Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Morning sickness: it's a right royal romp!

Just when I thought today could not become any more idiotic, I get a press release in my inbox with the headline: MORNING SICKNESS REMEDIES FIT FOR A QUEEN.

Yes, that's right, people. The PR people for herbal remedy shills, Dr Stuart's, saw fit to jump on the baby-and-barf bandwagon. Using the Duchess of Cambridge's trip to hospital for hyperemesis gravidarum as the hook for the sales pitch, the oh-so-perky press release tells us that a cup of herbal tea will see you right if you're pregnant and puking. A brew of Dr Stuart's Ginger and Lemongrass is all you need.

Never mind that the Duchess is suffering a form of morning sickness that is so awful that it has been known to kill pregnant women, especially in centuries gone by. Never mind that women have actually terminated pregnancies because they could not cope with this particularly horrendous nausea. Why, all they should have done was had a jolly cup of tea! Silly women!

I have precisely no idea why one Lauren Soar of Manc Frank PR saw fit to add my name to her media list or why she thought it was at all big or clever to use debilitating morning sickness that generally requires hospitalisation, medication and a drip to try and promote a herbal tea. Raising awareness of a particularly hideous form of morning sickness is one thing. Trying to sell tea at the same time is quite another.

Now, I am quite the fan of ginger tea for sorting out upset tummies and hangovers, but pregnant women everywhere who are suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum generally need something a tad stronger to get over the condition.

Stay classy, Lauren. You've gotta love a PR who peddles dodgy medicine and jumps on a bandwagon that is already out of control and taking up way too much time on the news cycle to make a few bucks for a client... 

Image courtesy of www.kozzi.com


  1. On a tackiness level that e mail is from the same strain as "9/11 is a good day to bury bad news". I think it comes from total self-absorption. I would never wish Kate's illness (or any other illness) on anyone, whatever my feelings on royalty (I'm sure the Queen does an excellent job, but that is a completely separate issue from whether that job should exist).

    It just amazes me what bandwagons people will try to jump on to sell product. There really should be a "do I want this exposed to the wider world" filter in place for such people.


  2. I personally used Ginger teas... Dr Stuart's was phenomenal during my pregnancy and I think it's fantastic that they've capitalised on this for more women suffering from morning sickness. When it's so hard to eat anything because you're constantly nauseated, tea is fantastic at that time and I'm glad this will be brought to the attention of more people in the same situation. And the Dr Stuart's products products I have seen in morning sickness articles recently haven't been pushed for hyperemesis gravidarum, it has been for normal morning sickness, even before the Duchess fell ill as I remember showing it to a friend of mine.

    A very narrow minded blog. The fact that you've named that person just because you didn't agree with something when many others would, is disgusting.

    1. I did not see the article as narrow minded. It was quite realistic and having suffered the same condition as the Duchess there is no way any type of tea would cure the condition. It took many drugs and the thought of tea at that time makes me feel quite ill.
      Sales people wwill try anything to sell a product and they should know the condition of the Duchess would not be cured by a cup of herbal tea.

    2. Please see my reply below.

  3. Anonymous @December 7, do you still think Dr Stuart's was right to jump on the bandwagon when (a) the tea wouldn't have done a damn thing to relieve Kate's condition and (b) a nurse has now committed suicide in a completely awful chain of events relating to obscene public curiosity about her condition?

    As for naming the PR in the press release, she shouldn't have put her name to the press release and sent it to journalists if she didn't want to be named. In a free society, how is that any different to naming a politician with whom I disagree?

  4. As I said to you previously, the previous features I had seen and the pieces I have seen since your post, I haven't seen Dr Stuart's anywhere portray any of their blends as a miracle cure for hyperemesis gravidarum, just flagging that certain herbal tease can ease morning sickness. Which they did for me an although I had terrible morning sickness, it wasn't hyperemesis gravidarum but it was awful and their herbal teas really helped me through, so I will be defensive of them as it's the only thing I could keep down at times! Isn't that what PR is? Utilising what is current push their clients forward? Correct me if I'm wrong... Although I know I'm not. And your post was published before the tragic news of the nurse was announced, so you can't use that against them.

