Onion improves circulation and breaks up thick mucus and congestion, making it a great remedy for colds. It helps soften the lymph node, making it soothing for painful swollen glands in the neck. Onions can be placed into a rounded pouch or a flat envelope, if used for the ear, swollen glands, or feet.
For colds, an onion pouch in a child's room can help with congestion.
Using a cloth or sock, make an onion pouch, securely tied. Place near the child on the nightstand, by the bed, or above the crib, and leave it overnight. You can also use sliced onion: simply place one to two slices on a plate by the bed.
For chest colds, place an onion poultice on the chest and wrap with a scarf. Onion poultices can also be applied to the feet by way of onion socks.
To make one, put the prepared onion in small pouch and place the securely tied poultice in a sock. Fit the sock on your child's foot, so that the pouch securely stays in place on the sole of her foot. Let your child sleep overnight with the onion sock. For swollen glands, place a cloth envelope of chopped onion over the swollen glands and wrap with a scarf. In addition to treating colds, onion poultice socks can be used for earaches, teething, and bladder infections.
Excerpt from Natural Baby and Childcare by Lauren Feder, M.D.