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Bob marley mellow mood tea side effects: “Anti-energy” drink Marley’s Mellow Mood sold to students in N.J., blamed for “zombiefest” reaction

“Anti-energy” drink Marley’s Mellow Mood sold to students in N.J., blamed for “zombiefest” reaction


By Michelle Castillo

/ CBS News

An “anti-energy” drink is being blamed for making middle-school students vomit and act lethargic.

Some students from William R. Satz school in Holmdel, N.J., were reportedly sickened after they purchased Marley’s Mellow Mood from their cafeteria and drank it, according to WNYW. Symptoms included vomiting, splitting headaches and feeling drowsy.

“It was like a zombiefest,” one student told the news station.

Marley’s Mellow Mood, named after Bob Marley and made in partnership with the Marley family, are “100 percent natural relaxation beverages” made from natural ingredients. According to the official website, the drinks are supposed to reduce stress and calm a person down. They come in lightly carbonated sodas and ready-to-drink cold teas.

It’s not the only anti-energy drink on the market. TIME in 2009 reported on a drink called Drank that purported to give the same easy-going vibes. It contained a mixture of melatonin (used to treat insomnia and jet lag), rose hips and valerian root, which is known to relax the central nervous system and quell anxiety but may cause seizures.

“Valerian roots and rose hips are not really reviewed by the FDA. You can’t be certain of the safety and efficacy of the drink,” David DiPersio, clinical pharmacist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told TIME about Drank.

While not the same mixture, Marley’s Mellow Mood contains a combination of valerian root, lemon balm, passion flower, hops and chamomile.

The drink has since been removed from the schools that were selling it. A spokesperson for the company that worked with the dining hall told WNYW that the drink didn’t go through the approval process, and the on-site manager has been removed pending investigation.

“We sincerely regret that this product was sold and that students had an adverse reaction to it,” the company said to WNYW.

Trending News

Michelle Castillo

Michelle Castillo is an associate editor for CBSNews.com.


First published on December 4, 2012 / 4:51 PM

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Metro Detroit-based Bob Marley anti-energy drink charged with making New Jersey students sick

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Marley Mellow Mood beverages for sale at Glory Foods supermarket in Hamtramck
Gus Burns | MLive Detroit

SOUTHFIELD, MI — The Metro-Detroit based manufacturer of Marley’s Mellow
Mood beverage garnered national media attention this week after two New
Jersey schools complained that it caused negative effects in students
who consumed it.

The drink comes in varying flavors of tea and
“lightly carbonated” versions with the promise of “all natural
relaxation.” They contain melatonin, sometimes used for jet lag, rose
hips and valarian root, an herb that induces relaxation and relieves

Students from a middle school and high school that
sold the drink complained of lethargy, headaches and nausea after
consuming the beverage, the Asbury Park Press reported.

Beverage Co., based in Southfield, responded to the news with this
statement: We are “deeply saddened and concerned about the incidents
reported at William R. Satz School in Holmdel, N.J. Our packaging
clearly states that Marley’s Mellow Mood is not intended for consumption
by children. Our company’s policy is not to sell Marley’s Mellow Mood
into schools, and we have no intention of ever doing so,” according to
the Asbury Park Press.

the dining services contractor in charge of the food and drink
available to students, said the drink was not approved for sale in the

The on-site manager for the company was terminated.
Chartwells representatives said it does not supply Marley’s Mellow Moods
at any Michigan schools.

However, the drink is still prevalent in Metro Detroit.

A refrigerator at the head of cash register lane of Glory Foods supermarket in Hamtramck was stocked with the drink.

manger at the store first said he didn’t believe they sold it. After
learning they did, he said there have been no complaints from customers,
no age restrictions imposed and he intended to continued stocking it.

The manager declined to provide his name.

another Hamtramck party store, Steve’s, it was more difficult to. A
single row of citrus-flavored lightly carbonated Marley’s Mellow Mood
was hidden among a refrigerator full of Red Bull, the energy drink “that
“gives you wings” on the opposing end of the mood-altering specialty
drink spectrum.

