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The Best Cure for the Common Cold – Roatan Style

Being sick in a tropical paradise just seems silly, doesn’t it? Colds are for wintertime – runny noses, hot soup, curling up on the couch to self-medicate with crappy daytime TV. But colds still happen in the tropics. They get passed along through coworkers, families, and friends. And they knock you out just like they do in winter.

I’m battling a cold right now, and while I went into work yesterday to get a few things done, today I woke up feeling like my head was floating away and my nose was a permanent faucet. I was convinced to stay home once the Irish-Colombian offered to pick up my work laptop and bring it back to the house for me.

Not even an hour later I get a phone call. “You better be dressed because I’m coming over!” It’s Luther, my boat captain extraordinaire who has become family. Lina loves him more than anyone, so the second the truck pulls into the driveway she yelps and whines – not the warning barks she gives to others but desperate pleas to be allowed out to greet a friend. He comes up with a handful of green grass twisted together. “Boil it and drink it all,” he commands. At 6’8″ he certainly does command a lot of attention and respect. But when this gentle giant tells me to do something, I know he has my best interest at heart.

“What is it?”

“Fever grass.”

“Fever grass? Do I use all of it?”

“You should boil some now and some later. It’ll make you feel much better.”

So what do I do? Well, I do as he says of course! I trust the man – I boil up some random grass he says he picked from his mom’s yard and drink it all up, assuming it won’t kill me. Of course, I probably should’ve looked it up first to be sure it’s legitimate and won’t react with the Benadryl I already took this morning. But alas, Luther told me to do it so I did.

My nose cleared up instantly and my eyes no longer feel like they’re bursting out of my head in flames. Moral of the story: always trust Luther. Oh, and apparently fever grass is also called lemongrass.