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ThreeLollies Pop Video

Lollipops work with the body to soothe nausea, one lick at a time.

By Katherine Lonsdorf, Contributor, The Occidental weekly, Vol. 1-22, Issue 10.

It’s almost backwards- the idea of candy relieving an upset stomach as opposed to causing it.  After all, wasn’t that consistently the maternal reminder on any sugar-coated holiday, at any sweet-lined grocery store check-out line and in any candy shop?  Don’t eat too much, she’d warn, you’ll get a stomach ache.

But that didn’t stop Noni Martin, wife of Biology professor Gary Martin and mother of oxy student Alanna (junior) and Amanda (senior).  Despite being a mother, a registered nurse and learned biologist (or maybe as a result of all three), Martin discovered a way to actually ease nausea through a combination of sugar, corn syrup and our special formula, creating a hard candy that works with the body to fight queasiness.

As a mother of two and a nurse specializing in perinatal care, Martin had taught enough Lamaze classes, sat through enough labors and seen enough morning sickness to understand the nausea that comes with pregnancy.

She started recommending sour lollipops to her patients, pupils and friends as a way to deal with the hypoglycemia that follows nausea and vomiting, recognizing that the slow release of sugar would help keep blood sugar from getting too low.  However, this came back with a barrage of complaints about the lollipop market- too sour, too much artificial flavoring, too sweet.

Driving home from a long day of work, Martin contemplated how to better help her queasy patients in the midst of an unreliable and ineffective lollipop world.  “I thought, ‘One day, I’m just going to have to invent something” she said.  “And then I did.”  She said she found an enthusiastic partner in co-worker and psychologist Jim Pathman.  Together they created Three Lollies, giving birth to a new, all natural member of the lollipop family.

“We needed something that was soothing, comforting, and had the perfect amount of time release sugar,” Martin said.

Originally called “Labor Lollies” and shaped like a womb with a fetus inside, the lollipops eventually took on a more “normal” aesthetic of the regular round shape after none of the pregnant test consumers “wanted to put a womb in their mouth,” Martin said.

The name eventually changed too, after toying with the label “Mother Suckers,” she came up with “Preggie Pops” as a more catchy and descriptive title.  Later, after men, kids and other patients started discovering the power of the pops, a new line of  “Queasy Pops” was developed to get rid of the “pregnant packaging” that might make some feel uncomfortable.

So how does such a simple combination of ingredients prove so affective?  Besides the slow intake of sugar to help stabilize a person’s blood sugar and stimulate appetite, the all natural formulae are really the key.  Selected through research, home remedy recommendations and century-old mixtures, the different herbal flavors were chosen specifically for their biological uses against nausea.

The simple fragrance of some pops can even have an immediate effect, as peppermint and lavender are known for their aromatherapy to cause relaxation.  The ginger flavor has been used for centuries to relieve nausea and motion sickness by acting as a local soothing agent in the stomach by neutralizing acids.  Papaya, a newly added Queasy Pop flavor, contains natural enzymes that have been found to treat dyspepsia and indigestion.  The various citrus and fruit flavors, along with cinnamon, have been used through time to stimulate appetite, counteracting the repulsion that sometimes comes with nausea.

Each flavor works differently for every person, so the variety of flavors makes it easier for everyone to find a cure.

“These are really remedies that have been around forever”, Martin said.  “They’re things your grandmother used to say- brew some mint tea, drink water with lemon and ginger.”

The pops also create a portable and immediate solution.  “ Whenever I travel, I carry them with me and hand them out to everybody,” Martin said, describing the satisfaction that comes with helping complete strangers.

Using natural ingredients as opposed to artificial flavoring seems to be the secret.  Martin said that since the natural oils have been around, for forever, evolutionary they work best with the body’s natural chemistry and biological functions- something artificial chemicals can’t do.

Not only are they still used consistently in the maternity ward, but also with chemotherapy patients, carsick children, seasick sailors and even hangover-ridden college students have found comfort in the suckers.  “I’m really surprised at the impact,” Martin said.  “It’s been a great ride to see it all unfold.”

As for starting a business with no formal knowledge of the economic world, Martin remembered it with a hint of hardship.  “It was definitely a learning experience, and we knew nothing.  It was like getting another degree in  {Economics}, but the really hard way.”

But it was a learning experience worth having, not only for Martin, but for the numerous people her lollipops have helped along the way.  Thinking back to the car ride home the night the idea was born, Martin is grateful that she allowed herself to nurture the lollipops to life.  “ I think of all the ideas that have popped into my head that I didn’t follow through,” she said, “but I acted on {this one}.”

“They say that to successfully invent something, you should find a need and fill it.”  She pauses before adding, almost as an afterthought, “ I think we did that.”

The Three Lollies is located and run out of West Hills, California.
Queasy Pops will be available at the Occidental College Bookstore.