We don’t sell a lot of it, said a female clerk who
wouldn’t provide her name. She said it seems to be popular with
“younger” customers, she suspects among fans of Bob Marley or possibly

Donning the front of the packaging — glass bottles
and skinny cylindrical aluminum cans — is an image of the dreadlocked
Reggae music legend Bob Marley, a Rastafarian from Jamaica who promoted
marijuana use — or as he often referred to it, “herb.”

Beverage Company was created in partnership with the family of Bob
Marley, paying homage to their father and patriarch by launching and
promoting a wide range of healthy, natural drinks,” the company’s website says.

Learn more about the drinks and where they are sold here.

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benefit, harm, preparation and use



Today, probably, there is no person who would not want to be modern in all respects. But in order to achieve this, the pace of today’s life requires the expenditure of many forces, which are sometimes simply not enough to make the final, decisive breakthrough to achieve the intended goal. To prevent this from happening, many begin to look for ways that can help not to break down at the last, most crucial minute.

One of the easiest and most affordable solutions to this problem is to drink a jar of a magical energy drink, whose manufacturers promise unrealistic results, often silent about possible side effects. But, on the other hand, it is such a busy life that causes a feeling of constant fatigue, increased stress, nervousness and irritability, which can also lead to undesirable consequences. And then a completely different question arises: how to avoid this? How to relieve stress and relax as much as possible after a hard day at work? The answer to this question turned out to be quite simple.

Today, in contrast to energy drinks, many beverage manufacturers have focused their activities on the creation of so-called relaxation drinks, the main task of which is to relieve stress, soothe a headache, suppress a sense of apathy towards everything around, awaken the desire to live and move on.


What are relaxation drinks

A relaxation drink, or “anti-energy drink”, is a non-alcoholic cocktail containing calming ingredients that are usually found in nature or produced naturally in the body in small amounts.

Relax drink can have a calming effect on the human body.

But, unlike drinks such as, for example, herbal tea, which is also used for relaxation purposes, it has a more powerful and faster effect due to the presence of several active elements, which is why it is classified as functional.

The idea of ​​using different drinks to relax or relieve stress is not new. The most popular and long-known drink that helps people in almost all countries to relax as much as possible is alcohol in all its variations, or just alcohol. If we recall our grandmothers, and especially grandfathers, then we recall such a nuance when, before eating at the end of the day, our ancestor used a glass of that same “antidepressant”, so to speak, for appetite.

If we delve even further into history, we will come across such a world-famous tradition as tea drinking, which was the first way to relax as much as possible from a busy day. No wonder this tradition has acquired numerous nuances: from the sacrament of the correct brewing of tea and ending with its use and the selection of special dishes. Today, thanks to research by scientists, we know that due to the presence of theanine in its composition, tea is able to have such a good and beneficial effect on our mental state.

The very idea of ​​creating such a complex relaxation drink first appeared in Japan in 2005, when a certain group of drinks was put on the market, enriched with a special amino acid – the so-called GABA. This idea was picked up by interested people who developed a new relaxation drink with a specific formula of ingredients, the action of which was aimed at maximum relaxation. It is from this year that the production of relaxation drinks is gaining momentum, and the development continues up to the present day. Many of the manufacturers of this product managed to create real brands and get promoted well.

Most experts say that by 2019, the demand for this product will increase tenfold and, accordingly, the income of producers – hundreds. Such conclusions are based on the growing interest of customers in such peculiar relaxation cocktails. Therefore, it is not without reason that relaxation drinks are expected to become the mainstay of the beverage industry.

Today, relaxation drinks are marketed as safe, non-alcoholic supplements, which are flavored carbonated or non-carbonated drinks that contain ingredients of plant (or natural) origin that promote a state of relaxation.

Most of them have a general effect, which is aimed at obtaining a feeling of relaxation and peace. But there are also those whose action is specifically aimed at combating insomnia or neutralizing the effects of stress.

