Many people look forward to shopping ‘til they drop during their trips to Japan, and drugstores are an especially popular place to do so! There, travelers can purchase a surprising number of groceries, daily necessities, cosmetics, and, of course, medicines.
If you go to a Japanese drugstore during your stay, you should definitely know about “Ohta’s Isan”! With a proud history dating back 144 years, Ohta’s Isan is a staple household name in Japan, famous for its gastrointestinal medicines that are also now gaining recognition throughout East Asia. The manufacturer and distributor, OHTA’S ISAN Co., Ltd., offers not only the standard Ohta’s Isan series but also a variety of other useful gastrointestinal products!
Check out this line-up of products to solve any woe on your travels, such as stress-induced stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, stomach bloating and discomfort, and other common physical ailments.
Review of Ohta’s Isan’s standard popular series!
Ohta’s Isan is not hard to find in Japanese drugstores. Before introducing the extended line-up, let’s check out the standard Ohta’s Isan series.
Gentle herbal medicine formula! ‘Ohta’s Isan’ series for treating a weak stomach
The classic Ohta’s Isan series is the "face of Ohta’s Isan." Loved by customers since its launch 144 years ago, the formula has continuously been improved over the years.
The most standard type of ‘Ohta’s Isan’ comes in two varieties: a can type and an individual sachet type that contains easy travel-size, single-dose sachets.
The greatest feature of Ohta’s Isan is that it contains seven kinds of stomachic herbs to revitalize a weak stomach. Many people take it on a regular basis to treat an upset stomach, loss of appetite, and to regulate their stomach health. It also contains antacids, which are effective for relieving heartburn associated with acid reflux.
When you open the tin, you will be greeted with a fresh aroma reminiscent of being in a lush forest. The fine powder is easy and refreshing to take. The cans come in three sizes: 75g, 140g, and 210g, with the most popular being the largest.
- Ohta’s Isan dosage: One level attached spoon (1.3g) for adults aged 15 and older, and half of one level attached spoon (0.65g) for those aged 8-14. Can be taken up to three times a day with cold or lukewarm water after or between meals.
- Ohta’s Isan <Sachet> dosage: One sachet for adults aged 15 and older, half a sachet for those aged 8-14 years. Can be taken up to three times a day with cold or lukewarm water after or between meals.
Ohta’s Isan A <Tablet> also contains four digestants that aid digestion and improve symptoms that may appear after eating greasy food or overeating, as well as settle an upset stomach.
- Ohta’s Isan A <Tablet> dosage: Three tablets per dose for adults aged 15 years and older, two tablets for those aged 8-14 years, and one tablet for those aged 5-7 years after or between meals (including before bedtime) with cold or lukewarm water up to three times per day. However, in case of loss of appetite, take before meals.
For a detailed introduction to the standard series, please also refer to the following article.
Suffering from stress-induced stomach pain or an upset stomach with a frequent need to dash to the bathroom? Try Ohta’s Isan’s extended line-up!
Ohta’s Isan’s standard series can help with a wide range of stomach issues, but there is also an entire extended range of Ohta’s Isan products to target specific symptoms.
‘Ohta Kampo Ichoyaku II’ for stomach issues caused by stress
‘Ohta Kampo Ichoyaku II’ can be easily identified by its pink package. It is a gastrointestinal medicine specially formulated for improving the symptoms of neurotic gastritis and chronic gastritis caused by distress, anxiousness, and stress.
The most distinctive feature of Ohta Kampo Ichoyaku II is its tailormade formula containing a Chinese herb called ‘Anchusan-kabukuryo’. This ancient herb is known to calm the autonomic nervous system, suppress pain and cramps, neutralize excessive gastric acid, and improve stomach function, regulating any stomach weakened by stress.
In Japan, sales of Ohta Kampo Ichoyaku II have increased dramatically over the last two or three years since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is worth a try for those who suffer from stomach issues caused by everyday stress and anxiety, or those encountering stressful situations or experiencing nervousness at work. The medicine is available in tablet or powder form, which can be distinguished from one another based on the picture in the circle on the front of the packaging.
