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.