September 2012

Dr. Sake - Can Sake Help Sickness?

Posted by Beau Timken in 2012, Newsletter, September
Recently I was as sick as a dog. In the summer? Ummmm, we didn't have a summer this year in SF. I had a cough - deep and horrible - that went from my toes to my mouth in bellowing blasts that rattled my chest like a kettledrum at the symphony. And it wouldn't go away. I tried the modern medicine route. I went ancient Chinese. I did it all to no avail. That's when I went really old school and asked some of my sake sensei folks what they did during moments such as this. The responses were pretty funny.

One guy said that when he was a kid if he were sick his mother would make him "tamago sake." Yuck! Tamago like the cooked egg thing served at sushi counters? He said no not exactly. But an egg was indeed involved. He said his mom would heat up some sake to a really hot temperature and then she would crack an egg and put the yolk in the heated sake and I would drink it. Did it work? He said he never knew because the sake would make him pass out and when he woke he was usually felt better. Sort of like a breakfast Nyquil remedy.

Another sake aficionado said that he would drink warm sake medicinally, but what really worked is when his mom would grill "negi" or spring Tokyo onions and would wrap them around his neck. Seriously? You bet! It almost acted like Vicks VapoRub! Probably smelled as bad too.

Lastly, and most profoundly, one of my favorite big time sake drinkers said that when he was in his "middle years" he developed a sure-proof system to rid any bug or sickness. His approach as he described it was to get a hat, a four-poster bed, and a huge bottle of sake. Hmmmmm? He then said, "I would take the hat and put it on one of the posts and would start drinking the sake." Okay? He continued, "When I saw two hats then I knew I would awake and feel better again!" I wonder if my HMO would accept this home method?

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