Romantic views of Herbalism
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
It started yesterday with a tickle in my throat. Maybe I was a little extra tired, maybe I had been sneezing a little more than usual... by the time I got home from work, it was in full on ear-aching, nose-dripping, throat-burning, body-aching misery. My beloved husband brought me some soup for dinner, and I took some psuedophedrine and put myself to bed early, confident I would be better by this morning.
Naturally, I wasn't. Instead, I awoke at 3 am unable to breathe through my nose and my throat even more raw from the dryness of breathing through my mouth (yuck). I couldn't get back to sleep, so after several minutes of tossing and turning, I hopped in the shower and prayed the steam would work its magic. It did - somewhat at least, but by the time the sun rose, I was in worse condition than ever, with my glands so swollen that it hurt to turn my head.
I went to the doctor and she determined that I don't have strep (well, that's good at least) and recommended a cocktail of over the counter medications: nasal decongestant, pain reliever/fever reducer, another decongestant for my cough, and an antihistamine. She also suggested gargling with salt water, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of rest.
I think the last 3 are all good advice, but I sometimes wonder about all of the over-the-counter medications that we use. On the other hand, I hate feeling sick, and I want to do *something* to feel better. So I brewed together some tea with fennel, basil, oregano, and thyme, and then stirred in a bit of local wildflower honey and lemon juice. In my head, I pictured sipping on a nice, soothing cup of herbal tea and feeling magically better. The reality was an odd tasting cup of tea that smelled like Italian seasoning, which may or may not have somewhat cleared my sinuses. I still feel pretty miserable, but I tell myself it's not quite AS miserable as I was before. (Which, honestly, is about as much as over the counter meds seem to do for me as well.) Another hot shower probably helped, and smearing some vicks on my upper lip at least helps the skin not feel so chapped and dried out as my nose continues to drip. The salt water gargle didn't seem to do anything for me today (although it's definitely helped soothe a sore throat in the past), and I've formed a comfy cocoon on the couch with towel draped pillows and cozy blankets.
So dear Spark friends, what is YOUR favorite remedy when you are feeling under the weather? Do you hit the drugstore or try concoctions your grandma swears by? Do you try spicy foods or stick with chicken noodle soup?