There are memes and re-posts on Facebook that onions prevent the flu, specifically by leaving onions in different rooms of the house. It’s amazing at how many of my smarter friends have no problem re-posting this claim without bothering to check it out. I am not a fan of “Better safe than sorry” mentality they use. It took me less than 5 seconds to show this claim was false. There’s some evidence eating onions may help with anti-virus capabilities, but that’s separate from put onions in rooms to absorb bacteria.
Here are several sites that make great points about why you shouldn’t re-post such questionable claims:
Starting with the National Onion Association (an organization I had never heard of before today) and the fact they changed their stance sometime since April 23rd makes me leery of trusting anything they claim when it comes to use cut onions in rooms as a solution to the flu:
National Onion Association (original article): https://web.archive.org/web/20200423023839/https://www.onions-usa.org/tips-myths-faqs/onions-flu/ (apparently they removed the article sometime in the last 30 days as it was still on their website April 23, 2020). Now, they are taking a stronger stance it may help with virus infections – https://www.onions-usa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/OnionsFlu-Statement-3.pdf (PDF).
Onion fears and fables overcooked but still beware for the dog: https://www.aap.com.au/onion-fears-and-fables-overcooked-but-still-beware-for-the-dog/
Is it true that onions can absorb bacteria? Is it plausible that an onion can draw “germs” out of the body? Of course not. https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health-you-asked/it-true-onions-can-absorb-bacteria
Onions placed in bowls around your home will fight off the flu virus.: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/onions-fight-flu-myth/
Does an Onion in the Room Stop a Cold or Flu?: https://www.verywellhealth.com/will-an-onion-in-the-room-stop-a-cold-or-the-flu-770452
Fact Check: Bulb onions won’t poison you: https://www.jacksonville.com/article/20130125/news/801258725 If that were the case, my parents and siblings would all be dead decades ago as Mom and Dad both used freshly cut onions they had purchased on the same day. .
There are plenty of other