Mostly, people use relaxation drinks to deal with stressful situations and increased anxiety, as well as after a hard day at work, significant physical exertion or before bedtime. Since such products are able to reduce the impact of stress on the body, relieve anxiety, nervousness due to their calming effect on the nervous system.



Relaxation drinks contain various ingredients that create a feeling of relaxation and calm. The most common, which can be found in almost all such drinks, are:

  • GABA.

    GABA (or aminobutyric acid) is a so-called neurotransmitter, due to the presence of which in the body the process of preventing a possible overexcitation of the nervous system takes place. That is, with significant stress on the brain and emotional system, this amino acid acts as a kind of inhibitory agent that protects the body from the effects of external factors. This substance is able to relieve tension and awaken a feeling of relaxation. In addition, GABA normalizes energy, nervous and metabolic processes in the human brain, improves blood circulation in the brain system, increases the activity of thought processes and memory, lowers blood pressure, normalizes sleep, relieving insomnia. This amino acid is also called an anti-stress or a calming natural remedy for an agitated brain.

  • Melatonin.

    Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland. It is quite common in medicine, because it has a wide therapeutic effect. It is used primarily as a sleep hormone, since it is he who acts as a kind of regulator of the human biological clock. In addition, it has been experimentally proven that melatonin slows down the aging process, promotes weight loss, has anti-cancer and antioxidant effects, and strengthens the immune system. It is used in drinks primarily to normalize the process of falling asleep, combat insomnia, improve mood, and develop mental resistance to stress.

  • 5-HTP.

    5-Hydroxytryptophan (or hydroxytriptan) is a naturally occurring amino acid that is extracted from the seeds of Griffonia Simplicifolia and also successfully produced in the laboratory. Sold as a dietary supplement. It is the main source of serotonin formation, which, in turn, is characterized by antidepressant properties, affects mood, sleep quality, excitation and inhibition processes, dulls appetite, and removes depression. Thus, 5-HTP is used to combat insomnia, depression, stress, fatigue, irritability, nervousness, aggression.

  • Kava kava.

    Kava or intoxicating pepper – a plant brought from the islands in the Pacific Ocean. Due to its specific property to influence the human psyche, it has been widely used by different peoples for about 3,000 years. In medicine, it is used as one of the options for combating alcoholism. In the common people it is known more as a strong sedative. Peculiar active substances that are in the composition of kava-kava can cause both physical and mental relaxation, which leads to improved well-being, relaxation of the entire muscular system and emotional state.

  • Valerian.

    Valerian is a plant widely used by both traditional and alternative medicine due to the presence in its composition of a large number of different useful components that can have a variety of effects. Valerian is primarily used as a powerful sedative. In addition, it is used for diseases of the digestive and biliary systems, liver, normalizes the cardiovascular system, lowers blood pressure. In relaxation drinks, it is used as a sedative that can restore the emotional state, soothe a headache, dull nervousness, anxiety and irritability, and improve performance.

  • L-theanine.

    L-theanine is an amino acid found in large quantities in young tea leaves. This substance can improve mood, awaken a sense of relaxation and peace. It has a positive effect on consciousness – it clarifies the mind and increases efficiency. When L-theanine enters the bloodstream, the process of release of the so-called dopamine, the hormone of joy, occurs. This amino acid is also able to neutralize the effects of caffeine.

  • Magnesium.

    Magnesium is found in the human body in significant doses. In large quantities, this element can be found in the bones, in smaller doses – in the muscles and blood. It has a calming effect on the nervous system, regulating its work by controlling the processes of excitation and inhibition, providing the so-called inner peace. Also involved in the conversion of glucose in the blood into energy.

  • Chamomile.

    A well-known plant, like valerian, due to the variety of its properties. It is often used for colds and viral diseases, as well as for problems with the digestive system. In addition, chamomile tea stabilizes blood glucose levels, relieves increased emotional stress, improves well-being, fights insomnia and the effects of stress.


