A little over a month ago, I was contacted by Pine Bros. and asked if I wouldn’t mind doing a review of their throat drops, which also happen to be Vegan and CERTIFIED GLUTEN-FREE…in particular, their two newest flavors: Sugar Free Cherry & Vitamin C Orange. Um, of course! In my book, anyone who goes through the effort, both in time and expense, to actually become certified with the GFCO (Gluten-Free Certification Organization), deserves a little time and effort on my part to give an honest review. And their timing couldn’t have been more perfect…
As many of you know, in addition to running the “Gluten-Free In Las Vegas” blog and website, I am also a working jazz singer & performer here in town. At the end of November, I got the opportunity to travel to China for a singing gig (performing for a gala celebration at the Peninsula Hotel in Beijing in honor of the first-ever direct flights from Beijing to Las Vegas…pretty dang cool). The trip was amazing, and the gig itself was fabulous, but between the 30+ hour travel days (unfortunately the performers didn’t get to take advantage of those awesome direct flights…wah!!!), the 16 hour time difference, making me WIDE-AWAKE at 3:00am every single day, and the difficulty and stress of needing to eat gluten-free in a country that seems to have NO understanding of what that is (even when I had a card written out in Chinese explaining all of it), meant that I came back exhausted and horribly, terribly sick. Within 2 days of being back, I had completely lost my voice (not such a great thing, when that’s how you make your living). SO, coming home to find these yummy, soothing throat drops in the mail was a total blessing!!
They are unlike any other throat drops I have tried before. First and foremost being that they are made with ALL-NATURAL ingredients, and have been for the past 140+ years!!! Here’s a little history behind the product:
Ulysses S. Grant was President and the population of America hovered at 39 million, when in 1870 J. Herman Pine hung out a confectionery shingle on 8th Street above Walnut in Philadelphia, and sold his first batch of what he called ‘Pine Brothers Glycerine Tablets.’ In an attempt to relieve his own sore throat, Mr. Pine, a former German confectionery maker, combined the soothing natural qualities of plant glycerin with the healing properties of gum acacia into one softish drop. By doing so, he discovered that he had created a product that could sooth and mitigate the mild discomfort of a sore throat. Add in some natural flavoring and sweetener and Pine Brothers Softish Throat Drops were born. “I have discovered something,” Pine wrote, “which will give quick throat relief to thousands afflicted as I was.” He added,”Perhaps I won’t make much money out of this. But I can make people happy, and that’s more important than money.” Mr. Pine was being unduly modest, as his “discovery” would become one of the most effective, most delicious and most unique throat lozenges in the world. Nor has the recipe changed appreciably since it was first introduced to the public over 140 years ago. ~ http://pinebrothers.com/about/
They are seriously YUMMY, and I love the gummy-like quality they have. I can tuck one between my cheek and my teeth while I sing, and it will actually stay there (without the fear that I might choke on it, unlike most throat lozenges). Plus, because they don’t contain any “medicine,” there is no worry about eating too many. I used them constantly while I was sick, and they really helped!! When I first opened the package, I was a little surprised that they weren’t individually wrapped, but I also kinda LIKED the fact that they weren’t wasting a bunch of paper and creating more trash. I just kept a little ziplock filled in my purse, and then I grabbed one whenever I needed it. I really, really like the taste and consistency of these Pine Bros. throat drops, so now I keep them with me all the time!
I also offered a few samples to some of the members of our Las Vegas Celiac Support Group, when we had our December luncheon…here are their completely unedited comments::
“They’re very mild and they have the texture and taste like gummy bears. I had no problems with them.” ~ Lise D.
“I liked the flavor of the Pine Bros. throat drops and I liked that they were not too sweet.” ~ Carol S.
“Not much flavor but they seemed to work. Although, I would not buy the product off the shelf since the front of the package did not indicate it was gluten free.” ~ Arlen H.
“I was surprised that they weren’t individually wrapped and there was not a way to close the package once it was opened. The taste is pleasant, not medicine-y and it lasts a long time in your mouth. The effect isn’t very strong, I wouldn’t use it for a sore throat. However it works well for a tickle in the throat or a dry mouth.” – April M.
I also asked my husband if he wouldn’t mind trying them out for a few days while working one of his big tournaments (he works as an emcee/announcer for several major casinos here in town, hosting their high-end baccarat & slot tournaments), and here’s what he had to say:
“I am a professional announcer and singer. My voice is my life. With all of the talking and singing I do, I have to keep it in good shape. If I start to get a scratchy throat, I must react quickly. These Pine Brothers lozenges are wonderful. They are flavorful and soothing. I can stick one in my cheek and feel the effects in a very short time. I also love that they are natural and gluten-free. I am gluten-intolerant, and I love having a very important product for my career that I know is safe. Thank you Pine Brothers!!” ~ Ron Smith, http://emceelasvegas.com
So I’d say, overall, pretty awesome reviews from everyone! You can find Pine Bros. on the web at http://pinebrothers.com/ and in the throat lozenge aisle at most drug stores, like Walgreens, CVS, etc. Right now, you can find these newest flavors at Harris Teeter, Harmon, and ShopRite (SF Cherry), and at Kinney Drug Store (Vitamin C Orange)…and hopefully everywhere else SOON! 🙂
**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**