    1. Yes, I know my post was published before the news of the suicide broke - my point still stands, even more poignantly, that bandwagon-jumping on matters that are intensely private is rather grotesque.

      And yes, PRs do utilise what is current to push their clients forward. That doesn't mean that it is always appropriate or respectful or, in this case, medically accurate to do so. Bear in mind Dr Stuart is a PhD, not a medical doctor...

      Here is the press release in full:


      Apart from anyone currently living under rocks, we are all currently rejoicing the announcement of the newest Baby Royal being on the way. Unfortunately Kate has been stricken with an acute form of morning sickness, which has brought the issue of nausea during pregnancy into the spotlight.

      Morning sickness, otherwise known as nausea gravidarum, is an aspect of the first trimester of pregnancy that every woman dreads. Not only is it unpleasant, it can be incapacitating and despite its common name, can occur at any time of day.

      Ginger is widely used as an anti-nausea remedy, especially for morning sickness. Coupled with Lemongrass or any lemon element, they make an unbeatable team against stomach discomfort. Que the quintessential British solution for everything... Tea.

      Dr Stuart’s Ginger & Lemongrass blend is a robust, citrusy herbal tea and can be used as a tonic in times of lethargy. The unique balance of both of these valuable herbs makes this tea a wonder to drink. Available from Wholefoods stores and online at www.baldwins.co.uk.

      Higher Living’s Ginger Kick does exactly what it says on the box. Generously gingery, this warming ginger infusion combines natural ginger with lemon peel and safflowers. Available from Waitrose, Planet Organic and Wholefoods stores and online at www.higherlivingherbs.com.

      Dr Stuarts

      Why is Dr Stuarts the best herbal tea to drink?

      Experts since 1992, Dr Stuarts are the only teas packed full of ‘active botanicals’ – the highest quality herbs from the most prized part of the plants. For those of us that don’t know what that means, it’s the highest quality available, clean and fresh with between 2 and 10 times more essential oils per tea bag compared to other herbal teas, naturally caffeine free, virtually fat-free and low in calories.

      Who is Dr Stuart?

      Dr Malcolm Stuart (PHD) is a medical herbalist who has been called the ‘Father of Modern Herbalism’. He experienced the traditional role of plants in real medicine in central Afric

      a and his studies led him to develop a range of herbal products. He was one of the first highly qualified scientists in recent times to support and promote the beneficial values of the plant kingdom. He is personally involved in choosing and blending the herbs that go in to the teas that bear his name.

      Blending the tastiest natural teas:

      All teas are 100 percent natural with no additives and no artificial ‘nature identical’ flavourings or colourings. Well known for their health-giving properties, each cup gives you both delicious, healthy refreshment or the perfect remedy. With 20 years experience in blending botanicals for health giving properties Dr Stuart really does know best, ensuring each cup of tea has the most essential oils, the best aroma and flavour and the maximum health benefit.

      The full Dr Stuart's range can be found here: www.drstuarts.com

      Higher Living

      Higher Living are a British company who have been blending teas for over 45 years
      The whole range is brewed and packaged in Gloucestershire where the envelopes are totally sealed for freshness with no alloy staples and fully recyclable
      Higher Living herbal teas are available in Asda, Tesco, Holland & Barrett, Planet Organic, Wholefoods, www.higherlivingherbs.com and a range of independent retailers across England and Scotland
      The full Higher Living range can be found here: www.higherlivingherbs.com

  5. That clearly doesn't state anywhere that herbal tea is a miracle cure for sickness, only that it can help ease it. More specifically for normal morning sickness, like I originally stated.

    1. And I said in my original post that I am a fan of ginger tea for mild forms of nausea. Hell, if I was ever to have normal morning sickness, I'd probably give it a go.

      The bandwagon-jumping on the day's biggest news story, a story that was already getting way more airplay that it deserved and at the expense of Kate Middleton's gynaecological privacy, to sell a few more teabags was unnecessary and trivialises the severity of her condition.