Tonight I want to share something I hope I never get for Christmas. Something that, although it's available on Amazon, I hope no child ever finds in his or her stocking on Christmas morning. And that is wu ling zhi. You know what that is, right? I'll wait while you guess. I'll even give you a hint. It looks like this.
Think you've got it? I doubt it. I'll give you another hint. You can make a tea out of it that is supposed to relieve pain, cure IBS and other intestinal disorders, stop bleeding, and get rid of menstrual cramps, among other things. And now you're thinking, Why wouldn't Reticula want some of this amazing medicine? It sounds fantastic! I'd like some of that for myself. Tell me where to get it, please!
You'll be happy to know you don't need to even put on your shoes and go to the drug store, because you can buy this remedy on Amazon for only $45/pound plus shipping and have it delivered straight to your door. Don't expect to get it this month though, because like a lot of things you can buy on Amazon these days, this miracle of ancient medicine comes on a slow turtle from China. A flying squirrel would be so much faster ...
Still trying to figure it out? OK, one final hint.
You got it, didn't you? That's right. Flying squirrel poop. Medical grade flying squirrel poop. Pharmaceutical squirrel poop that is "sourced indigenously." Oh, and the company warns that you should probably scoop up this herbal poop powerhouse now, because once they're out, they're out. No more flying squirrel poop. They don't say why. Maybe a shortage of flying squirrel droppings collectors? Maybe they've counted all the idiots and determined how much they can actually sell? Or maybe the squirrels are on strike. Wages being what they are in China. I don't know. Seems a shame. I wish my poop was worth $45/pound. I'd be eating a lot more bran. Then again, I'm not a magical flying squirrel that poops magical tea pellets.
Like a lot of things, don't you have to wonder who first decided to make tea with flying squirrel feces? Did some guy find a pile of squirrel feces and say, "Hey, I'll bet this poop will make a yummy, medicinal tea that might even cure my headache. I think I'll try it"? And did he then turn to his wife and say, "Honey, I made some tea from all those squirrel droppings in the attic. Try some and see if it helps with your cramps. It can't hurt"?
I don't know. Those crazy Chinese have been drinking this tea for centuries though, so I'll probably never find out who took the first sip. Makes you wonder what they will come up with next though, doesn't it? I'm not even going to hazard a guess.