In a word, life-changing.

If this tea worked half as well as the shaggy hip man behind the tea shop counter professed it would, things were about to get pretty amazing.

Antibacterial. Antiviral. Antifungal. Anti-establishment. Didn’t matter what it was, this tea was against it.

“I’ve soaked my infected toenail in it,” he added.

For the briefest of moments I had an image of the shaggy stranger trying to dip his toe in my mug as I sipped the miracle elixir, but I shook it off, keeping my eye on the prize.

I’d been having sinus trouble for a few weeks. I had not been to the doctor because, for starters, I didn’t want to. Secondly, my condition didn’t seem that bad. And finally, my doctor’s office had dumped me last summer. Apparently if you don’t go to the doctor’s for a really long time, the office starts seeing other people. Four years and not even a phone call, they said. It was just too long. We’d have to start over.

This led to the pursuit of alternative medicine and my trip to the little shop, where I found a man who was as excited about tea as Dr. Oz is about the super berry.

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I told the shaggy tea man to load me up, and it was as he filled a bag with chopped leaves that I realized, as I always do at this point in my “real tea”-buying pursuits, that I had no way of making anything that didn’t come in a wee Lipton baggie. I did some mental jockeying and decided I’d rig something up once I got home. I was sure I had some netting or a tiny wire animal cage or something I could use.

I had been letting my ailment run its course until a friend of mine got me worked up. By “worked up” I mean she pointed out how close one’s sinuses are to the brain and how my death was not only possible, but imminent. This got my attention.

I needed help fighting this, and I wasn’t stopping with tea. If I was going homeopathic, I was going all the way, which could only mean one thing — the sinus steam. Think of the party scene from the movie “Crocodile Dundee.” There’s a boiling pan of water, a towel over the head and yet another baggie of chopped herbs.

I also walked out of the shop with a hunk of pink Himalayan sea salt the size of a baby’s head. The salt, once illuminated with a bulb or candle, would ionize the air, which, to be quite honest with you, was something I had no idea I was supposed to be keeping an eye on.

But much like my carbon footprint and the condition of my vacuum’s HEPA filter, some things are just better left a mystery.

I figured I’d come out a winner with the salt block either way. If it didn’t work, I could always chop the thing up and eat it on popcorn.

So I went home and climbed under a beach towel with my pan of boiling hot herb water, nose running, face sweating, miracle tea at hand, salt candle burning, and I could only think one thing — this is so much better than going to the doctor’s.

Martha Petteys writes a weekly column for The Post-Star. Write to her at petteyshome@gmail.com or visit her on Facebook.


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