STODDARD COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - With local health officials reporting higher cases of flu than normal, some Heartland families are turning to home remedies. One Stoddard County family says they now swear by the onion method.
It may sound unusual; you cut an onion in half and place it by a sick person's head.
"I was like wow!" said Angie Miller. "We have got to let other people know about this."
Angie Miller says her family feels it's a trick that absolutely works.
Right after the flu struck her 7-year-old daughter, Angie saw a post on facebook for the home remedy she had never heard of involving fresh onions. She's studying to work as a nurse, and says she's always interested in new techniques for better health.
"I thought, I am going to try this," Angie said.
The idea is that the onion will absorb the germs and you feel better faster.
"I thought oh well, if it doesn't work doesn't work-but this one worked!" Angie said.
The only drawback is the potent smell.
"Can't you smell it now?" laughed daughter, Elaina Miller. "When you're that sick, do you really care?" said dad, Tyler Miller.
They believe the onion indeed absorbed the virus. They placed the onion placed by Elaina's head.
"The onion was green, it was blue and it had a white fungus on top," Angie said.
"I was really amazed my daughter felt so well so soon I couldn't believe it," said Tyler.
The couple even placed another onion by their bed. The two of them had no flu symptoms previously, and sure enough the onion in their room looked fresh.
The Miller's say doctors expected Elaina to miss a week of school. However, in just a couple of days, she felt well enough to go back to her classes.
"She was running 103.5 fever on Sunday, and Tuesday morning the fever broke," said Angie.
Angie says ultimately she believes a combination of Tamiflu prescribed by her doctor, with the onion's extra kick, knocked the flu out of Elaina in record time.
"Definitely consult your physician also, but if a home remedy like this works, I highly recommend it," Angie said.
Heartland News also discovered these other remedies are popular for cold and flu:
* Garlic, minced in a glass of water.
* A ½ Tsp of cinnamon in hot tea to edge off congestion
* Apple cider vinegar, gargled for a sore throat
* Vitamin C
As for the Miller's, even Elaina says she's convinced there's healing power in an onion.
"Well I think it really worked," said Elaina. "I felt like it protected me."
Health officials still feel a flu shot is the best protection from the flu.
We consulted a number of doctors and nurses locally. Some buy into the onion method and others who say there's no proof at all that it works.
However, everyone agrees you should always consult your doctor when you have cold and flu symptoms.