What You DON'T EVER Hear About
TYPICAL HIDDEN ALLERGY SCENARIO: (onion allergy/garlic allergy)
"Ouch! My sore throat! It hurts when I swallow... my nose is running & itching" "My throat is so sore it feels like a knife is in my throat!" "I have a dry, hacking cough, tongue sores, headache and sinus condition - the nasal drip doesn't let up!" "My sinuses are dripping like a faucet..." - Uh oh, my onion allergy! Did that hamburger I just ate have raw onion in it?
Or what about those sweet 'n sour meatballs (because lemon juice PLUS garlic/onion powder
is equivalent to the terrible potency of raw onions...K
NOTE: RED MEAT (AS IN MEATBALLS) IS INFLAMMATORY EVEN WITHOUT ONION!!
Remember when doctors used to think that ulcers were primarily due to stress, and would refer ulcer patients to psychiatrists? They were proven wrong with the discovery of H.Pylori bacteria as a culprit. Remember the hype that "all" Near Death Experiences are blissful? That suppression of the whole truth has also been negated by the recent publication of a book about negative NDE's.
For every so-called rule there are exceptions to the rule, and some of you out there (aside from Porphyria patients) might just be among the exceptions who, like me, are harmed rather than helped by RAW garlic and/or RAW onions.
What really motivated me to create this site was my indignation at the crime of omission by top "specialists" in the fields of sinus, migraine, and digestive conditions. I challenge anyone reading this site to check out all the books by "experts" published at or before the year 2003 when this site was created. For example, check out books by Robert Ivker on both Sinus Survival and on Migraines, just to see whether there's any mention made of the flip-side of onions and garlic. If you find even one author who did see fit to include this fact in his/her book, by all means, please feel free to post the name of the author in my guestbook!
And to any of you who enjoy science fiction, imagine this: "In the year 2004, close on the heels of the green onion, ephedra, and mad cow scares, onion and garlic products began being strictly rationed all across the country, due to a worldwide shortage. Within a short time, many self-professed health commentators were noted to report: 'Mysteriously, there has been a drastic reduction in colds and viruses, leaving OTC drug manufacturers and shareholders both perplexed and in a state of panic, scrambling to recoup their losses...'"
Whatever the case may be, here are some About.Com testimonials (specifically by FDave and FBrad) indicating that I'm not the only one with sinus and throat reactions to onions (in my case onions & garlic). Though many more of the About.Com testimonials mention nausea, stomach or migraine reactions to onions, nevertheless, there were sinus reactions mentioned by a few people, and one guy mentioned becoming phlegmy. By the way, I don't only get sore throat and cold, but I, too, have experienced an ughy "headachy" feeling as part of my reactions, even if not the overriding one.
Garlicky pickles, garlic in olives, onions in herring, onions in salads, and even cooked onions (such as the organic onions in "organic broccoli soup" & other such soups by Imagine Foods, producers of Rice Dream), or onions in stuffed cabbage or hamburger can have a similar ill-effect.
THOUGH NOTE THAT RED MEAT & CHOPPED MEAT ARE INFLAMMATORY IN & OF THEMSELVES!!
However, if garlic & onions (in a very moderate amount) are sauteed in lite oil, as a base for dinners, until golden & translucent, and if distilled water is added partway during sauteeing, then the ill-effect is sometimes mitigated. I say sometimes, because there are some onions that are so potent, that even the sauteeing doesn't help.
PHENOLS IN OLIVE OIL??
Readers may be skeptical of what I'm going to say next, but I think I've been finding that sauteeing in olive oil (even the light kind) can have a somewhat similarly irritating effect as onions, and therefore, sauteeing onions in olive oil is especially inadvisable. Extra Virgin is most irritating of all... Might it be the phenolics that olives/onions have in common?
I'd be interested in feedback regarding allergic people's experiences with Vidalia onions (and SupaSweet onions from the UK). Do you find them less allergenic? Because I'm thinking that maybe it's a good idea to add a pinch of sugar during the forementioned sauteeing process - then the effect might be similar to Vidalias.
Relevant to this discussion is the below, excerpted from About.Com, by Tom Ogren:
I study allergies and plants and see quite a few cases of onion allergy -- it isn't at all rare. I'd like to caution those with onion allergy to watch out for the onion relatives when gardening. These would include all the alliums, plants such as gardener's garlic, and all of the Lily family members. Anyone with allergy to onion is at risk to also be allergic to the sap of any kind of lily, daffodils, iris, tulip, tiger lily, day lily, lily of the valley, agapanthus, alstromeria, and so on. The sap can cause what's called lily rash, and it can be a persistant and terrible rash. Direct contact is needed to get the rash and sometimes it can happen from mere contact with lily leaves, or from bulbs. One last thought here: I'm seeing more and more skin rash from aloe vera products. Aloe is also a lily relative (onion relative), so keep that in mind, too.I believe I'm also allergic to dryness. Zinc irritates my mucuous linings, causing me dry sinuses, dry mouth, dry throat, etc. No wonder - my blood vessels are constricted enough, and zinc, as an astringent, contracts the blood vessels - worsening the situation. Dry products such as pills, calcium, nuts, flat breads, and dry chips, can have a constipating effect on me.
Xanax and antihistamines are among the products which cause me too much dryness. Even apple juice and tea sometimes leave me with a dry residue in my mouth. I have a white-coated tongue - I wonder if that's related to my tendency to dehydration and dry mouth.
In summary, this mini-site is intended as a warning to other laryngitis-prone people with out-of-wack immune systems, who share my symptoms of dry, creaky system, including lack of sufficient enzymes and hormones.
BEWARE OF: Raw garlic (or non-sauteed), raw onions (or non-sauteed), Zinc, alcohol and other drying-out products. Next time you get tongue sores, sore throat, or a cold, try to remember whether you ate garlic, onions, or even salty/spicy chips, and potent flavorings such as lemon, lemon oil, mint oil/extract, pepper, etc. BTW, I know this sounds crazy, but even grapes & apples (raw or cooked) dry out my mouth, though oil & cream can mitigate this.
SOOTHING FOODS ARE: Yogurt (with active cultures & whey), Licorice-root (heals mucuous linings), slippery elm, mullein, lite olive oil (Red Flag: the latter may prove irritating when used for sauteeing), tuna/chicken & mayonnaise, chicken-soup, rice & rice milk, barley, yams, spinach, celery juice, cabbage, cooked green/yellow veggies, and ice-cream & other desserts which contain eggs & oil. These all can have a healing effect on irritations, including sore throats and stomach irritation.
SAMPLE SCENARIOS OF HOW WORDS CAN HARM PEOPLE:
Get a load of this post by a guy who thought he was lactose intolerant, yet it turned out to be calcium rather than lactose:
Posted on newsgroups by Craig-of-calcium-allergy
also see this newsgroup post by Carole-of-calcium-allergy
and again by Craig
By the way, here's a good source-of-pain experiment:
You can experiment by seeing if any of these cause you pain or other reactions, by experimenting with each of them approx. a week, if you dare:
Other sources of pain can be: