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Allium Cepa: A Homeopathic Remedy from Onion with a Rich History and Wide Applications

Allium cepa is a homeopathic remedy derived from the red onion, a common vegetable that belongs to the family Liliaceae. The onion has been used for thousands of years as food and medicine in various cultures, such as Persia, China, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. It was valued for its therapeutic properties, such as being a decongestant, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antibiotic, and diuretic.

The onion was first introduced to homeopathy by Dr. Constantine Hering, a German physician who is considered the father of American homeopathy. He proved the onion as a homeopathic remedy in 1847, after observing its effects on himself and others. He found that the onion produced symptoms similar to those of a common cold, such as watery nasal discharge, sneezing, eye irritation, and headache. He also discovered that the onion could treat neuralgic pains, especially after injuries.

Since then, Allium cepa has been widely used in homeopathy to treat various conditions that cause the same reaction in the body, such as allergies, hay fever, sinusitis, laryngitis, cough, earache, and phantom limb pain. It is one of the most effective remedies for nasal problems, especially when the discharge is acrid and burning, and the eyes are watering and bland. It is also indicated for spasmodic cough, hoarseness, and throat pain that extend to the ears. It is a suitable remedy for people who are prone to catch colds in damp and cold weather, and who are anxious and melancholic.

Allium cepa is prepared by making a tincture from the fresh red bulbs of the onion. It is then diluted and potentized according to the principles of homeopathy. The potency and dosage of the remedy depend on the individual case and the severity of the symptoms. Allium cepa is generally safe and has no reported side effects when taken in homeopathic doses. However, it is advisable to consult a qualified homeopath before using any homeopathic remedy.

Words that Describe Drug Picture of Allium Cepa

1. Acrid: 

In Allium cepa, the nasal discharge is acrid and causes burning and redness of the nose and upper lip. The discharge may also irritate the throat and larynx, causing cough and hoarseness. The acridity of Allium cepa is due to the sulphide of allyl, a compound related to oil of mustard.

2. Bland: 

In Allium cepa, the eye discharge is bland and does not cause any burning or smarting in the eyes. The eyes may water profusely, but the tears are not acrid. The blandness of Allium cepa is contrasted with the acridity of the nasal discharge, which is a characteristic feature of this remedy.

A close-up of a red onion bulb with green leaves, also known as Allium cepa, a homeopathic remedy for colds and hay fever.

3. Catarrhal conditions:  

Allium cepa is a useful remedy for catarrhal conditions of the upper respiratory tract, such as colds, hay fever, sinusitis, and laryngitis. It produces acute catarrhal inflammation with copious discharge, sneezing, and headache. It is especially indicated when the catarrh is caused by exposure to damp, cold winds or by eating raw onions.

4. Left sidedness:  

Allium cepa is a left-sided medicine, which means that it mainly affects the left eye, left ear, left nostril, left side of the throat, and left side of the chest. The symptoms may extend or shift to the right side, but they are usually worse on the left side. This is a distinctive feature of Allium cepa, which helps to differentiate it from other remedies.

5. Neuralgia: 

Allium cepa is a good remedy for neuralgic pains that are accompanied by a sensation of a long thread being pulled in the affected part. This may occur in the face, head, neck, or chest. It is also useful for nerve pain after injury or amputation, such as phantom limb pain. The neuralgic pains of Allium cepa are worse in the evening and in a warm room, and better in the open air.

6. Spasmodic: 

Allium cepa can help with spasmodic conditions of the respiratory system, such as cough, whooping cough, asthma, and bronchitis. The cough of Allium cepa is violent and causes a tearing pain in the larynx, which makes the patient grasp the throat. The cough is worse from inhaling cold air and better from drinking warm water.

7. Warm: 

Allium cepa is a remedy for patients who are very sensitive to heat and cannot tolerate warmth. They feel hot and thirsty, and may have feverish symptoms, such as chills, shivering, and sweating. They are worse in a warm room and in the evening, and better in a cold room and in the open air. They may also crave raw onions, which have a cooling effect on the body.

Keynote Symptoms of Allium Cepa

- Mucous membranes become inflamed and secrete more mucus.
- The nose runs with a watery and burning discharge, while the eyes tear up without irritation.
- The headache stops during the menstrual period and comes back when it ends.
- The patient sneezes violently, especially when getting up from bed or touching peaches.
- The patient feels like the larynx is ripping and holds the throat while coughing.
- The patient suffers from nerve pain that feels like a long thread, especially after wounds or losing a limb.
- The feet have sore and raw areas, especially on the heel, due to rubbing. 
- The patient feels worse in a warm room and at night, and better in cold weather and fresh air.
- The patient craves raw onions.

Mnemonics to Remember Keynote Symptoms of Allium cepa

A: Acrid nasal discharge and bland eye discharge
C: Catarrhal inflammation of mucous membranes
E: Eye watering and earache
P: Pain like a long thread in nerves
A: Allergy to cold and damp weather

Remedy Relationship of Allium Cepa


These are remedies that work well with or after Allium cepa. They are Phosphorus, Thuja, and Pulsatilla. They can help with conditions like nasal polyps, sinusitis, or hay fever, which Allium cepa can also treat. 


These are remedies that cancel or lessen the effects of Allium cepa. They are Arnica, Chamomilla, and Veratrum. They can be used when Allium cepa has been taken too much, wrongly, or has caused a worsening of symptoms. They can relieve symptoms like headache, neuralgia, or cough, which Allium cepa can also cause.

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