Sippin Syrup

Sippin Syrup

Sippin Syrup can be found in the energy drink section of your local gas station. Although the very fine print warns the drink is not recommended for pregnant women and children, the name suggests it targets adolescents and young adults.  Sippin’ syrup is the term used for drinking Purple Drank”, AKA  “Sizzurp,” “Drank” and “Texas Tea”, a dangerous and illegal recreational drug/drink popular among the teen and young adult culture. The drink is named for its purple hue resulting from the mixture of Jolly Ranchers (what gives it the purple or pink hue), Sprite, and prescription-strength cough syrup that contains Codeine and Promethazine.

One would assume Sippin Syrup is an energy drink since the term “sippin syrup” is the act of drinking Purple Drank and it is often located with the energy drinks. However, the drink actually promotes relaxation and possible sleep. The many herbs listed on the bottle are used to treat a laundry list of ailments; insomnia, anxiety, seizures, IBS, hardening of the arteries and even rabies! Many of these herbs should not be used in combination with other medications, which could lead to dangerous side effects; hallucinations and liver failure being just two.  One of those herbs is banned in several countries.

This leads to another serious concern; the very fine print also warns not to ingest more than two servings in a 24 hour period.  However, there are two servings in the 16oz. bottle.  How many teens and even adults will only drink half a bottle?  What will happen to a teen that drinks both servings in 15 -30 minutes? What if that teen is driving? Several of these herbs come with warnings not to drive after consumption. You are not consuming just one herb, you are consuming several. And, if you drink the entire 16 ounces in one sitting, you are doubling your risk.

The best deterrent to heartache and tragedy in the life of a child is the presence of a well-informed parent and community. Parents as well as middle school, high school and college officials should educate students and young adults on the possible side effects and dangers associated with Sippin Syrup.

Below is a list of herbs found in Sippin Syrup:

Chamomile Extract - Used externally to spur wound healing and treat inflammation, and internally for fever, digestive upsets, anxiety, and insomnia.

Lavender Extract - In the mint family has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been known for its relaxation properties when used as a tea.

L-Theanine – Allegedly creates a sense of relaxation by stimulating the production of alpha brain waves, creating a state of deep relaxation and mental alertness.  L-theanine  is also  involved in the formation of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). GABA influences the levels of two other neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, producing the key relaxation effect.

Melatonin - Is a hormone that is found in all biological organisms.  Melatonin may inhibit ovulation in women and it had been suggested for use in combination with other contraceptives. The most common Melatonin side-effect is headache and/or an altered sleep pattern. Mental or mood changes may also occur as well as itching, fast heartbeat or heavy headedness. Melatonin may cause lowering of the body temperature and vivid dream.

Valerian Root Extract –Is used in the treatment of insomnia and anxiety,  and used as a natural muscle relaxer. Valerian root can cause drowsiness and dizziness. Side effects are stomach ache, dizziness and drowsiness ,blurred vision ,morning grogginess, changes in heartbeat, allergic reaction, anxiety and insomnia

Rose Hips Extract - Used for stomach disorders including stomach spasms, stomach acid deficiency, preventing stomach irritation and ulcers, and as a "stomach tonic" for intestinal diseases. They are also used for diarrhea, constipation, gallstones, gallbladder ailments, lower urinary tract and kidney disorders, fluid retention, gout, back and leg pain, diabetes, chest ailments, fever, increasing immune function during exhaustion, increasing blood flow in the limbs, increasing urine flow and quenching thirst.

 Hops Extract - believed to benefit conditions such as anxiety and insomnia. Hops may cause
mild central nervous system depression with symptoms of drowsiness, slowed breathing and mental processing. In serious cases or overdoses, its side effects may include seizure, hyperthermia, restlessness, vomiting, and stomach disturbance.

St. John's Wort Extract – Is used to treat heart palpitations, moodiness and other symptoms of menopause, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and seasonal affective disorder. St. John’s wort has also been used for exhaustion, stop-smoking help, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraine and other types of headaches, muscle pain, nerve pain, and irritable bowel syndrome. It is also used for cancer, HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis C. France has banned the use of St. John’s wort products. The ban appears to be based on a report issued by the French Health Product Safety Agency warning of significant interactions between St. John’s wort and some medications. Several other countries, including Japan, the United Kingdom, and Canada, are in the process of including drug-herb interaction warnings on St. John’s wort products.

Skullcap Extract - Skullcap is used for trouble sleeping, anxiety, stroke, and paralysis caused by stroke, fever, high cholesterol, “hardening of the arteries” , rabies, epilepsy, nervous tension, allergies, skin infections, inflammation, and spasms.

Kava Kava Extract - Kava is used to calm anxiety, stress, and restlessness, and treat sleep problems (insomnia). It is also used for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), epilepsy, psychosis, depression, migraines and other headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), common cold and other respiratory tract infections, tuberculosis, muscle pain, and cancer prevention, urinary tract infections (UTIs), pain and swelling of the uterus, venereal disease, menstrual discomfort, and to arouse sexual desire.. There are some BIG safety concerns about kava. Many cases of liver damage and even some deaths have been traced to kava use. As a result, kava has been banned from the market in Switzerland, Germany, and Canada, and several other countries are considering similar action.