Agaranzai is a new Japanese herbal medicine which claims to lessen headaches and anxiety brought on by public speaking. Basically, it’s marketed as a cure for the jitters. The makers suggest taking it before making a speech at a wedding, giving an important presentation at work, or going to a job interview. But what’s in it, anyway? And should we buy it?
The herbal remedy (the name Agaranzai basically means “anti-panic medicine”) went on sale across Japan on June 12. A packet of 18 will set you back 918 yen. It’s a Class 2 over-the-counter medicine, which means it can be bought without a prescription or consultation.
As an herbal medicine skeptic, I am not about to suggest you go out and buy this product. I do, however, think its packaging and marketing are worth a look.
Alongside extracts of hops, carrot, and something called cat’s claw (presumably that’s the Chinese medicinal plant, not some kitty’s nail clippings), Agaranzai contains valerian (I’m guessing valerian root?), which is a common herbal remedy for anxiety, and passion flower extract, which a cursory Google search informs me is also used to treat anxiety.
Not sure what that carrot extract is doing in there, though. Maybe that’s what gives Agaranzai its nice yellow color?
The packaging is pretty cute (in fact, it looks like a little packet of playing cards), and it’d probably make a nice joke gift for a friend with an important interview or presentation coming up.
But will it work? Well, ever since I was about 15, I’ve eaten a packet of polo mints before taking any kind of important exam, and this self-medicating approach to handling anxiety has worked pretty well so far (it’s worked for job interviews and first dates!). I can therefore confirm that peppermint, not carrot or valerian, is the key to beating anxiety. But Agaranzai doesn’t have any mint extract in it whatsoever. Not even spearmint. I don’t think it’s for me.
Source: Yakuji Nippo
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