onion poultice for cough and cold

Onion Poultice: Grandma’s Natural Cough Remedy (That Really Works!)

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Are you looking for a natural remedy for a cough that just won’t go away or for tightness in your chest? Consider an onion poultice!

Onion poultices are a traditional remedy that act as an expectorant by loosening mucus and lessening inflammation.

Poultices can be used in instances of bronchitis, pneumonia, croup, sinus infection, and even Covid (Coronavirus).

Really, any time you have a cough that is irritating or really hangs on, this easy remedy can bring some relief!


Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on my blog. This information is from my personal experience and research that I have done. If you or someone you know has trouble breathing, please contact your health care practitioner.

onion poultice

Onion Poultice Benefits


I know you may be wondering if this fragrant (some may say stinky) remedy can actually help you feel better.

Well, if you find yourself questioning its usefulness, consider these benefits and scientific facts about onions:

  • they are high in vitamins and minerals, including the antioxidant quercetin which can help boost the immune response
  • onions are high in sulphuric compounds that have been shown to kill bacteria (here is a short interesting article about a 1,000-year-old onion and garlic remedy that astonished researchers!)
  • these little bulbs have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties too!

There are many other health benefits associated with onions as well, they can help to balance blood sugar levels, aid digestion, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and so much more!


It’s easy to see why onions have been a medicinal staple for hundreds (maybe thousands!) of years!



How To Make An Onion Poultice


There are a few methods of making this home remedy but I’ll share the way that my great-grandmother passed on to my mom and she passed on to me 🙂


Onion Poultice Supplies


  • 2 small-medium onions (can add a few cloves of garlic for extra benefit!)
  • 2 medium towels
  • hot water bottle or heating pad

What To Do


  1. Slice or chop the onions (and garlic if you’re adding it)
  2. In a frying pan, fry the onions gently until soft
  3. Remove from frying pan and place in a cloth approximately the size of the person’s chest.
  4. Place the folded towel with onions inside on the chest and put second towel over the top of the onion poultice. Be sure the poultice is hot, but not so hot as to burn.  If the person is feeling tightness in the back more than the chest, then apply it over the upper back.
  5. Place a hot water bottle or heating pad over the top of the poultice to maintain heat. If the extra heat becomes uncomfortable feel free to remove it.
  6. Rest with the poultice on for at least 20 minutes.

Repeat this process twice per day or until there is relief!

Helpful Onion Poultice Tips


An onion poultice is really simple to make but here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Use old towels- the onion smell is really strong and can take a few washes to remove all of the odor!
  2. Tie up the ends- if you’re afraid the poultice will make a mess or are using this for a child you may want to put the onions on the towel and use a rubber band to tie up the ends and then place it on the chest.
  3. Use the second towel that is placed on top as a little tent for your nose- this way you can breathe in warm air much like an herbal steam or a warm shower and it can help soothe a cough and irritated airways.
  4. Use an onion poultice before bed to help calm the cough so you can get some much-needed rest!
  5. Pair the use of the onion poultice with fermented garlic and honey or fire cider to help boost your immune system and feel better fast!

Last Thoughts About An Onion Poultice


An onion poultice is a traditional remedy that has been used for generations with great success to help with coughs, colds, and even pneumonia!

All you need is a few supplies (that you probably have on hand) and a few minutes, and you will have an effective natural remedy to help you or someone you love to find relief.

Looking For More Natural Home Remedies?


DIY Natural Remedies

Stock your medicine cabinet with simple, yet effective remedies that help support your immune system.
 

Make this your healthiest winter yet!


onion poultice for cough

Hi, I’m Amy

I’m a Licensed Massage Therapist and have a degree in Human Services, but my most important job is being a wife and mom.  My goal is to provide others with researched and reliable natural health information just for women so you too can live….

A Radiantly Healthy Life!

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