Onions and the Superstitions that Surrounds Them

OnionsPhoto by [solrac_gi_2nd] morgueFile

Onions, not everyone loves to eat them, probably because of their pungent odor, zippy almost burning after taste and especially because they make you cry when cutting them. But some folks love them with everything they eat. As you can imagine just like everything else, onions have a ton of superstitions that surrounds them.

This is definitely one of those off the wall superstitious scenarios that most people probably haven’t given much thought to. But for those of you that do know what I’m talking about know this is serious business.

Love and Superstitions of Onions

It’s said that by placing an onion under your pillow while you sleep will bring you great insight when dreaming about who your future partner in life will be.

If you wish to decide between two potential loves, you should cut the names of these two people into two separate onions. Then leave the onions in a warm place and wait to see the magic happen. Which ever onion is the first to sprout will reveal the most promising partner for you.

Onions and Health Superstitions

Onions are also said to contain great magical properties that can ward off snakes and witches. Supposedly these creatures are repulsed by the onions odor and will be repelled. Garlic is another great remedy for warding off creature of the night. If you want to include garlic in your food arsenal for fighting evil as well, then you must check out my post Garlic Spiritual Meaning, Folklore and Superstitions. We use garlic to take on witches, vampires and even werewolves!

Onions also have the ability to fight off the common cold. Carrying an onion on your person is great for your health, or you may also choose to hang on up in your room for the same result. Although this is a very stinky remedy, but if you believe it works, then more power to you. This was especially common practice during the days of the plague, they say it helped to promote a healthy atmosphere.

Strangely enough, scientists say this may be true, as a cut onion actually attracts germs which may help keep them away from humans. But beware, another superstition says that by leaving an onion laying around the house can cause fighting amongst the occupants of the home. So this is kind of a rock and a hard place on this one. But if you live alone then it may be the perfect remedy.

Other Treatments of the Onion

Onions are also said to be good for dog bites, hangovers, insomnia, earaches, toothaches and also fever.

Here’s an odd one for you, if you are fighting baldness, then rub your scalp with an onion as it may be the cure you’re looking for.

In times of old, a certain superstition of onions said school boys would rub themselves with onions in order to dull the pain when getting spankings during school. And if they were lucky enough to actually rub onion on the cane they were being spanked with, then it would surely break upon it’s first blow. Not only would it break, but the pain would be deflected upon the person doing the spanking…lol

One last onion superstition to leave you thinking about, if you find an onion with an unusually thick skin, then bad weather is sure to come!

Does your family or culture have any more amazing superstitions about onions? Give us some good ones in the comments below.

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24 thoughts on “Onions and the Superstitions that Surrounds Them
  1. Onions and superstitions 🙂 Interesting. I’ve heard that onions take away the bad odor from fridges and I always wonder how they do that with their own pungent smell.

    I’ve tried rubbing onion over insect bites and it gives a good soothing feeling – I don’t know if it does anything to heal.

    Thanks for sharing Rob 🙂

    1. Very cool Jane about the insect bites, I’ll have to try that some time.

      I agree it seems rather strange that something so stinky would take away bad odors, but many folks will swear by it. If you try that one out, let us know how it goes. 🙂

  2. I have heard that Onions soak-up all germs, damp, mildew and evil in a room …. They have cleansing properties.

    My sister in-law was complaining that my darling nephews were constantly suffering from bronchiolar coughing fits – Their bedroom had damp on one of the walls.

    Hearing of the cleansing properties & wives tales of the onion …. She placed a halved onion in the bedroom – Soon the boys stopped coughing and the mould/damp stopped forming!

    1. That’s some awesome information about your sister in-law’s experience with using onions. It really is amazing how that works. Very glad to hear your nephews are doing better. Way to go Onion!

  3. Always love a good old article on various superstitions. Let me debunk the baldness bit. Been there, done that. My scalp is still like a shiny egg. However, your love and onions paragraph is something i haven’t heard about. I’ll definitely put some onions under my pillow tonight:)

    1. Thanks Matty for sharing your attempt at the onion baldness cure. It’s really too bad it didn’t work out for you, do you think it may require more applications or treatments as you might say?

  4. Hey there,

    where I come from, people say you shouldn’t plant onions during a crescent moon or else they will skyrocket.

    I think what you mentioned about onions defeating colds makes sense. When one walks around with a stinky onion all day, or has one in his room, people will stay away from you and keep their bacteria to themselves.

    1. That’s a pretty funny outlook on the onions fighting the common cold, you very well may be right on that one!

      Would you mind elaborating more on what you mean when saying the onions will skyrocket? Sounds very interesting.

  5. Great article. Onions are strange things, letting us cry for almost no reason.. They help you when you have a cold, my mom Always put them under my pillow when i went to sleep, next day i had no cold anymore 🙂 I also read somewhere that how sharper the knife, the less you will cry. Handy for people who like to cook 😉

    1. Yah Mark, onions are great for many things, I don’t normally eat them raw, but I like a good cooked onion if it’s mixed into what ever I’m eating. It’s good to hear a first hand account of how onions healing powers work, thanks for sharing that with us!

  6. Nice post Robert !
    I didn’t know that Onions are being used by people to ward off ghosts . I’d like to read more on such people as the story sounds very interesting . People here in India , consume Onions to stay healthy . Onions can prevent cold and fever. Thanks for sharing the information Robert .

    1. You’re very welcome Pramod onions are indeed very good for you if you can get over their pungent aroma and tear jerking traits. That’s cool to hear about how your culture uses the onion as cold prevention. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I do like a little onion in my salad though. Concerning the baldness, is it true? I haven’t come across lots of these superstitions except for the believe that onion smell wards off witches and bad spirits. I enjoyed reading this because it made me laugh. Thanks

    1. Thanks for commenting Knack. As for the superstition concerning baldness you may want to read the comment by Matty above. He has attempted this cure to no avail.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the read!

  8. hi Robert,
    The medical properties of onions are known by many of us but the superstitions you have mentioned are really unbelievable.

    1. Yah some of them are pretty far fetched. But that’s what’s great about superstitions, you must first choose to believe before there is any real meaning behind them. 😉

  9. The great vegetables/spice of the world. Medical also remarks it as a most useful for category .

    1. Indeed vegetables are a great way to supplement the body with what it needs. I remember reading a very large list of vegetables and nuts alike that had remarkable health benefits. Kind of makes me want to change my eating habbits!

  10. It is good to hear that onion is good for our health. I do not eat onion regularly but I think I can try eating this more for the sake of my health.

    1. It’s sometimes surprising to hear that some things with such potent properties can be healthy. But a secret I find to eating vegetables is to grill them with some lemon or lime, really brings out the flavor. 🙂

      1. Oh absolutely vkool, onions add a great flavor to almost any kind of food. They are especially good grilled until soft and placed on a juicy cheeseburger!

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