As I just mentioned in my review of Boots Cough Syrup (here), Juliette currently has a nasty cough and a sore throat and is feeling sorry for herself. While the cough syrup does seem to help, particularly at bedtime, I absolutely love the idea of these Propolis Lollipops which offer a fun and natural alternative.
I've heard of propolis but I wasn't entirely sure of what it was. As Comvita explain on their website, "Honeybees gather resin from certain deciduous trees and carry it to the hive where they mix it with enzymes and beeswax to make propolis. Propolis sterilises and seals the hive, protecting it from infection." Wikipedia give a whole list of the possible health benefits of propolis : "Natural medicine practitioners use propolis for the relief of various conditions, including inflammations, viral diseases, ulcers, superficial burns or scalds. Propolis is also believed to promote heart health, strengthen the immune system and reduce the chances of cataracts. Old beekeepers recommend a piece of propolis kept in the mouth as a remedy for a sore throat."
But these lollipops go one step further. They don't just contain propolis, they also contain UMF 10+ Active Manuka Honey. Any honey is good for treating sore throats and other infections due to its antibacterial porperties but Manuka honey is the crème de la crème. Turning again to Wikipedia as a source of unbiased information, they say : "Manuka honey is gathered in New Zealand from bees feeding on the manuka bush, Leptospermum scoparium, which grows uncultivated throughout the country and has antibacterial properties. [...] Manuka honey, like all other honeys, has an antibacterial property due to the release of hydrogen peroxide which kills bacteria cell, e.g. staphylococcus. Unique to the Leptospermum species of plants, honeys made from these plants contain other non-peroxide compounds with anti-bacterial properties."
But more to the point, what do they taste like ?! Even if she hasn't got a sore throat, Sophie wanted to try one too. The lollipops are suitable for adults and children over 2 years of age but the packaging says you should eat a maximum of three per day. I said OK, both girls could have one but they shouldn't be eaten as sweets, they were almost a medicine, even if they looked like normal lollipops.
The lollipops are lemon and honey flavoured but Sophie immediately said they tasted of mint and had a cold feeling in the mouth at first, like when you eat a mint sweet ! I checked the ingredients list and she's quite right ! They also contain Peppermint Oil and Menthol ! The most prominent flavour is honey and lemon though. Juliette wasn't keen on the flavour, but I think that probably had something to do with the fact that she had just brushed her teeth with strawberry toothpaste and the flavours were all mixing together. She donated her lollipop to me and I thought it was delicious, with a really natural flavour. I didn't have a sore throat so I can't comment on how well they work at soothing sore throats but I am a great believer in the old honey and lemon treatment so I'm convinced they'd help.
There are many cough sweets and lozenges on the market but I love the lollipop format that makes it a lot more fun as well as safer as young children don't run the risk of swallowing a large lozenge. Even as an adult, I'll be reaching for one the next time I have a sore throat - especially as they taste so nice !
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £4.59 for ten
for more information : http://www.comvita.com/
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