All variety of onions (allium cepa) have been used as medicine for countless generations all over the world. Their antibiotic-like properties and expectorant abilities support our immune systems and help relieve congestion with more productive coughs. I first learned how to make this cough remedy with common onions (purple, white, yellow), however, because I had so many I’itoi onions growing in my garden, I thought - why not try making it with them? The result came out tasting very similar to my original recipe as I’itoi onions do have a very bold taste. I’itoi onions thrive here in the Sonoran Desert where I live, and although their story is a little ambiguous, I love their flavor and I love how this endangered little onion is coming back to life with more use and availability. What better way to honor a food than to use it as medicine.
If you do not have access to I’itoi onions (check your local farmers market), simply substitute a common onion or even a couple shallots in their place. This is a great remedy to have on hand for your kitchen apothecary.
1 small bunch of I’itoi onions, white parts only, chopped (save green parts for another use)
2” piece of ginger, washed, sliced in pieces
Place the chopped onions and ginger pieces in a very small saucepan to cover the bottom of the pan. Pour enough honey to simply cover the pieces. Bring to a boil then immediately turn heat down to a simmer. Allow mixture to simmer gently for at least 30 minutes. Turn off heat, allow mixture to cool slightly. Strain honey into a small clean jar using a fine mesh strainer. Label jar and store in refrigerator. And if you’re like me, you don’t waste anything. I like to eat the onion and ginger mixture too!
*Children: Take 1 tsp. at the first sign of a cough, every 3 - 4 hours until symptoms subside
Adults: Take 1 TBS. at the first sign of a cough, every 3 - 4 hours until symptoms subside.
*Do not give honey to children under 1 year of age.
As always, please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented on this blog post.