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Achoo! Now what? January 27, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. Our friend Ben and I have been trading really bad colds back and forth all winter. Talk about a drag! You’re not seriously ill, but you feel horrible, depleted, exhausted, miserable. You can’t breathe, you’re paying for the Kleenex CEO’s second home in the South of France, your lungs appear to be making Olympic efforts to explode out of your chest, and nobody wants to come anywhere near you. Yuck!

So, what to do? My sister called the other day and suggested that I mash up 20 cloves of garlic, pour hot water on them, and drink a cup of this every 2-3 hours. I guess she’s still getting even for my being the oldest child. Vampire hunters, please do keep this recipe in mind! For the rest of us, garlic-rich dishes like hummus and other veggie dips, garlic knots (yum), pasta and pizza sauces, and the like should suffice. My sister also recommended echinacea in mass quantities, but if memory serves, echinacea is only effective before you get a cold, not afterwards.

Not that I’m dissing teas in general. I really love herb teas, and actually drink them without sweeteners (though honey might be beneficial for a sore throat and cough). Some of my favorites when fighting a cold are Breathe Easy, Gypsy Cold Care, and Throat Coat from Traditional Medicinals and Yogi Teas’ Breathe Easy equivalent, which is super-delicious. Because a really bad cold is stressful, drinking Celestial Seasonings’ Tension Tamer Extra, Sleepytime Extra, or anybody’s chamomile tea before bedtime is very helpful, too.

So of course I’m on the alert when anybody recommends an herb tea that fights colds and/or keeps them at bay. And yesterday, when a friend recommended an enhanced form of kuchika tea, I was all ears. She suggested using the tea as a preventative, drinking a daily cup of kuchika tea enhanced with 1/2 teaspoon umeboshi paste and 1/2 teaspoon shoyu sauce (tamari).

Umeboshi paste, derived from plums, is highly alkaline, correcting our modern diet’s acidity and balancing the body. High-quality organic shoyu introduces beneficial organisms to help you fight every kind of systemic disease. Both also happen to taste good, so so far, I was on board. But what was kuchika tea?  

Turns out, it’s a tea made from the twigs and stems of the tea plant (Camellia senensis) rather than its leaves. Hmmm. Twig tea?! Sure enough. And kuchika is a favorite tea of folks who follow a macrobiotic diet, one of the most pure diets on earth.

The flavor is described as “mildly nutty and creamy.” Um. I’ll believe that when I taste it. But actually, I suspect it will be pretty delicious with the addition of umeboshi paste and shoyu. Not unlike miso soup. And I was pleased to see that brands available in coops and health food stores here, like Eden, offer kuchika tea. So why not try it? Sure beats garlic tea in my book!

And please. If you have a foolproof cold remedy, won’t you share it with us? We’re pretty sick here…

                 ‘Til next time,




1. Dienna - January 27, 2012

Feel better!

I don’t have any novel ideas for getting better. Mine usually involve any nice, hot tea with a cough drop in it (usually Ricola). One time when I was feeling ill I got hot and sour soup from a Chinese restaurant. That really helped!

I feel that the reason why there doesn’t seem to be any one-size-fits-all method for getting better is because no one’s alike, and everyone heals on different levels.

Thanks, Dienna! And I totally agree with you. I just made a “souper” anti-cold soup, with tons of onion, garlic, ginger, chiles, mushrooms, sprouted organic tofu, mirin, veggie stock, fresh-ground black pepper, shiitake concentrate, chili oil, roasted sesame oil, tamari, shredded carrots, and etc. I’m hoping it will kick this cold outta here!

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