Spurious Health Tip - Onion on Feet to Take Away Illness
OutlineCirculating health tip claims that placing raw onion on your feet can take away illness by absorbing toxins from the body. The message claims that onion placed on the bottom of your feet can gain direct access to your internal organs via "meridians" in your body.
Brief AnalysisThe claims in the message are puerile nonsense. Onions do not absorb toxins or bacteria nor do they cleanse the blood. Strapping an onion to your foot will likely make you look silly but it certainly will not take away illness. The message is a reimagined version of another nonsensical health tip that claims that leaving onions around a room will absorb the flu virus and prevent people from becoming ill. Onions may indeed have some properties beneficial to your health. But to reap any such benefits, you actually have to EAT the onion.
Scroll down to read a detailed analysis with references.
Raw ONION on bottom of the feet to take away illness.
During the night, I started feeling good. I mean really good! I felt tingly, like my blood was being cleansed (it was). It was so cool!
My bedroom smells like a casserole, but it was totally worth it!
***Here is the deal:::
So last night Evan (11) was keeping everyone awake with his cough. I got up, went to the kitchen and sliced a purple, make me cry onion, at 3am. I got some snug socks and put it on the bottom of his feet. To boost my own immunity, I decided to try this too. During the rest of the night, I started feeling good. I mean really good! I felt tingly, like my blood was being cleansed. It was so cool!
This works in 2 ways.
1.) Onions are known to absorb toxins. In fact, during the days of the Plague in England, folks would keep chopped onions around to absorb toxins and clean the air. This helped protect them, against getting the plague.
NEVER SAVE AN ONION. It will absorb all the toxins in the air of your refrigerator. Eat that and you eat the toxins. Instead: Chop your left over onion, put it on a plate and keep it in your kitchen as a natural air purifier. I do this all the time! If someone is ill, place a chopped onion on the night stand, next to the bed. They'll be better in the morning. I placed the remaining onion, next to Evan last night.
Onions are toxin absorbers. Thus why they are great internal mops for the body. Eat plenty of onions!
2.) The onion and garlic families are anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. Placing them on the bottom of the foot gives them access to your internal organs through meridians in your body. The onion can be directly delivered. Transdermal delivery (on the skin) is one of the best delivery mechanisms, as it will bypass the stomach acids and go directly into the blood. The bottom of the feet and the forearm are great places to put high powered foods and essential oils into the body. Sliced garlic on the bottom of the feet will work nicely too.
Evan woke up cough free and hopped on the bus this morning.
A message currently circulating via social media extolls the wondrous health benefits of placing raw onion on your feet. According to the message, onion placed on the feet will take away illness because it can absorb toxins and bacteria from the body. Onion on the feet can also supposedly "cleanse the blood" and gain direct access to your internal organs via your body's "meridians".
The message tacks on a warning that people should never eat leftover onion because they will be eating all the toxins that the onion has "absorbed" from the environment and may fall ill as a result.
The message comes complete with a photograph depicting a foot with miraculous onion in place.
But, the claims in the message are nonsense. Strapping onion to your feet will likely make you look foolish. However, there is not a shred of credible evidence to support claims it will take away any illnesses, cleanse your blood, or remove toxins and bacteria from your body.
The message is simply a revamped version of another long running message which claims that leaving cut onion in a room will absorb viruses and bacteria, thereby preventing people from becoming ill.
Both this version and its equally spurious predecessor claim that, during the years of the bubonic plague in England, people would place cut onions around the room to help protect them. Some versions include an anecdotal, and - of course totally unsubstantiated - tale, which claims that a farming family escaped the ravages of the 1919 flu epidemic by leaving onion around their home.
But, the long held belief that onions can, in some magical way, act as magnets for bacteria, viruses or toxins has no scientific basis whatsoever.
Dr Joe Schwarcz of McGill University's Office for Science and Society notes:
The most fascinating thing about the email that circulates about the curative properties and dangers of onions is that some people give it credence.An article on The Chemist's Kitchen website about the onion's supposed ability to attract bacteria concurs with Dr Schwarcz's view, noting:
Is it plausible that an onion can draw "germs" out of the body? Of course not.
[T]he terminology that onions are "bacterial magnets" makes no sense. No food attracts bacteria, although of course some are more likely to support bacterial multiplication once infected.
Nothing is a bacteria magnet. Firstly, bacteria have minimal mobility. They usually travel in water droplets, if at all. Sneezes, for example. Moulds can release spores which get blown around but bacteria usually grows in moist environments and are slimy, making getting airborne difficult. Secondly, if there was such a thing as a 'bacteria magnet' it would be enormously useful in the medical field for drawing bacteria away from the ill and infirmed. Not such use has been made of onions.Thus, the suggestion that onion strapped to your feet can, in some miraculous and uncanny way, make connections to your internal organs, draw out and absorb toxins and bacteria thereby "cleaning" your blood, and cure your illnesses simply defies logic and common sense. Perhaps, if a person really believes that the remedy will work, the placebo effect may kick in and the person may feel some imagined benefit. But, other than that, the health benefits of putting onion on your feet are precisely zero.
The additional warning that people should never eat leftover onion because it has absorbed bacteria is just another facet to the same myth. The claim has circulated for years as a stand alone "warning". Again, onions DO NOT absorb bacteria, viruses or toxins from their environment, so eating leftover onion will not deliver all of these absorbed dangers into your body as claimed. Just like the rest of the claims, the warning is nonsense.
To be clear, onions do contain compounds that may indeed have health benefits. But, here's the kicker. To take advantage of these health benefits, you actually have to EAT the onion. Leaving cut onion around the room won't do the trick. Neither will putting it on your feet or any other part of your anatomy.
Last updated: January 22, 2014
First published: January 22, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen