Thursday, October 25, 2012

Who's Ever Heard of a Loquat Tree?

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Okay, this falls into the "you live long enough, you learn everything" category.  Robert rents office space in a building near the courthouse, and several of the office personnel are Hispanic.  When we lived on the ranch, I loved watching the Hispanic workers (and I'm talking just over the border, non-Americanized) cook, prepare their gardens, medicines, etc.  I saw pine cones being roasted, thus producing toasted pine nuts, saw preparation of salves and plasters (from what looked like weeds to me) for wounds, learned to use a hoe properly and plant corn!  Yep, I'm a diversity girl...I love to learn.  For the past 2-3 weeks, I've had a miserable cold, that I can't shake.  While hacking away in the office, one of the gals said to me "Patty, I've got some loquat will help you".  I looked at her..."what's loquat"? 
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 "Oh, it's a tree that produces a yellow fruit, and we use the leaves to make tea.  It helps colds and coughs...come with me."  So I followed her into the kitchen, and she ladled some tea into a cup, and said "you can put some honey in, if you want".  I think because of my bee allergy thing, honey has never appealed to me,  so I took plain, went to my desk, took a sip, "hmm, this isn't bad", and asked Alicia what was in it.  "Just loquat leaves and a cinnamon stick".  Went back to my desk, worked away, drank the tea.  An hour later, Alicia walks up to my desk and says, "see, you stopped coughing".  It was like being hit over the head with a ton of bricks!  Yep, I had stopped coughing.  Of course, I immediately googled loquat trees, and read about their importance in Chinese medicine.  I asked Alicia where she gets her leaves, and she said from her mother in law's tree...hmm, I need a tree.  I asked if I could have some to take home..."here, in the Starbucks' bag, take some".  Yesterday I woke up, all congested, had errands to run, including visiting a friend who had a knee replacement, fell down, and broke her wrist (it's displaced, she's having surgery on Monday!), got home, tired, sneezing...okay, loquat tea time.  Boiled 5 leaves with a cinnamon stick for 10 minutes, drank a cup, watched Homeland...all of a sudden, I was better.  When Robert got home, I told him "we're getting a loquat tree".  It's now 7:26 a.m. and at 8 a.m., I'm calling our landscaper, and ordering, PDQ, one loquat tree.  Other than helping respiratory ailments, it aids digestive issues, is an appetite suppressant (oh yeah!), and if fights diabetes.  A cup a day keeps the doctor away!  I've always been a believer in Chinese medicine...tea bags are available.  Okay, my loquat tree leaf tea rant is over!

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