Dan’s Teaview Snapshot
|"1-word review from a 4.5-year old: "Weird!" But dad says: "Taste-wise, the cup is nice. The anise flavor is prominent, and pleasant. There is a bit of bitterness - akin to the taste of a less-sweet bitter blueberry. There's also a sharpness at the back of the throat, which may be off-putting to some kids...""|
Helps Teas is a line developed by Pharmadus, which branched out from Manasul International, a laboratory pharmaceutical company based in Spain but with offices all over the world. Interestingly, their mission and philosophy (for the last 50 years) is a focus on medicinal plants. I wasn’t aware that herbal medicine could support such an apparently-huge corporation. I’m a bit lost in the whole history thing, but from what I gather, Helps is a relatively new brand. They have products targeted toward adults, and also a unique line of tisanes (HELPS Kids that are specifically intended for children ages 2-12. There are no added sugars or artificial ingredients, organic when possible, and all natural.
Since I have two kids myself, and have occasionally tried to introduce tea to my oldest, I found this line intriguing. My youngest is only 19 months, but her first birthday party was a “tea party” where several different tisanes were served to kids of all ages. Anyhow, my 4.5-year old has always just made a funny face at whatever kid of tea I have offered. I asked if he wanted to try this one, and he seemed intrigued, maybe a bit excited. He took one sip, and the one-word-review of this one preschooler can be summed up as such:
He did not finish the tea. Alas, I am left to give it an adult’s viewpoint.
The tea is housed in a standard teabag with string and tag. The aroma is very berry-like with an equal licorice scent. A 5-minute infusion is recommended, which I generally stick with personally for any tisane. The aroma on the cup is slight, but similar to that of the dried bag. Three ingredients comprise this blend: Bilberry, organic anise, and organic dog rose. HELPS claims the formula was blended to specifically “fix a loose stomach, and to replace fluids”. Further research on each of these is interesting. Bilberries apparently are mostly cultivated in Europe, and go by a variety of regional names (I find it quite amusing that one of those names is “ground hurts” — which is funny enough on its own, but then the double-ententdre that it is in a tea meant to “help”). They appear very similar to blueberries, but are smaller with a more full taste, and can be very rare and expensive. Medicinal uses include potential eye/sight benefits, and gastrointestinal ailments in folk medicine. Dog Rose is also native to Europe, but can be seen growing elsewhere in the US, Africa and Asia. It’s often used in food products, but other than antioxidants, I couldn’t find any purported medicinal benefits. Anise has been known for its gastrointestinal uses as well, mostly to either prevent gas or help expel it (that’ll get the kids’ attention!).
Taste-wise, the cup is nice. The anise flavor is prominent, and pleasant. There is a bit of bitterness – akin to the taste of a less-sweet bitter blueberry. There’s also a sharpness at the back of the throat, which may be off-putting to some kids I imagine. Despite being at odds with the whole modus operandi of the company, I suspect if a dab of sweetener were added to the cup, the kids might take to it a whole lot better. Also served over ice, or at least cold, wouldn’t hurt either.
— To purchase HELPS Kids For Rehydration Diets, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.