Those of us who live in Turkey know full well what manav means: (greengrocer) and kasap (butcher). But I wonder if we all know this one: aktar? Do you?
|this is our local aktar: its name means Ginger Aktar!
I have lived here for years and this particular type of shop has only just registered with me. It means, well I suppose the nearest we have is Health Food Store but that’s not really it. These shops are fabulous little treasure troves selling the most wonderful assortment of oils and potions, mostly for medicinal purposes but also cosmetic (not culinary). They can also sell dried fruits and nuts (kuru yemiş) and spices (baharat). Altogether extremely enticing!
|natural oils ranging from thyme to poppyseed to seaweed oil ….
.. and many others that you can’t even imagine
Thinking about it, I suppose in the past I was never particularly interested in natural remedies but now, information relating to what we eat, how we eat and how different herbs and spices affect our bodies is everywhere and I am increasingly intrigued.
So this is why I went along to an IWI talk recently on How To Stay Healthy Through the Flu Season given by an interesting-sounding doctor with impressive qualifications and an alternative outlook.
It was kismet/fate: the very next day I could feel a cold lurking on the horizon. This was the last thing I needed so I reread the notes we had with care before rushing off to our local aktar – I had never even been inside it before – to buy the ingredients to make this herbal tea which is recommended for the first signs of cold/flu.
|here they are in my glass teapot|
1 handful yarrow flowers/civan perçemi çiçeği
|you get it from the aktar|
- Place everything in a pot, add 3 glasses of water, bring to the boil, then simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Strain and drink the tea.
- It’s best to do this on an empty stomach, then have a light meal and then either directly go to bed or first take a hot bath/shower in order to initiate sweating and then go to bed. If you continue sweating, wait until it stops, then change clothes and then sleep or rest.