Having halls is a common tradition during the holiday season. Halls can provide a soothing remedy for sore throats and coughs that often accompany winter illnesses. However, some people wonder if you can have too many halls in one day. Here are some quick answers to common questions about overindulging on halls:
How many halls are safe to have in a day?
Most health experts recommend limiting your halls intake to no more than 15 halls per day. The typical hall lozenge contains about 10 mg of menthol (the active ingredient). Consuming more than 150 mg of menthol per day could potentially cause unpleasant side effects like heartburn, nausea, and headaches.
What happens if you exceed the recommended daily amount?
Exceeding the recommended daily amount of 15 halls can irritate your gastrointestinal tract, resulting in stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Menthol overdose can also lead to more severe symptoms like dizziness, tremors, blurred vision, and breathing difficulties. In very high doses, menthol acts as a neurotoxin and can damage your nervous system.
When should you avoid halls altogether?
You should avoid consuming halls if you have certain health conditions or sensitivities. People with G6PD deficiency can develop hemolytic anemia from menthol. Halls are also not recommended if you have acid reflux, hiatal hernia, or any active gastrointestinal ulcer. Pregnant women should consult their doctor before using halls as well. Menthol is known to interact with certain medications, so people on prescription drugs should check for warnings.
Are sugar-free halls a healthier option?
Sugar-free halls rely on artificial sweeteners instead of sugar to enhance flavor. While they contain slightly fewer calories, artificial sweeteners come with their own set of health concerns. There is some evidence linking them to cancer, stroke, and dementia risk. Sugar alcohols like sorbitol can also lead to unpleasant GI side effects like gas and bloating when overconsumed.
How can you soothe a sore throat without overdoing halls?
There are several ways to naturally soothe a sore throat without exceeding the recommended daily halls intake:
- Drink warm liquids like herbal tea, broth, warm water with honey
- Gargle with salt water
- Suck on ice chips or frozen fruit pops
- Use a humidifier
- Get plenty of rest
- Avoid irritants like smoke and alcohol
Using these alternative remedies along with moderate halls consumption can provide throat relief without going overboard.
Menthol halls can be helpful when you’re suffering from a sore throat or cough, but it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Consuming more than 15 halls per day raises your risk of unpleasant side effects like headaches, nausea, and digestive issues. People with certain medical conditions should avoid halls altogether. For the average healthy adult, limiting halls intake to no more than 15 per day and using alternative natural remedies to complement their effect is the safest approach. Be mindful of your halls consumption, and your throat will thank you.
History of Halls Cough Drops
Halls cough drops have a long and storied history as an iconic remedy for sore throats. The story begins in 1830, when English manufacturer Thomas Hall made his first shipment of cough drops to the United States. At the time, medicinal lozenges were still made by hand in small batches. In 1847, Hall’s son Edward expanded the business and improved the original formula, adding menthol for its cooling and soothing properties.
The brand changed hands several times over the next century. In 1964, Halls were acquired by Cadbury Schweppes, which turned them into the first nationally marketed cough drop in America. Their television commercials featuring the slogan “Halls, look for the cherry red package” became fixtures during primetime programming.
Today, Halls are manufactured by Mondelēz International in flavors like cherry, honey lemon, and mentho-lyptus. Over 190 million Halls are produced annually at their factories in Michigan and Mexico. Although the brand has evolved, Halls continue their 19th century legacy of providing relief from cough, sore throat, and mouth irritation.
Common Flavors of Halls Cough Drops
Halls are available in a variety of flavors, ingredients, and intended effects. Here are some of the most common Halls cough drop varieties:
The original Halls flavor, first introduced in the 1920s. The combination of cherry and menthol provides a fruity flavor with a cooling sensation.
Introduced in 2015, this flavor combines sweet honey with tart lemon and menthol to help coat and soothe sore throats.
Released in 1984, this eucalyptus infused version helps clear sinuses and relieve coughs and congestion.
This seasonal flavor has a warm cinnamon kick. It was added to the Halls lineup in 1987.
An alternative version of original Halls containing zero sugar, sweetened with aspartame. Released in 1986 for calorie-conscious consumers.