Cons of using

When drinking relaxation drinks, experts recommend taking into account the following nuances, the existence of which manufacturers are silent:

  • quantities, but can also enhance the effect on the body. In this regard, the consumer cannot know exactly how strong the sedative effect of the relaxation drink he has chosen can be.
  • The use of an ingredient such as melatonin in drinks is, on the one hand, justified, given its properties. But, adding this component to relaxation cocktails, manufacturers often do not follow the recommendations of doctors who advise using no more than 1 milligram of melatonin per day.

Some drinks contain as much as 5 milligrams of this substance, which is much higher than the allowable daily allowance and can lead to an overdose, the possible consequences of which can be the most unpredictable.

  • The use of GABA also has its pros and cons. The downside is that GABA used in drinks, when combined with other components, partially loses its properties, and, accordingly, is not fully absorbed by the body. As a result, there is little effect.
  • The Kava ingredient, getting into the composition of a relaxation drink, does not lose its properties, but many scientific studies prove its detrimental effect on the liver. In particular, Canada and some European countries have banned the use of this substance after liver disease was found in people taking it in their daily diet.
  • Valerian is a strong sedative in itself, and in combination with other components that also have similar properties, the sedative effect on the body increases significantly. Later, you can get a completely unexpected result after taking one or another relaxation drink, especially if you do not take into account the characteristics of your own body (for example, the presence of cardiovascular diseases, problems with the digestive system, etc.).
  • The presence of the amino acid 5-HTP in relax drinks is also in question, as this element tends to dissolve in liquids.
  • Many relaxation drinks contain theanine in dosages ranging from 0.5 to 0.7 mg, although this component is effective in doses of at least 200 mg.
  • Frequent use of relaxation drinks can cause addiction, which is another problem along with alcohol and drugs.

    Several cases have been documented where consumers began to use these drinks for the purpose of obtaining a “high” or a state of temporary euphoria.

  • Many ingredients in relax drinks can interact with certain medications and also with alcohol. For example, if the drink was consumed after taking alcohol, the sedative effect will be increased several times.


Use recommendations


  • Read the label.

Reading a label is one of the most important skills when buying any product, especially relaxation drinks. On the label must be:

– A list of all products that make up the drink.
– A dose of each of the listed components.
– Number of servings (a drink can have several servings contained in one bottle, so you can easily overdose if you drink everything at once).
– Amount of sugar (a small amount of sugar in the drink reduces the calorie content of the product and prevents excess sugar from interacting with recreational ingredients).

Relax drinks are called so because they should be consumed when all the work has already been done or postponed for a longer period. You can not drink drinks in those cases when there is work that requires concentration of attention and consciousness.

This point is very important when it comes to driving and operating complex machinery.

  • Do not mix.

Many of the relax drinks have ingredients that are in addition to those listed on the bottle, such as herbs and supplements that can interact with medications the person is taking. In this regard, it is advisable to consult a doctor to make sure that there will be no unpleasant health effects.

Drinks should also not be mixed with alcohol, as each individual organism reacts differently to this product.


Top 6 most popular

Today, due to the increased interest of consumers, there are a sufficient number of options for relaxation drinks, which allows you to choose exactly the one that can really help in a particular situation.

Among all the variety, we can note such brands that have earned the recognition of their users due to their high quality and performance, as they say “on the face”.

Among them are:

  • Drank.

    The first production of Drank was launched in Houston, Texas. This drink is characterized by a strong calming effect, since it contains such active ingredients as melatonin, valerian and rose hip extract, as well as B vitamins. In addition to the main components, Drank also contains additional ones – fructose corn syrup, sucrose, citric acid, natural flavor , sodium citrate, potassium benzoate, potassium sorbate. Manufacturers recommend this drink for those who suffer from insomnia, since the presence of the melatonin component in a sufficiently large dose in one package helps to normalize sleep.

  • Marley’s Mellow Mood.

    This relaxation drink is very popular due to its “working” result. Marley’s Mellow Mood, with a portrait of Bob Marley on the jar, contains only natural herbs that help to relax after a hard day, namely, extracts of valerian, lemon balm, hops, chamomile and passionflower. In addition to active ingredients, the drink also has additional components: filtered water, pure cane sugar, natural flavor, citric acid. Differs in slow, but deep and long action (the effect is shown in full only after 1 hour after the use). Recommended for consumers struggling with nocturnal insomnia.

