Chrysanthemum Tea Wrapper 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?

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