A newer line of dissolvable strips in intense flavors like Arctic Chill, Icy Mint, and Power Berry. They provide a jolt of menthol.
|Flavor||Active Ingredients||Intended Effects|
|Cherry||Menthol||Cools and soothes sore throats|
|Honey Lemon||Menthol, honey, lemon||Coats, moisturizes, and soothes sore throats|
|Mentho-Lyptus||Menthol, eucalyptus||Clears sinus congestion|
|Cinnamon||Menthol, cinnamon||Warms and soothes sore throats|
|Sugar Free||Menthol, aspartame||Cools and soothes sore throats with no sugar|
|Blasts||Menthol||Provides an intense cooling sensation|
Nutrition Facts for Halls Cough Drops
While halls can provide temporary relief for cold symptoms, they have minimal nutritional value. Here are the nutrition facts for a typical Halls menthol cough drop:
|Serving Size||1 cough drop (2.7g)|
As you can see, a single Halls cough drop contains minimal calories, fat, sodium, and carbs. There is approximately 1 gram of sugar per drop. The menthol is the main active ingredient that works to temporarily relieve sore throat discomfort and provide a cooling sensation.
Should You Give Halls Cough Drops to Children?
Halls are FDA approved for ages 4 and up. However, parents should exercise caution before giving halls to children, especially those under 6. Some key considerations include:
- Children may be more sensitive to menthol, increasing their risk of side effects like rapid heart rate, fluttering eyelids, lethargy, and agitation.
- Halls and other cough drops pose a choking hazard for young children who haven’t mastered sucking behaviors.
- Kids are more susceptible to sugar spikes and crashes from the 1g of sugar in each drop.
- Natural remedies like honey, warm tea, and humidifiers are often safer alternatives for children.
- If you do give halls to a child, stick to the recommended maximum of 15 per day and supervise consumption.
Check with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about giving halls to your child, especially those under 4 years old. They can provide personalized medical advice based on your child’s health status and risk factors.
Potential Side Effects of Consuming Too Many Halls in a Day
Exceeding the recommended daily halls limit of 15 can cause several unwanted symptoms:
The menthol and other ingredients may irritate the stomach lining and intestines, causing nausea, cramping, bloating, and diarrhea.
Menthol is a vasoconstrictor, narrowing blood vessels in the head which commonly results in tension headaches when overconsumed.
The high sugar content can damage tooth enamel over time and worsen cavities. Halls may cause tooth sensitivity and pain if sucked excessively each day.
Menthol overdose can affect the inner ear, causing loss of balance and coordination.
The menthol and acids may aggravate acid reflux, resulting in painful heartburn.
Rapid Heart Rate
Large amounts of menthol trigger increased heart rate and palpitations due to its stimulant effects.
In most cases, these side effects will resolve on their own once you cut back your Halls consumption. Seek medical help if any concerning symptoms persist or interfere with daily functioning.
Interactions Between Halls and Medications
The menthol in Halls can sometimes interact negatively with certain medications. Possible medication interactions include:
- Blood thinners – Menthol’s blood thinning properties may increase the effects of anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs like warfarin or Plavix, raising bleeding risk.
- Beta blockers – Menthol counteracts beta blockers used for heart conditions by increasing blood pressure and heart rate.
- Diabetes medications – Menthol may decrease blood sugar, causing it to drop too low when combined with insulin or oral diabetes drugs.
- Immunosuppressants – Menthol boosts immune system activity, possibly reducing the effectiveness of immunosuppressants used after organ transplant.
- Sedatives – Menthol’s stimulant effect can fight the sedating properties of benzodiazepines like Valium or sleeping pills.
Always inform your doctor about any over-the-counter medications you’re using, including halls, to check for potentially risky drug interactions. Your physician or pharmacist can provide personalized advice about consuming halls with your prescription medications.
Tips for Using Halls Responsibly
Here are some tips for getting relief from your cold symptoms using Halls while still avoiding overconsumption:
- Carefully count your daily halls intake and stick within the 15 drop advised limit.
- Avoid excessive consumption if you have gastrointestinal issues like GERD or ulcers.
- Drink plenty of water to dilute their effects and reduce dry mouth.
- Don’t give halls to children under 4 years old due to choking risks.
- Rotate halls flavors to prevent taste bud fatigue.
- Use halls preventatively when traveling by air to ward off dry mouth.
- Let individual drops dissolve slowly instead of chewing them.
- Combine halls with non-medicated sore throat remedies like throat spray, cold packs, and hydration.
Following responsible consumption practices will allow you to get the most out of your halls while avoiding health risks linked to overindulgence. As with any medication, moderation is key.
Halls can be an effective temporary treatment for the coughs, sore throats, and congestion that accompany colds and flu. However, exceeding the recommended dose of 15 halls per day raises your risk of side effects like headaches, tooth sensitivity, rapid heartbeat, and digestive upset. Consuming too many halls may also interact poorly with some medications. Following the package instructions, avoiding overconsumption, and using halls alongside other natural remedies will allow you to safely harness their benefits when you’re feeling under the weather.