- It contains an essential volatile oil, mucilage, sugar and albumen.
Administration—The fresh juice is used in medicine, the crushed bulbs are used externally, and a tincture is prepared, of which from five to thirty drops is the dose.
Physiological Action—There is positive proof of the antiseptic properties of this agent.
One writer claims that diphtheria does not occur in families that are free partakers of the onion in any way. With many it produces flatulency. If used moderately for a while the quantity can be increased without unpleasantness. The odor is no more unpleasant than that of carbolic acid, creolin, asafetida and some others.
Covert gave the following facts concerning the common onion: "The volatile oil is the essential part of the onion, and has not only gastronomic but therapeutic merit. The onion is expectorant, stimulant, diuretic, rubefacient and discutient, and as a domestic remedy is well remembered by the oldest inhabitants in the form of onion syrup, onion draughts, onion poultices and the like. As a domestic remedy always at hand and of varied virtues it stands unrivaled.
"The onion poultice stands in high favor with me for all swellings, such as that of the throat in scarlet fever and diphtheria. It was long declared of much importance in the treatment of croup and as an application to the chest in all inflammations of the lungs and bronchi.
"An onion may be roasted and the cut surface applied hot to glandular inflammations and suppurating tumors."
Bloyer advises the tincture of the Red Onion in gravel. The specific indications are extreme urinary irritation, with a constant desire to urinate and the passage of calcareous concretions. Hemorrhage and pus and mucus are often present from inflammation of the bladder. The cystoscope shows the bladder walls greatly thickened, nodulated and imbedded with concretions of various sizes. This persistent and almost incurable condition has been quickly cured by a tincture of the red onion and the tincture of cocklebur in equal parts, from fifteen to twenty drops given every three hours. The cure of this condition alone by the agent will give it a place in therapeutics.
The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.