Although I’ve studied Japanese for several years, my vocabulary of household items is still rather low. Whe I first arrived, I went to the store to buy some hydrogen peroxide, which I use as a stain remover and general household/wound disinfectant. I had been told it was hard to find in Japan, and since I live in a rural area, I didn’t have high hopes. I decided to give it a shot anyway and headed to my local drug store. The first hit on my denshi jisho for hydrogen peroxide was 過酸化水素 (kasankasuiso), but that’s actually the chemical name for the substance (H2O2). The commercial/household name for hydrogen peroxide in Japan is oxydol or オキシドール (okishidouru), and you can find it in the drug store by the bandages and medical disinfectants.
It’s about 498 yen for a 500 ml bottle, whereas in the States, you can buy the same amount of a generic brand for about $1.
Acidophilus bifidus is another household staple for me. It’s a probiotic that promotes healthy bacteria for digestive- and women’s health. Acidophilus bifidus is in yogurt and is available in pill form in the US. In Japan, there is a similar product referred to as ビヒズス (bihizusu) or ビヒダス(bifidasu), which both refer to Lactobacillus bifidus, a bifidobacterium from milk that has the same beneficial qualities. You can buy Morinaga ビヒダスヨーグト(bifidasu yo-guruto). It’s a plain yogurt and is delicious when sweetened with fruit.
You can also buy Glico yogurt with プロバイオティックス (probiotics). The flavor is a little sweeter, but the consistency is runnier.
- Glico Probiotic Yogurt
There’s also Yakult BL, a box of concentrated ビヒズス (bifizusu) powder packets. You mix one packet with a glass of water and drink it; the mixture has no flavor. You can find this in the drug store with other vitamins and supplements.
A person over the age of 15 can have three whole “sticks” a day. Be careful, though–too much healthy bacteria can cause an imbalance. Also, if you are allergic to milk products, do not use Yakult BL since it’s derived from bifidus in milk.
Are you looking for food or health products from home? Have you found any products with vastly different Japanese names? Let us know!
Leah Zoller is a first-year CIR in Anamizu and wants to make sure you, the reader, are full of healthy bacteria.