Sunday, February 17, 2008

Egos, Sore Throats, and How Herbs Lead to Health and Happiness

My ego is always looking for ways to feel superior to other people. Years ago, it was that I had to be better educated, which is why I strove and strained to go to places like Stanford. Then, I had to be better-looking and recognized as such, and that's why I entered beauty pageants. Then, it was that I had to make more money, which is why I went back to Stanford to get an MBA and join the ranks of the 6-figure salaried luminaries.

Now that I own a spa, wherein my degree, good looks, and financial earning power have no use whatsoever (and perhaps do not even exist anymore), my ego is still looking for ways to feel better. And the mechanisms are really laughable: the other day, I found myself saying, VERY proudly, to an employee of mine who was sick, "I NEVER get sick. I can't remember the last time I was sick. I just have the strongest immune system." And in saying so, I purposely hugged her and touched her on the shoulder. And here is what was underlying that sentence: "I am better than you. You are sick and I am not, which means that I am MORE than you. Haha."

Well, as Providence would have it, I woke up the next morning with a sore throat. The kind that is scratchy, sore, and hurts when you swallow. The kind that makes you wish you didn't need your trachea for breathing, talking, or ingesting food or drink. Ow! My first thought was, "This serves me right." My second thought was, "What can I do to make this go away? I would prefer not to feel this way."

I dragged myself off to the kitchen to make myself a hot infusion of horehound and elecampane, both very good expectorants. I took a half-teaspoon of each and infused them in 8 ounces of steaming hot water. I took one sip and the bitterness of the brew nearly stopped me cold. I then pounded some rock candy into submission and dropped it into the cup, and then I had me some liquid Ricola (at least, that's what it tasted like). And then you know what happened?

My sore throat went away. It really did, I am not kidding, and I am not lying. I felt great the rest of that day and the next. The sore throat never did bloom into a full-on cold or flu or debilitating ailment, thank goodness. So, unlike my ego thinks, it's not really my immune system that keeps me healthy, it's good old knowledge of herbs and Nature's medicine chest.

So here's to HHH: Herbs, Health, and Happiness.

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