I cried uncle at 4:52am Friday morning. I had been up most of the night and by that point could no longer swallow my own saliva without locking down my muscles and whimpering. Going to the store was out of the question. I was feverish, achy, and not at all convinced I would buy anything that would work better than what I tried throughout the night.
So I googled.
Several sites recommended gargling with a rinse made from apple cider vinegar, water, and honey to cure strep, which I was pretty sure I had. Then I stumbled across a site that recommended gargling a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar straight and then swallowing it.
At 4:54 in the morning, this sounded like a very good idea. If an apple cider rinse can cure strep in twenty four hours, imagine the power of undiluted acetic, lactic, citric and malic acids! I won’t go into the details except to say that I tried it and almost died. On the plus side, in the three minutes I flopped on the kitchen floor gasping for breath I didn’t once think about my sore throat, which is just what the website promised.
Following that disaster, I decided I might as well try the rinse. Because, you know, why the hell not?
Most recipes called for a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and honey mixed in 8 oz. of warm water. Easy enough. I was actually excited because this would allow me to open up a new jar of honey that I bought on sale a while back at the health food store. The honey is organic, raw, and collected in Africa from bees that feed on the nectar of flowering trees at the base of a river. It’s exactly the sort of thing a suburban mom driving a beige SUV will buy to assuage the guilt she feels about her less than altruistic life, so whenever this sort of thing goes on sale I make sure to buy it to see what I’ve been missing.
I haven’t been missing much!
Let me just start off by saying that part of what I find so interesting about honey is the variation in flavor and color. It really does depend on where and how the bees buzz. Take clover honey, for instance. The color is light and pretty, just like the taste. I imagine bees that make this honey flit around from flower to flower wearing wreathes of daisies, occasionally doing romantic bee dances in the air with a fellow drone that has caught their eye(s). A few loops, a couple of swirls, and–for the grand finale–a twisting ascension into the sky before they break away and come together to form a heart made of pollen dust that slowly falls to the ground and feeds the unicorns.
Going by taste alone, it’s safe to say the bees from Africa wear tin-foil hats and don’t fly the same route twice because they are convinced a secret government agency is trying to kill them. The only thing longer than their matted hair is the thumbnail they use as a shiv, and not even in the dog days of summer will they consider removing their little bee-sized overcoats made from holey wool.
If clover honey is light and frothy, honey made from flowering trees at the base of a river in a country plagued by drought is dark and despondent.
I didn’t know this, of course, as put to my mouth a teaspoon full of honey. I didn’t know I was seconds away from ingesting something that tasted of dirt and pond water and, oddly enough, those red kick balls from grade school. Had I known, I wouldn’t. But I didn’t, so I did.
I won’t go into the details except to say that I tried it and almost died. On the plus side, in the three minutes I flopped on the kitchen floor gasping for breath I didn’t once think about my sore throat, which is just what that other website promised, too.
At 5:04am Friday morning I cried uncle for the second time. I popped a Cepacol in my mouth and went back to bed. When The Mister woke up an hour later and asked me how I was feeling I said, “Not better.”
At 9:23am Saturday morning I popped an antibiotic. I am mostly all better.