This section is from the book "A Treatise On Therapeutics, And Pharmacology Or Materia Medica Vol2", by George B. Wood. Also available from Amazon: Part 1 and Part 2.
This has already been described in reference to its origin, sensible and chemical properties, and effects and uses as a nervous stimulant in the first volume (page 609), and as a diuretic at page 648 of the present volume. I wish to call attention here simply to its expectorant properties and applications. in this capacity, it has some resemblance in its operation to squill, though probably less efficient as a mere expectorant, and more stimulating to the vascular tissue. in another point it approaches very closely to assafetida, possessing like that remedy a decided stimulant influence over the nervous system, which renders it peculiarly applicable to cases of pectoral disease, complicated with nervous debility or exhaustion. it is too stimulant to be employed in acute inflammation of the air passages, until after all activity of vascular excitement has passed. But at this period, if symptoms of nervous irregularity or weakness should come on, it is an excellent remedy; and particularly in the cases of infants, who are extremely liable to this complication in their acute diseases. I have seen the happiest effects from it under these circumstances, and would strongly recommend it to the young practitioner. The most convenient form for use is that of syrup, made out of the expressed juice with sugar, of which a teaspoonful may be given to a child two years old, and repeated every two or three hours. (See vol. i. p. 612.)
The onion has expectorant and nervine properties closely analogous to those of garlic, though inferior, and may be employed under the same circumstances, and in a similar manner.