The Cayce Herbal
 A Comprehensive Guide to the 
Botanical Medicine of Edgar Cayce
Botanical Name: Allium cepa

Common Names and Synonyms: Onion, common onion, garden onion

Background: The common garden onion is one of the oldest and most versatile herbal remedies. Probably native to Southwest Asia, onions are now found in all parts of the world.  Traditionally onion preparations have been especially effective in the treatment of colds and congestion.  Taken internally, onion may be helpful for indigestion and circulatory diseases.  Used externally, onion poultices have wide application including treatment of congestion, infectious disease, earaches, warts, athlete's foot, muscle pain, and unsightly liver spots or dark blemishes.

Onions in the Cayce Readings:

  • Edgar Cayce often recommended onion in the diet and as physiotherapy.
  • As a medicinal herb, onion was often recommended as an external pack in the treatment of colds and congestion.  Yellow corn meal was sometimes combined with the onion in a gauze poultice.
  • Onion juice prepared from steamed or boiled onions was prescribed as a medicine to improve circulation, digestion, eliminations, and respiratory functioning.
  • In at least 11 readings onion therapy was used in conjunction with squill, usually for the treatment of respiratory disorders.
Cayce Quotes on Onion Therapy

(Q)  Since onions are supposed to be good for your blood and otherwise, why do they cause such ill smelling gases?
(A)  From the most foul at times comes the most beautiful lilies.

(Q)  Would onion packs or mustard packs dissolve the fluid in her chest?
(A)  This may be told more by following those suggested massages and pressures following the light.  And should there still sound the gurgle or the fluid of same, then use the counter-irritant; the raw onions, ground, would be the more preferable, the more penetrating.  While the mustard makes for more of a superficial stimulation, the onion would be penetrating and not as irritating.  If it becomes necessary to use the onion packs, they would be used two or three times each day - not enough to fan about and give the body MORE cold, but make them heavy enough, thick enough, so that they will hold and maintain the heat - not a mere spreading on, but at least a quarter to half an inch thick, on front and back.
    To prevent in the present the cold, congestion, from becoming more of a complex condition, causing a great deal of disturbance through those weakened portions of the hepatic circulation and those activities with the bladder, the kidneys and the upper circulation, we would at once:
    Apply an onion and meal (yellow meal) poultice.  Not quite half and half but chopping the onions very fine and mix the meal with same; this on chest and throat, also on lower portion of kidneys and lumbar area.  This, of course, should be warm; not hot but warm, see?

(Q)  Is there congestion in the left lung?
(A)  There is congestion in the left lung, but it is the drain more upon the whole of the blood supply that causes the great weakness.
    We may break this congestion in the lung by the application of the Onion Poultice on same, front and back.

    Also we would give the medicated properties of Syrup of  Squill combined with the juice of onions.  Boil or steam the onions and squeeze out the juice.  To half a teaspoonful of the onion juice we would add six to ten drops of Syrup of Squill, as a dose.
    Give this about twice or three times each day for the next three or four days.

    We would prepare about six large onions, you see, steamed preferably in Patapar paper.  Squeeze out the juice and sweeten just a bit.  Begin with small doses of same taken about every two hours apart.  This will change the condition for the stomach, change the condition in the respiratory system.

    We would begin with the use of onion juices; juices squeezed from boiled onions - or onions boiled in Patapar Paper.  And eat the onions as well as drink the juice from same.  Let this be a part of one meal each day for a week, leave off for a week and then take again; the onions cooked in that way and manner, you see, to preserve their juices.  Fresh onions if possible; if not, those that are well preserved - or the Spanish variety. These properties will act upon the circulation and the whole of the pulmonary reaction, as to produce a better elimination.

    Also, about twice each day give a teaspoonful of the juice from onions.  Prepare the onions, preferably, in Patapar Paper; or boil them in Patapar Paper, so that the juice from same is preserved in its NATURAL state.  To each TWO teaspoonsful of the onion juice add one minim of Glycerine. Stir this well together.  Let it be sipped when given.  This will not only act upon the mucous membranes of the throat, but act with the circulatory forces through the respiratory system and be easy upon those activities of the gastric juices through the DIGESTIVE forces.  Also it will make for a settling of disturbances that have occurred there at times, making for a better reaction through the system.  Prepare this fresh each day.
    We would also use with these at least few drops of Syrup of Squill.  This will aid in the action of the respiratory system.  We would also take care of that condition that exists in the lungs itself through the application of those as may be found in antiphlogistine or hot onion poultice.

    As indicated, we would continue with the syrup internally as made from the onion juice and the lemon juice.

    About an hour at the time, each day for about two days, we would apply the Onion Poultices over the liver, the gall duct, and extending to the caecum area; prepared in this manner:
    Prepare a thin gauze or cloth of sufficient size to cover this area.  Cut up onions very fine; heat them, not cook them too much but heat them; mixing with them - for this quantity - about a tablespoonful of corn meal, - preferably the yellow corn meal.  Spread this on the cloth, covering with a heavier cloth, - warm, not too hot, - and apply to the body.
    After this has been on for some ten minutes (not in the beginning) apply an electric pad, and let this heat for at least thirty minutes more, see?
    As soon as the poultice is taken off, begin with broken doses of a good eliminant.  The better, as we find, is Fletcher's Castoria; this to be taken in very small doses; just a few drops, three to six drops, taken about every two hours apart.
    Keep up the onion poultice until the phlegm has been cleared from the throat.
    Well, too, were onion juice given to clarify the throat. Boil onions and press the juice from same, sweetening same just a tiny bit.  Teaspoonful at the time will clear the throat and the mucus membranes in the bronchia.  Do that.  We are through with this reading.

    Almost immediately, or as soon as practical, apply an Onion Poultice over the chest, as well as between the shoulders. Do not make the poultice too strong, else it would be too severe for the developing body.  Chop the onions very fine, heat them - or cook them until they are about half done, you see; keeping most of the juice with same, - preferably cook them in Patapar Paper, this would be the better way.  Then mix just sufficient raw corn meal with same to make into a poultice, not too thick but just sufficient to allow the poultice to be applied - between gauze - directly to the body.  For this body, preferably use the YELLOW corn meal.
    Apply the poultice while it is still warm, you see.  Leave it on for at least thirty minutes. Then if there is not a change in the congestion, in twenty-four hours, put it on again, - making a fresh poultice, of course.
    Should there arise the filling, or the fullness in the chest,  shortness of breath, apply an onion poultice over the area - to draw or to disseminate and dissipate the fluid.  Chop onions rather fine, preferably using old onions rather than new ones.  Then heat them; not too much, as to burn, but keep the oils in same.  Sprinkle just a little yellow oat or corn meal in same, so as to make a poultice of the onions - having a layer of onions half an inch thick on plain gauze.  Apply this for an hour at the time.
    If this persists, keep on adding more of these poultices, for it will dissipate the accumulations.


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