Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cedar Fever Potion

Denny and I took our  annual dose of Cedar Fever Potion last night.  Woke up this morning feeling good.

When my friends first hear about the potion, they wonder.  Watch me from the corners of their eyes to see if I'm more than normally irrational.

Leaves and berry of Ashe Juniper, (Juniperus ashei) AKA Damn Cedar --->

But once friends experience a bout of Cedar Fever, the mid-December to late-March malady that slams Texas Hill Country residents, they want to know about the Potion.

If you live in the Hill Country, you can't get away from the Fever.  It's a reaction to the annual mating ritual of the Ashe Juniper trees that cover our hills. From December through March, male trees explode pollen--trees releasing here and there, not all at once.  No, the other males nearby hold off, firing days, weeks or months later.  It's a coordinated plot for a fourth-month yellow mist of misery.

Ashe Juniper thicket behind our home.  Yes, we could cut it down to clear the air-space.  But I believe every yard needs a sanctuary.  Small birds shelter in the thicket when hawks fly overhead or bad weather blasts.  And others, like our seasonal black-chin hummingbirds and year-round cardinals, nest there. 

A continuous rain of pollen may be good for the female trees, but humans burn and shiver, sinuses swell until heads explode, and folks think about dying as a form of relief. I only know this from personal, pre-potion experience.

You might be wondering about the potion. It's a folk remedy passed on by David Will, noted horticulturalist, who knows nearly everything about native plants of this region.  He's not a doctor but I couldn't find any reference saying a dilute solution would harm us.

We're not doctors either but after four years of potion, we're not dead, for whatever that's worth.  

So if you want to check it out for yourself, the recipe is here: Cedar Fever Cure, but you're on your own with risk and all that.

The Fever is a drawback to living in the Hill Country but other places have hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, mudslides and earthquakes.  I'll take the quirky beauty of the Texas Hill Country. 

And the potion.  

Copyright 2009-2011 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


Rambling Wren said...

There must be something in the air because I have been sneezing like crazy. I suffer from the dreaded Oak pollen allergies. I enjoy the winter, but pay for it in the spring. I've heard of a similar potion for oak pollen.

Lancashire rose said...

My husband is always miserable with those cedar allergies. I will approach him with this remedy tonight. Question is, do we have any young leaves this year? I don't think they grew and I'll bet the deer ate the young shoots.
If this works we owe you one!

Denny Coates said...

I've had cedar fever. As bad as the flu! If a glass of pine-scented water will help me avoid it, bring it on!

Elizabeth said...

That's wild.

R. Sherman said...

We have lots of Eastern Red Cedar around here, but nothing like the problems you describe. Funny how different species have these little malignant side qualities while others don't.


Desert Dweller said...

4 month long cedar fever season - that is brutal! NM has no unique name for juniper pollen season, but most are affected by J. monosperma in Feb +/-. Since it is native from W Arizona to the SE Colo and W TX...westerly winds bring us 400+ miles of wind-blown pollen, so not having one male juniper in the entire city would not help us.

So far, 20 yrs later, no juniper allergies.

yogurt said...

Molds bring me to my knees. Cedar? One year only and then I was cured. But I have seen it's effects on susceptible victims five minutes after stepping outside. Bad business.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

How interesting, Kathleen. I've never heard of this.

Sorry I haven't been around more. Things here at the office have gotten a whole lot busier with our new CEO on board, and I just cannot face a laptop in the evenings, after being on one ALL DAY. My eyes are shot.

I love you and Denny. Hope all is well.


Cynthia Walker Pickens said...

Hmm, I will have to pass that on to my husband. I am one of the lucky few who do not suffer terribly from cedar fever.

emilysincerely said...

we mixed up the magic cedar tea potion last year for the first time. My husband had amazing result and we are hoping for the same this year too.

If Rambling Wren (or anyone for that matter!!).... I would be interested in the potion you heard about for the oak pollen. Nasty stuff that is!

Sincerely, Emily


Phew...Finally caught up on you blog. Where have I been....anyway...this is very interesting. And the potion that i went in search of was also very interesting. Is it yucky?

Kathleen Scott said...

Kind of a mild minty flavor, not hard to swallow.