The German Syrup That’s Like Time-Release Coffee

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Floral essences plus liquid iron equals all-day energy.

Like every other woman I know, I am usually cold, often tired, dizzy when I stand up too fast, and am basically always in the mood for a burger. Such are the symptoms of mild-to-moderate iron deficiency. And while I’m all-too-happy to harbor constant quarter-pounder cravings, having chills, fatigue, and mild vertigo is no way to live.

There’s an antidote though, and it doesn’t even require a doctor’s appointment. It’s called Floravital; it’s manufactured by a Bavarian company. It comes in a satisfyingly heavy, Prohibition-style glass bottle, with a fairytale-ish label and enough fine print to rival a 32-ouncer of Dr. Bronner’s. It smells like pennies, tastes like blood, and is even available in a gluten-free variety if that’s your thing. A capful contains 60 percent of the iron you supposedly need for the day, and has only five calories. And, compared to iron tablets, the form of iron in Floravital (ferrous gluconate, for those wondering) may be better absorbed by the body. There are extra vitamins in its blend of various juices (grape, pear, carrot), too, as well as “digestive herbs,” chamomile and rose-hip extract. Think of it as liquefied spinach, with undertones of botanical extracts.

I drink a shot of it twice a day, grimace as the syrupy stuff trickles down my throat, and swish my mouth out with water immediately. Since beginning this ritual a few months ago — after seeing an ad on the Piccadilly Line of the London Tube — I feel much more robust: less tired, less cold, less dizzy. I used to take one to two naps per day and I haven’t snoozed mid-afternoon since early August. I still want steak all the time, but iron may not have much to do with that. It’s like time-release coffee, and you can say things like “I almost forgot to take my elixir this morning” or “Shoot, it looks like I ran out of my cordial.”

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The German Syrup That’s Like Time-Release Coffee