Jarabe de cebolla (Onion Syrup) – A home remedy passed through generations

Onion syrup is a magical remedy recipe passed on to me by my kids’ pediatrician many years ago. His mother-in-law swore by it, and I later found out that many Peruvian families held this recipe as their #1 treatment for coughs, for many generations. Believe it or not, it works!

When I first tried it I was skeptical. My son caught a cold and his chest was congested, so I decided to give it a try. I coarsely chopped an onion (you can use red or white, it doesn´t matter) and put it in a bowl. Then I covered it with about 1/2 cup of sugar, sealed it with a kitchen cloth, and let it rest overnight. The next morning, the limp onion was floating on a lake of syrup, which I carefully strained and transferred to a little jar.

Not long after I gave my son his first dose, I started noticing a difference: his congestion diminished, and he felt better. I faithfully repeated the dose every few hours, and by the second day, he was like new. This became my favorite anti-congestion syrup, because it worked every time, and it was all natural!

However, as time went by and both my kids found out what the secret ingredient of the famous syrup was, it became harder to make them take it, because they hated onions at the time. The one who suffered it the most was my daughter, who got colds and bronchitis all the time. She was also very allergic to the humidity of Lima (a lot of people have allergies and respiratory problems there because of the weather), and always had a runny nose. Thank god for all those Kleenex sharepacks we kept around the house, and that I snuck into her school bag at all times!

During cold and flu season, everyone could use a bit of comfort, and a small gesture can make a big difference. And when someone is sick, even the tiniest thing can remind them that they are cared for. Just as I gave my kids their hated (but powerfully effective) onion syrup, and made sure they were never caught without a pack of Kleenex at hand during the winter months, if you have a sick friend or loved one, you can share this recipe to speed up the healing process, and you can also give them a Kleenex care pack or share pack as a gift.

Have a nice week, and take care of yourself and your friends. Health is precious, and so is caring for others!

*This is a compensated post in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Kleenex. However, all views, stories and opinions are our own.



  1. I’ll admit– I immediately recoiled when I saw the phrase “jarabe de cebolla.” But, after I read the words “congestion” and “like new” I’m considering using it for my everyday congestion. I honestly cannot remember what it feels like to be able to breathe completely through my nose!

  2. Nunca lo había escuchado! No creo que sepa rico, pero si es pasado por generaciones es porque es eficaz.

    • Natalia, mis hijos lo detestaban, pero de verdad es super efectivo y sin los efectos secundarios de las medicinas (como sueño, por ejemplo). Te lo recomiendo.

      • Morena, gracias por la receta, ya habia escuchado de esta mezcla pero no sabia exactamente como se hacia el jarabe. Una pregunta, que cantidad se toma cada vez? por cucharas o es el jarabe de toda la cebolla o esto es para varias veces al dia??
        GRACIAS 🙂

        • Gracias, Sylvia. Una cucharadita varias veces al día, como cada 4 horas, es suficiente. La receta te va a dar suficiente para varias tomas. Yo usé media cebolla y 1/4 taza de azúcar, y me salió más de 1/2 taza de líquido. Es increíble. También podrías usar azúcar rubia en vez de blanca. Me cuentas!

  3. This is very effective. Back home, in the Dominican Republic this is a staple home remedy but is mainly done with red onion, honey and watercress are also added. Nothing better than this to kick a nasty cold away.

  4. I’ve never heard of this and love it! I don’t like working with onions per se, but it helps with kind of oncoming anything, then I’m down! Thanks for the tip! Flagged.


  1. […] Get my mom’s jarabe de cebolla recipe by clicking HERE. […]

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