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19 Mar 2010

A home-made flu cure and now incense too

A home-made flu cure and now incense too

Dried cloves
I must be one of the most flu / disease susceptible people in the world. looking back on my childhood, i cant seem to remember any stretch of time in which i wasnt suffering from contagion or another. though as as suketu mehta points out, in the heavily polluted cities of south asia – various contagious flus ‘doing the rounds’ is nothing out of the ordinary. Mehta’s book, which i’m about a 1/3 into is rather interesting incidentally.
anyways, im currently suffering from another bout which is why im here, indoors, trying to be as productive as a can on a friday night – and consequently this flurry of posts. but this disease enforced writing would be incomplete if i didnt mention a small chance discovery which has completely changed my flu recovery cycle: clove tea (well, thats what i call it).
basically, i somehow discovered that (apparently) cloves are considered to be particularly good for flus, colds etc in the ayurvedic canon- and this was in my indic phase, so i was especially susceptible to such notions at the time. i got my self a large bag of cloves (we call them loong in india / pakistan) and started experimenting.
the final brew that seems to work best is:
c. 6 cloves per cup
2 tsp of honey
2-3 cardamon pods
just drop all of these in a saucepan, cover it up and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or so. i usually have 2-3 cups on the day that i start feeling a bit under the weather, and increadibly,  even a totally relaxed and chilled out immune system like mine almost always conquers the flu / cold by the next day. i took some pre-emptive action with the swine flu when a few people around me got bit, and i’ve some how managed to come through unscathed, at least until now….
i’d read somewhere that most of the cigarettes sold in indonesia are clove flavoured ones, and that international brands where thus having trouble directly selling their standard brands of cigs in the country (that is exactly the sort of junk, unusable knowledge i like to fill my head with), ive now discovered, in the course of posting this email that cloves are used extensively in south east asia + japan (tp my knowledge, not in india or pakistan) as incense. im quite intrigued, this sounds like a project for the weekend!