Today was the first day that I've ventured out of my Venetian in-laws' house in over a week. I stopped by the pharmacy to explain that all I have left is a dry cough, and cough syrups and suppressants aren't doing me any good. The only relief I get is holding a mouthful of water, and I can't exactly do that while trying to get to sleep. Luckily, the Italian pharmacist had two moisturizing throat sprays to suggest... I'm so desperate for a solid night's sleep that I took both! And so far I've tried one of them and been thrilled that it works so well!!
While I was waiting for my credit card to process, another customer came to the counter with a similar complaint. The second pharmacist who was there listened to his complaint and said that there was just the thing for it... I expected to hear again about the throat sprays, but instead she took a box off the shelf and handed it to him. "This cough syrup's made from snails," she said in Italian. Snails?! I must have understood that wrong, I think. "Actually," she continued, "it's not really made from snails." Whew, I think! "What you need is a thick, moisturizing syrup," she went on, "and this is one is made rather from the slime of snail trails."
When I got back to my in-laws' house, I looked it up online. One such syrup is apparently called Karacoflu, and comes from Chile. Information about it says that, in addition to its special characteristic consistency, snail slime is supposed apparently to have antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. The snail farmer reported that he had more than 8500 snails working "so we can get material for this ancient cough medicine recipe."
Wow, there but for the grace of God went I! Had I only arrived a couple of minutes later, that would have been the advice I would have received... and as open-minded as I try to be about the medical practices of other cultures because I know that my own can be biased in all kinds of ways, but this I just couldn't, as they say, swallow!