  • Koma Unwind.

    Koma Unwind is a product of the Bebida Beverage Company, which produces a carbonated relaxation drink containing melatonin, milk thistle, rosehip, chamomile and valerian extracts. In 2013, Koma was recognized as one of the best-selling products in the beverage industry. Designed for consumers who want to relieve the heaviness of the day and fall asleep quickly.

  • Just Chill.

    This drink helps to keep calm in difficult situations, as well as to relax without causing a feeling of drowsiness. In its composition, the most active ingredient is L-theanine, which is also found in green tea leaves. L-theanine induces feelings of relaxation by increasing alpha waves in the brain. Just Chill contains approximately 15 times more L-theanine than is found in one cup of tea. In addition to L-theanine, the drink also contains vitamin C, a B-vitamin complex, magnesium and zinc, eleutherococcus, ginkgo biloba, lemongrass extract. The effect after taking this drink appears after 30-40 minutes.

  • Neuro Sleep.

    This drink is designed specifically for consumers suffering from insomnia. It helps not only to relax, but also to quickly, soundly fall asleep all night due to the presence of such active ingredients as L-theanine and 5-HTP, as well as melatonin and magnesium.

  • Slow Cow.

    Slow Cow is made in Quebec, Canada. It was created as an “anti-energy” that can help people relax and slow down their pace of life without causing a feeling of drowsiness. It was also a kind of parody of the popular Red Bull energy drink, as the manufacturers used a type of packaging similar to an energy drink. The main ingredient in Slow Cow is L-theanine, additional extracts are chamomile, passionflower, valerian, linden and hops.



For those consumers who are not sure about the usefulness of the relaxation drinks sold in stores, an alternative may be quite simple and familiar products from childhood:

  • Milk with honey.

    Warm or hot milk is the most common remedy for people who have trouble sleeping. Milk contains a specific amino acid, tryptophan, which is vital for stimulating the relaxation process and provides psychological calmness and sleepiness, thanks to which a person sleeps through the night without suffering from insomnia. But if you add a little more honey to the milk, the effect will be much stronger. Honey, so to speak, “destroys” all the barriers to tryptophan, due to which this amino acid enters the bloodstream, and then to the brain in full, where it turns into serotonin, which is converted into natural melatonin at night. A mixture of honey and milk also has an antioxidant effect.

  • Lemon infusion.

    Able to improve cognitive performance and activity, on the one hand, on the other hand, to normalize the emotional state. It is also used to reduce stress and anxiety levels, resulting in an overall feeling of relaxation.

  • Ginseng.

    Ginseng is known as a good adaptogen, which is able to maintain body homeostasis and reduce the effects of stress. In addition, ginseng tea helps with insomnia, and also dulls the feeling of anxiety.

  • Passiflora.

    Passionflower contains flavonoids, glycosides, alkaloids, myriads and other compounds that reduce anxiety and reduce the effects of stress on the body without causing sedation.

  • Eleutherococcus.

    Eleutherococcus, or “Siberian ginseng”, is widely used in traditional medicine to improve stress resistance, combat increased anxiety, chronic fatigue, and even depression. If fatigue is caused by tension during the day, then this woody shrub acts as an antidepressant. For people who are actively involved in sports and do not have enough time to relax, this tool can help increase the endurance and performance of the body.

  • Female hop flowers.

    In the form of a relaxing non-alcoholic drink, it improves the quality of sleep, especially if valerian extract is added to it.

  • Green tea.

    Green tea is another relaxing non-alcoholic drink that has many health benefits. Not the last place here is occupied by the ability to relieve psychological stress, due to the presence of a specific component – theanine. To be convinced of the relaxation effect of green tea, it is enough to drink a cup of natural, for example, Chinese tea without caffeine. It is in this tea that contains the greatest amount of theanine.

