The latest installment of 'What I Learned From...' over at Middle Zone Musings will feature lessons learned from plants, so partly because of that and because Future; Nostalgic's introductory blurb mentions my interest in herbal medicine, I figured it was about time I posted something on the subject, and what better than a short account of my introduction to the world of plant-based medicines...
I wasn't feeling too good, not good at all - this was a few years ago and I was in the grip of one of those persistent colds that just won't shift, no matter what you throw at it.
You know the sort of cold I mean - it's the one that single-handedly keeps your local pharmacist in business and gives the shareholders of tissue manufacturing companies a nice warm glow when they contemplate next year's dividend! My doctor had made all the right noises, but paracetamol, fluids and keeping warm just weren't cutting it, I was getting through cough medicine like a hardened wino, all the while anticipating the onset of a secondary infection that would require at least two courses of antibiotics to deal with when a friend passed me a copy of a book on herbal medicine.
Now I confess, up until that point in my life, I'd always been skeptical of such 'new age' nonsense however, a flick through said book suggested there may be something herbal I could try. What was even better was that two of the three ingredients grew in our garden, and I knew where the third could be obtained (legally, I hasten to add!), so it wasn't long before I was sipping a hot tea concocted from elderflowers, yarrow and peppermint, sweetened with local honey and you know what - it really was quite pleasant.
Within a day or two of starting the tea therapy I began to feel better, dramatically better, so it must have had some sort of effect over and above that of a placebo. It still took another week before I was back to my old self, but for the first time in all my *cough* years, the expected infection never materialised and I was able to remain antibiotic-free.
I bought the book!
[edit: the latest WILF (What I Learned From...) is now up and you can read all 16 entries here.]