Saturday, March 28, 2009

This is a Test

A couple issues ago, Mother Earth News printed a letter to the editor about garlic tea being the cure for a cold. Crush a few cloves, let 'em sit 10 minutes, pour near-boiling water over, add lemon. Add honey (ideally, when the water's cool enough to stick your finger in, so it won't destroy enzymes in the honey). We've tried it a few times, and the beginning-colds we've had never got much worse. It seems to work!!

I recently read Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets, and found out some of the fungi growing on our dead logs are Turkey Tails (trametes versicolor). After poking around online, to make really really sure I wasn't about to eat something poisonous, I decided to try them. Because I have a cold, and turkey tails happen to be great immune stimulators. Not to mention anti-cancer, and more. Mycelium Running cites scientific research to that effect, this isn't just superstitious folklore about medicinal mushrooms. (The same goes for reishi/ling chi, and other long-used edible/medicinal fungal allies.)

These particular turkey tails have long been dried up on the stumps where they grew, but I figure, since mushrooms are typically stored dried anyway, well, there they are. I picked a few, washed them off a little, and simmered them for a long time, about an hour. Since these are notoriously tough fungi, not exactly "edible" in the "side dish" sense, I poured the tea through a strainer into my mug. It tasted like a mushroom broth or tea would taste--not bad!!

The next day, my cold was a bit worse, following a normal course it seems. But I wasn't puking or turning green or anything I'd blame on misidentified fungi. (Yay!) So, time to up the dosage a little, and now I've tried taking the turkey tail water and pouring it over the crushed garlic cloves. It's not bad!! I add a little bit of salt for taste. Two mugs later, it's evening now, and I really really hope my cold is better tomorrow. We'll see.

I have a long day of work Monday, at the School of Medicine, and it would be SO nice if I'm not dragged down by cold and/or OTC meds.


MaggieBrown said...

Here's a tip to keep you from getting sick in the first place. If you have and/or work around kids, check out Germy Wormy Germ Awareness for Germ Transportation Vehicles, ages 2 - 7. It really works to teach kids to both avoid AND keep from spreading germs. I know because my daughter learned it at her daycare, and now we no longer play the "pass the germs game"! You will miss less work if your kids miss less school. Parents, schools and daycare centers are raving about this great new program. It may work in the medical setting as well.

Give kids a PLACE to give their germs, instead of you!

donald423 said...

Update, Tuesday: I still have the head cold, I feel like everything drained INTO my head overnight. Combination of OTC meds and coffee kept me marginally functional for the big day of head-to-toe exams yesterday.

Perhaps I should've started drinking turkey tail tea BEFORE I got sick, or shouldn't have gone to work yesterday (but they need me and my bills need the money), or old dried-up-on-a-stump fungi are less effective than fresh, or hu knows.

As the cold takes its predictable course (7 to 9 days) I should be better, if not well, for Thursday's big day of work, regardless.