Ever wonder why herbs like Sage, Rosemary, Clove, Thyme, and Oregano are known as ‘culinary spices’? It’s not because they’re divinely tasty. In fact, it’s likely the arrow goes the other way: we find them tasty because, over time (thyme), we sagely discovered that these herbs are potent anti-microbials.
Imagine you’ve just killed and cleaned some kind of beast for a familial feast. But as you’re stoking some coals for an all-day flesh-roast, an urgent flapping of wings delivers a carrier pigeon message to inform you that Aunt Rosemary, the one that always brings those tasty pies, got her wagon wheel stuck in a rut and had to camp an extra night by the creek. You chuckle, then try to stuff the carcass in the fridge but realize you don’t have a fridge because they haven’t been invented yet. Your innards churn uncomfortably as you remember that three-day-old racoon meat you ate last summer. What to do?
Answer: rub and stuff your game with aromatic herbs. This prevents infection and spoiling. And as a bonus, it helps hides that gamey-taste.
Great folklore, you say, but what does this have to do with treating my cold or flu at home? It means that if you’ve got any of these herbs in your spice cupboard, you needn’t go further than your own kitchen to brew up a potent anti-microbial brew. At first onset of that tickly throat or stuffy nose, take any combo of these herbs, add about six combined tbsp to a liter of water and simmer for 1 hour. Drink up to 2 liters a day for up to 1 week.