Antibiotics got I asked the pharmacist what he would recommend for the cough I had. After I declined ‘Glycerin, honey and lemon’ (I really dislike the taste of honey. It’s one of those tastes – like grapefruit – that I can just about tolerate if I absolutely have to) he pointed to another bottle. Covonia Bronchial Balsam. Just the name conjures up an apothecary, bubbling substances, something dark and gloopy. It was also in a tall brown glass bottle which helped the image. Back home it said to take 2 5ml spoonfuls. Lacking a 5ml measuring spoon I took a dessert spoon and had 2 of those instead. Ever eaten (sucked) a Fisherman’s Friend? (and if you remember Julian Clary when you read that we both watched the same shows) (Fanny the wonderdog?). My grandparents used to give me half a one sometimes with the advice that it “was very strong”. Of course a full one now is the same as a half one back then what with sweets getting smaller these days. I blame the metric system. Anyway, imagine getting several packets of FF, grinding them to a powder then mixing them with boiling water to dissolve. That approaches the oral assault that 2 spoonfuls of Bronchial Balsam produce. “Do not breathe out near naked flames” should be a warning. But hey it sure as hell works. I was actually cough-free for some time and while the second (and third) doses were no less powerful they were welcome because I knew the effect was worth it. I’ll need to go to a different chemist to get another bottle though seeing as I’m using this one a little quick….