Many people are familiar with the weepy reaction they have to freshly cut onions. This is because onions are expectorants and help the flow of mucus. With particularly strong raw onions, the eyes may begin to water and your nose might begin to run profusely. When you're clogged up from terrible congestion, that may be just the ticket to making you feel a little better.
Gather some fresh onions (and garlic for added power) and cut them into thin slices. Then mash them up and place them in an old (preferably clean) sock. You've essentially created a natural poultice, one that harnesses the strong vapors associated with onions and garlic [source: Prevention].
To activate the poultice, place it on your chest and cover it with a hot water bottle or wrap the veggies in a hot, damp towel. The heat activates the plants' odors and you'll feel them seeping into your clogged respiratory system. As your mucus thins and loosens, you may find that your cough is loosening its grip on you, too.
A poultice isn't the only way to put this healthy plant to use. You can also eat onions raw, cooked, baked, in soups and stews or as seasoning.