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The medicinal properties of onions have been employed around the world for countless generations—they’re warming, rich in phytonutrients, and help get phlegm moving. Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz, a folk healer who educates on using food as medicine through her brand Kitchen Curandera, pairs alliums with ginger and honey for a soothing, savory-sweet syrup. “This has the same soothing feeling as chicken soup,” she says, though she adds that “people dealing with a bad cough should go see a healthcare provider.” Cocotzin Ruiz makes this cough syrup with small, sweet I’itoi onions, which grow in the Sonoran Desert where she lives, but shallots can be substituted without compromise.

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