The healing compounds in the humble onion are truly remarkable. Onions are rich in Vitamin C, Selenium, and other phytochemicals which are thought to prevent cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other maladies. They also do much to help prevent asthma attacks.
The oil of the onion is strongly antiseptic, and also has a soporific quality which will be welcome news to the insomniac. Eating onions in the evening will not just do much to benefit your immunity, they can help give you a sound night’s sleep.
Note: Habitual lack of sleep leads to poor memory function, poor decision-making, and poorer health in the long run. Sleeplessness is usually due to anxiety, but it can be that the thyroid gland is not functioning properly. Extra iodine can help to remedy an overactive thyroid, as well as an underactive thyroid. (see Dr Caroline Shreeve, who recommends using kelp to up your iodine and other minerals)
Get a checkup from your doctor or naturopath to make sure there is no serious underlying cause to your sleeplessness.
A medical book from the early 20th century recommends the eating of raw onions to encourage sleep, and quotes a Frank Buckland, who said: ‘Everybody knows the taste of onions; this is due to a peculiar essential oil contained in this valuable and healthy root. The oil has, I am sure, highly soporific powers. In my own case, it never fails. If I am much pressed with work and feel I shall not sleep, I eat two or three onions and the effect is magical.’
(From The Doctor At Home and Nurses Guide’, published in London and Melbourne by Ward, Lock and Co Limited. No date, but the book is very old, from early 1900’s. Some drugs recommended in this book, such as mercurial salves, would be quite toxic, and we would avoid them at all cost. However, the book makes interesting reading and does discuss some commonsense home remedies such as this onion remedy, which can only do you good)
I find that eating an onion sauteed in butter or oil also enhances sleep, if it is taken in the evening. Even half a raw onion, chopped finely and added to crackers and cheese for supper at night, can be helpful towards attaining sound sleep.
This old book also advises that ‘tea and coffee taken during the day are particularly prejudicial in the interests of sleep.’ We all know this, but how eloquently put…..
I would try an inhalation of onion: Cut up half an onion and pour over boiling water. Inhale the steam with a towel over your head. This can be used as a therapy for many ills, including sleeplessness, flu symptoms, onset of asthma or bronchitis. Be careful not to get too close to the steam, or to burn yourself.
Other helpful hints in the interests of quality sleep, from various sources:
Homeopathic Remedies: The biochemic cell salt Kali phos (potassium phosphate) can help. A lack of this mineral in the blood can cause sleeplessness. Constance Mellor advises the dose of two pilules before each meal, dissolved on the tongue, and four pilules to be taken just before bed.
Ms Mellor also suggests having a warm bath or shower at bedtime, but not drying oneself completely. Instead, wrap up in a warm clean sheet to absorb the moisture, and presumably, go to bed with the wrap still on. This is a similar remedy found in other writings, where a damp wrap is left on at bedtime: The effect is to bring an increase in temperature, which can be very useful for sweating out the beginnings of a cold or flu.
Suggested Remedies for Sleeplessness Before Midnight: Depending on the other symptoms, one of these could be helpful: Ambra, Arsen alb, Calcarea, Calc phos, CCarbo veg, Coffea, Conium, Kali carb, Lycopodium, Magnesia mur, Mercurius, Nat mur, Phosphorous, Pulsatilla, Rhus tox, Sepia, Silicea, Sulphur. (see Dr Andrew Lockie)
Suggested Remedies for Sleeplessness After Midnight: Arsen alb, Capsicum, Coffea, Hepar sulph, Kali carb, Nux vomica, Phosphoric ac., Silicea.
Onion Pack: The onion pack for pleurisy is worth remebering. This involves cutting an onion, skin and all, covering with water, and simmering for ten minutes or so. Soak a flannel or piece of cotton material in the onion water. Wring out, and apply hot to the chest. Wrap up the pack well to keep the heat in. A woolen blanket around the chest works well. Cover up in bed and keep the pack on for several hours if possible. After several hours, the onion water can be heated up again, and a fresh pack made to put onto the chest. This treatment should work well to bring about peaceful sleep, as the essential oils from the onion will be absorbed into the skin.
Keeping the feet warm is important for sleeping well. A hot water bottle in cold weather, and woolen socks, are good recommendations.
Putting a sprig of rosemary, lemon balm, or lavender under the pillow can also be helpful in gaining restful sleep. Dried hops sewn into a wee sachet also work as a soporific.