  • Chamomile-lavender tea.

    The combination of these two herbs promotes calmness and good rest, since chamomile contains apigenin, which, when combined with the brain’s GABA receptors, creates a mild, calming effect, while lavender flowers and their aroma cause drowsiness.

  • Cherry juice.

    Cherry juice is considered a relaxing drink because cherries are rich in melatonin, which is responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Drinking two glasses of cherry juice throughout the day will help keep this cycle normal.

  • Black tea.

    Black tea, oddly enough, also has an anti-stress effect due to the presence of catechins in its composition – quite strong antioxidants. The only caveat when using black tea to protect against stress is that it should not be strong, because strong tea can have the opposite effect.

  • Ginger.

    The effect of ginger tea is very similar to the effect after drinking warm milk, as it also contains the amino acid tryptophan.

  • Water.

    Sometimes the body simply suffers from a lack of fluid, which provokes increased production of the stress hormone. Therefore, pure non-carbonated water in some cases can have a relaxation effect.



Relax drinks, which are actively appearing on the market, are becoming more popular every day, due to their effectiveness and speed on the body. But, nevertheless, many questions remain regarding their harmful effects on human health, since no serious studies have yet been conducted. Therefore, in order not to experiment on your own health, we offer several recipes for natural relaxation drinks that can be easily made at home, eliminating any negative consequences. So

  1. Spiced milk.

  • Milk
    200 ml
  • Honey
    1 tsp
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric

Warm milk, but do not bring to a boil. Add spices and stir everything well so that there are no lumps. Spices form a kind of film on the surface of milk. Then put honey and also stir until it is completely dissolved.

  1. Ginger tea with citrus.

  • Boiling water
    1 st.
  • Lemon/Orange/Lime
    1 slice
  • Chocolate
  • Honey

Dissolve ground ginger in boiling water and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Then squeeze the juice from the citrus into the tea and add some honey. You can add some melted chocolate if you like.

  1. Lavender-ginger tea.

  • Boiling water
    1 st.
  • lavender flowers
    1/3 tsp
  • ground ginger
    2/3 tsp
  • honey or sugar

Pour boiling water over ginger and lavender and leave to infuse. Add honey or sugar.

  1. Cherry drink.

  • Cherry juice
    1 st.
  • vanilla extract
    2-3 k.
  • Black chocolate
    2 squares

Add drops of vanilla extract to the juice. Melt chocolate squares and mix with juice.

  1. Herbal tincture .

  • Boiling water
    1 st.
  • Black tea
    1 tbsp
  • Green tea
    1 tbsp
  • Linden blossom
    1 tbsp
  • currant leaves
    1 tbsp
  • St. John’s wort
    1 tbsp
  • horsetail
    1 tbsp
  • Honey

Mix all herbs well. Next, take 2 tbsp. the resulting mixture and pour boiling water. Infuse for about 30 minutes. Add honey before drinking.

6. Mint tea.

  • Mint
    ½ tsp
  • Melissa
    ½ tsp
  • lingonberry leaves
    ½ tsp
  • Black tea
    ½ tsp
  • Green tea
    ½ tsp
  • Honey

Mix the herbs and prepare like a normal tea. Add honey before drinking.

  1. Apple tea.

  • apple fresh
    1 PC.
  • Cinnamon

Cut the apple into small pieces and place in a container of water. Add cinnamon. Prepare like regular tea.

  1. Valerian tea.

  • Black / green tea
    1 sachet
  • Valerian extract
    2-3 cap.

Brew tea and add a few drops of valerian.

  1. Linden tea.

  • Linden blossom
    1 tbsp
  • Melissa
    1 tbsp
  • St. John’s wort
    1 tbsp
  • Green tea
    1 tsp
  • Honey

Mix linden, lemon balm and St. John’s wort. 2 tbsp Pour boiling water over the resulting mixture and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Then add green tea and honey. Also leave to infuse for 7-8 minutes. Drink half a glass 4 times a day.

  1. Relaxing tea.