process, the mixture is constantly stirred, maintaining uniformed consistency. If necessary, the onions can be filtered if preferred. The mixture is then poured into a thermos and drunk throughout the day without the need to reheat it every time. Honey (1 tsp) can be added to improve taste.

Recipe variations: There are many options for how to properly drink milk with onions. For medicinal purposes, the dosage is reduced to a 1:1 ratio.

For an adult, the dosage is half a glass at a time.
For children, it is reduced several times - from 2 to 5 tbsp. At the age of three years and up to the norm of an adult at 12-15 years.