Of the many species of halitosis, onion breath is one of the most recognizable. Along with coffee breath, garlic breath and smoker's breath, it is hard to mistake the smell of raw onions on the air an individual breathes out. However, one Irish citizen has reported actually courting bad breath in the pursuit of better health.
Munir Haidar, a native of Lebanon and resident of Liverpool, told the city's newspaper, the Leader, that eating raw onions helped him overcome a diagnosis of terminal prostate cancer.
After being diagnosed with an advanced case of the disease more than two years ago, he was told he had just weeks to live, according to the news source. However, nearly 1,000 days and several hundred kilograms of onions later, and Haidar is still here.
He attributed his recovery at least in part to the minimum 200 grams of raw onions he eats every day, adding that "how your breath smells means little when your life is hanging in the balance."
Onion breath can almost leave you in tears, since the compound, called propanethiol S-oxide, that leaves a smell in your mouth is the same volatile sulfur compound (VSC) responsible for the watery eyes caused by chopping the vegetable.
For those who appreciate the addition of a raw onion to their diet, specialty breath freshening rinses can neutralize the VSCs emitted by the bulb.