PLENTY of people claim Yorkshire Tea has restorative powers, but the theory has never been proved – until now.
A farmer in Devon says regular cups of strong Yorkshire Tea saved the life of a rare sheep, which is now back to full health.
Poppy, a greyface Dartmoor, was close to death after eating poisonous rhododendron leaves which had blown into her field.
Fearing the worst, quick-thinking owner Dave Halsall, 53, and partner Susan Crawford, 49, desperately searched for a possible cure - and discovered that drinking very strong tea could prevent her death.
Thanks to one super-strong cup – made with eight Yorkshire Tea bags – every two hours for two days, Poppy is now back to her cheeky self, and still enjoying a cup of tea six months on.
Father-of-two Dave said: “We had been trimming the rhododendron hedge in our garden and unfortunately there were some high winds which blew some of the leaves into the field where our seven lambs are kept.
“I noticed a few of the leaves in the field so immediately went over to see if the lambs had eaten any, because I knew they were poisonous. I could see some of the branches in the field and then I found Poppy.
“She was being sick and lying down, she couldn’t stand. I think she must have eaten over a dozen leaves.
“It was horrible to see her like that.”
Having heard of other people using tea to soak up poison, Dave immediately made the lamb a strong cup – 200ml with eight teabags.
“I just thought, ‘if I’m going to do it I’ve got to make sure I do it properly’, so I made it as strong as possible.
“We put it in a bottle and gave it to her every two hours.
“Every time I went down to give her the tea I was worried how I would find her – I didn’t know if she would be alive or dead.
“I don’t think she could tell what she was drinking at first but as soon as she started showing signs of getting better, I think she was enjoying the tea.
“After about 48 hours she was looking better. By the end she was really enjoying the tea - she was clamouring to get at it when we brought it over.
“I actually think she had withdrawal symptoms when it was stopped because she’d been having so much caffeine.”
Dave, who also has pigs and chickens at his smallholding, added: “Poppy’s a very rare breed so we didn’t want to lose her.
“But regardless of that, she’s a real character and we would have been devastated if she had died. She’s very adventurous and cheeky.”
And although Dave doesn’t live in his native Yorkshire any more, he still decided it was the best choice to save his lamb’s life. He added: “It’s my little bit of home - and it tastes really good.”
Alison Hampshire, from the customer services team at Bettys and Taylors, who make Yorkshire Tea, said: “We were all very touched and we reckon you’d be hard pushed to find a cuter Yorkshire Tea drinker.
“We wouldn’t really recommend using eight bags at a time when you’re brewing up for one, but it seems to have done the trick for Poppy.”