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Can eating a raw onion cause a cold?

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Old 10-14-2011, 06:18 AM   #1
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Question Can eating a raw onion cause a cold?

Last night I had some fried rice with a strong raw onion in it. When I took a bite of the huge onion that thing singed my mouth, throat and back of nose. It was so bad that when I breathed through my nose my nose was burning. Then later on my throat started to hurt so I took a Tylenol before bed. I woke up with an irritated throat. I know before when I ate soming spicey I got a cold. Could the same thing happen with eating a raw onion? Has this ever happened to you? In your opinion, what is the cause of it (a strong onion giving me a cold and spicey food giving me a cold)?

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Old 10-14-2011, 07:06 PM   #2
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Re: Can eating a raw onion cause a cold?

No food can give you a cold. Viruses cause colds. But a spicy or strong food such as raw onion can cause your body to react with excess mucous to cover the "burn" you feel in your throat. The chemical in onions that causes that burning sensation is alocin and is a cousin to the capsacin of hot peppers.

You can build up a tolerance to hot foods with time and that body reaction will get better. And when you actually get a cold virus, they recommend you eat hot, spicy foods as the body production of excess mucous helps to clear out the throat and lungs.

The only sickness you can get from onions is if you develop an allergy and the reaction to that is with hives and swelling of your mouth, nausea and general stomach problems until the onion is flushed from your body.

Old 11-11-2011, 06:52 AM   #3
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Re: Can eating a raw onion cause a cold?

I know this is an older post, but I just wanted to share what happened to me when I was a kid... I used to love eating toothpaste (I know it's weird, but I was a weird kid!). Not a lot, just as much as I'd brush my teeth with... I'd squeeze out some and eat it. One night I did this, and all of a sudden my throat started burning and it hurt so bad! I thought all the things my mom had warned me about eating toothpaste had come true! My mom took me to the doctor the next day because it hurt so bad to swallow, I couldn't eat. Turns out I had strep. The toothpaste had just gotten into the strep sores and that's why it burned so badly.

I would imagine the onion acted in the same fashion. You were probably already on your way to having a cold and your natural reaction to the spiciness of the onion (and the previous spicy food you mentioned) just exaggerated your symptoms.

Onions and certain other spicy foods (cayenne pepper, cinnamon, etc) are actually used to naturally treat colds and respiratory illnesses.

Old 01-05-2012, 12:03 AM   #4
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Re: Can eating a raw onion cause a cold?

In fact, some authorities say that raw onions HELP a cold: it helps to bring the symptoms to the forefront so that recovery is actually quicker

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