11.19.2007

Healthstuffs Review: Olbas Pastilles


Like almost everyone else I know, I’ve had a cold for about 39 days. It pulls the old dangle and snatch -- I’ll feel better for a day or two and then WHAMMO! I’m a dribbling, snotty, throbbing, pounding mess again.

Last Friday was particularly bad, from a virus-count standpoint. Mid-afternoon found me wandering aimlessly around Ye Olde Health Foode Shoppe, searching in vain for something that a) I could taste and b) would easily pass the giant chunk of phlegm in my throat. As I was approaching the checkout line, I spied these little beauties.

Olbas Pastilles!

I was instantly drawn in:

1) The product seemed to hail from some pastoral European country, possibly Switzerland, maybe Norway.

2) The words “Powerful Vapors” were featured prominently on the box. I am in serious need of some powerful vapors. I’d huff Pledge if I thought it would do any good and wouldn’t set such a terrible example for the children.

3) I felt the tagline “Clears the Head Soothes the Throat,” was written with me in mind. (The secondary tagline “Extra Strong and Penetrating” made me a tad uncomfortable, but I wasn’t going to let that get in the way.)

4) The ingredient list included juniper berries. Don’t they flavor gin with juniper berries? Couldn’t hurt.

5) The ingredient list also included chlorophyll. Cool. Remember Clorets gum? It’s the gum that freshened your breath – with SCIENCE!

After paying the stunning price of $4.95 for these throat lozenges (sorry, “pastilles”) I settled into our 2001 Chevrolet Venture Minivan (Warner Brothers Edition) and busted open the cute little box.

The first thing I noticed is that some type of white power kept sifting from the Olbas Pastilles box -- all over my skirt, coat and the seats of Vannie. Was is sugar? Chlorophyll? Gin dust? Whatever is was, it was fucking messy. I’m a bit on the OCD side, so I wasn’t loving the white powder.

After dusting myself off, I extracted a pastille from the box. It was dark green (chlorophyll?), a bit on the small side, kinda shaped like a beetle. Basically looked like your typical throat lozenge, but it was covered in that white powder, which I now decided was sugar.

Preparing myself to be “extra penetrated with powerful vapors,” I popped that puppy in. The first few seconds were ok, and then the sugar coating wore off.

Sweet baby Christ these things taste like shit. Sure, there are some menthol-y vapors, and a faint eucalyptus-y flavor, but there’s also some type of musty, rotting vegetation-y taste that was powerful enough to penetrate even my dulled taste buds.

And lozenges are supposed to be hard, right? You suck on it until it disappears to a tiny, sharp sliver and then you crunch it up. Not the Olbas Pastilles. After teasing you with the illusion of hardness, they turn gummy and sticky, and you’re left like a cow, chewing her cud. Cud, by the way, also contains chlorophyll.

In conclusion, the next time you need powerful vapors, do yourself a favor, save the $4.95, and get yourself some Halls.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

My exeperience was different. I just came down with a cold. Needed a good cold medicine since I was going to a wedding the next day. All health food stores were closed. I decided to knock on the door of one, since I saw the owner. He opened and I begged him for the best medicine he had. He gave me the box of pastilles. I said "Okay, what else?" He said "That's all you"ll need." I doubted him, but after he showed me how he practically decorated his store with it, because he refuse to be out of stock, I trusted him. Well, from the minute, I sucked on it, I liked it. It tasted like peppermint and after a while, it got stronger (minty), but I continued to suck on it to the end. The next day at the wedding, I was able to taste food and was a lot more comfortable. Now I am never out of these things. I love it and everyone I give it to are just as impressed as I was. I believe it's best used at the very beginning of a could/cough. It will shorten it in 2-3 days. Great product. Try it to believe it! I think previous person had her cold too long and did not appreciate it because she's obviously picky. The taste is not bad....just strong (menthol)only after it starts to dissolve, but drink water. My kids used it when they were young and now as teens. It is worth the money.

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Anonymous said...

After just effectively sifting sugar my laptop and bed in sugar from the Olbas box I decided to see if anyone else found this product as irritating.
"Sweet baby Christ these things taste like shit."
Thankyou for bringing a much needed LOL to my acute bronchitis!

Anonymous said...

I discovered Olbas in the late 70s. And swore by them and turned a lot of people on to them. Back then, it was a way different formula. More herbs that are no longer in the pastille. Sad to say that the formula compared to then is so de-natured I will no longer purchase them. Especially since the price has gone up prohibitively. But if they're working for you, good.