I’ve been fighting a sore throat and chest congestion since about the week after Seabeck (mid-October). My wife the nurse tells me to “keep drinking lots”, so I’ve been drinking tea almost nonstop for the past three weeks. Feels good on the throat and also means I’m popping fewer citrus-flavoured Halls drops. (Did you know the package recommends no more than two per day? Ha!) Anyway, I polished off one of my favorite specialty teas (“Madagascar” blend from Cornelia Bean) and have been steadily working my way through the Blueberry, English Breakfast, and Ceylon Breakfast tins of loose tea on the shelf; I’m starting to wonder about the phrase “for all the tea in China.” Unfortunately, I seemed if anything to be getting worse… I only had to add the Halls drops in the past week or so. The whole time of brewing all this tea, I kept lamenting the fact that we’d run out of chrysanthemum tea.
Finally on Saturday we all packed ourselves down to Chinatown and procured some. The clerk apologized that they only had the one-pound bundles but that it was very good quality and that’s why it cost $6.99. (No problem, I just won’t restock my Madagascar blend right away.) Within a day of putting myself onto the chrysanthemum tea, I was cutting back on the cough drops drastically and my throat was beginning to feel better. I’m not 100% yet, but I’m pausing to sip my tea as I type. I scanned the packaging to post here — brown paper tied with twine, “Double Deer Brand.” You can’t read it in the scaled-down image, but it says, “Making execllent daily drink with the effect of a temperantia and liver-soother Also a grateful gift.” Need I add the customary [sic.] notation? ;^)
Since traveling in Hong Kong and China 20 years ago, I’ve always treated my little ailments with chrysanthemum tea… and now I wonder what little remedies other people have, be they categorized as quirky, superstitious, old-wives-tales, comforts, or sworn-effective?
Try the patented extract of Olive Leaf (Ameriden or East Park). It may not cure your current ailment, but one a day seems to keep colds and sore throats away. Haven’t had either in years. Now if I could find something to prevent mold allergies…
I’ve never had chrysanthemum tea. And honestly can’t imagine trying to make the trek into Chinatown when I’m sick. I stick to Orange tea with honey, mostly because that’s what I had as a kid when I was sick.
1. For coughs, nothing beats my grandma’s recipe of whiskey/honey/lemon (in equal measures, I think).
2. For the flu or a cold, get some hot glogg (fortified spiced wine) and drink it up. The alcohol steam/fumes clears out your nose, the hot alcohol clears out and soothes your throat, and the spices/alcohol soothe the tummy. And if none of this actually works, drink more of it, and you won’t care that you are sick.
3. For sinus/stuffy nose issues, I recommend a five pronged attack: 1. Mucinex D (expectorant + decongestant). You will probably have to show ID to buy this stuff, as the pseudoephedrine is now controlled substance. However, this is the best, and really the ONLY OTC remedy I can recommend. 2. Heat. Apply heat to your sinuses and keep it there. Drugstores will sometimes be able to sell you a mask that you can heat up in the microwave and place over your sinuses. Otherwise, a hot washrag will suffice, but you will have to keep reheating it. The heat will expand your sinuses which will give you immediate relief andmake the troublesome bacteria want to go somewhere else. 3. Vibration: I recommend one of those little “personal massagers” and keep running it over the sinuses. Do this often and it will clear the sinuses out quickly. 4. Nasal Irrigation. Google it. It is very effective. 5. Airborne. The stuff really does work.
When I get colds … (and I’m about due for one as my bff just had one as did her children. Now my kids have it), my solution is simple. I whine a lot! But that has a limited effect and it tends to annoy people. So my second prong is to beg my husband to bring home lemons and honey from the grocery store. He’s always very amenable. Then I make hot lemonade by the bucketful. I drink large mugs full of this 7 or 8 times a day until I’m better. I make the lemonade by quartering the lemons and squeezing a quarter into my mug and drop in the lemon carcass… then I add honey to taste. Pour in boiling water. Poof … carry to chair while looking miserable. Wave off children. Sip while reading book. Glare at anyone who dares to disturb me.
I don’t do illness very well at all. ;-) … sickness is a mockery and I get highly annoyed. I’m fairly cheerful the rest of the time.