- Powder dosage: One sachet once a day for adults aged 15 years and older, two thirds of a sachet for those aged 7-14 years, taken between meals (including before bedtime) or on an empty stomach up to three times a day with cold or lukewarm water.
- Tablet dosage: Three tablets per dose for adults aged 15 years and older, two tablets for those aged 7-14 years, on an empty stomach with water or lukewarm water up to three times per day.
‘Ohta’s Isan Seichoyaku’ for those suffering from loose stools
‘Ohta’s Isan Seichoyaku’, recognizable by its tall, white package, is an intestinal regulator for people with sensitive intestines, such as those regularly suffering from loose stools and upset stomachs.
What differentiates Ohta’s Isan Seichoyaku from other companies' products is that it contains two types of lactic acid bacteria and clostridium butyricum as well as two types of intestinal function-controlling herbal medicines. Loose stools are not only caused by an imbalance in the normal gut flora, but also by intestinal spasms. As there are two types of intestinal function-controlling herbal medicines in Ohta’s Isan Seichoyaku, the medicine works to regulate the movement of the intestines, helping restore normal function to aid in a balanced intestinal environment.
The package contains 160 tablets. The formula works gradually to build healthy gut flora.
- Dosage: Three tablets per dose for adults aged 15 and older, two tablets for those aged 8-14 years, and one tablet for those aged 5-7 years after meals up to three times per day with cold or lukewarm water.
‘Ohta’s Isan Seichoyaku De･Rumoa Tablet’ for those suffering from recurring constipation
‘Ohta’s Isan Seichoyaku De･Rumoa Tablet’ , with its eye-catching vivid pink packaging, is an intestinal medicine for those who suffer from constipation.
De･Rumoa Tablet are characterized by the fact that they contain two types of lactic acid bacteria and clostridium butyricum, as well as an herbal medicine called ‘ketsumeishi’ that helps moisturize the intestines. This herbal medicine acts to lubricate the intestinal lining, gently pushing out the hardened stools. In addition, two types of lactic acid bacteria and clostridium butyricum create a healthier intestinal environment that prevents constipation.
The gentle formula ensures natural bowel movements with no sudden cramps or urges. This is why many people choose De･Rumoa Tablet as their go-to constipation remedy.
- Dosage: Three tablets per dose for adults aged 15 and older, two tablets for those aged 8-14 years, and one tablet for those aged 5-7 after meals up to three times per day with cold or lukewarm water.
‘Ohta’s Isan Chewable NEO’ for stomach bloating and discomfort
‘Ohta’s Isan Chewable NEO’ comes in a convenient, easy-to-carry pouch. Despite bearing the name ‘Ohta’s Isan’, the ingredients are slightly different from those of the standard Ohta’s Isan series. The medicine contains antacids that neutralize excessive gastric acid and a defoamer that removes gas in the stomach, thus improving bloating and discomfort.
The chewable tablets can be taken easily without water and are designed to be chewed or dissolved in the mouth. The lemon and lime menthol flavor is tangy and refreshing. It’s the perfect medicine to have on hand when water is not readily available, such as during travel, at work, or on trains or airplanes. You may want to keep a pack in your carry-on luggage for the long trip back home.
- Dosage: For adults aged 15 years and older, chew or allow two tablets to dissolve in your mouth, up to three times a day. Allow at least four hours between doses.
Which drugstores sell the Ohta’s Isan series?
Ohta’s Isan produces such a wide range of useful gastrointestinal medicines. So, in which corner of the drugstore can you find them? To find out, we went to the ‘Mine Drug Shinjuku East Exit Store’ near Kabukicho in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
It is marked by a sign with the word ‘kusuri’ (薬) written in a large kanji character almost directly in front of the famous Kabukicho Ichibangai neon sign.
Once inside, you will quickly find a wide range of Ohta’s Isan products in the gastrointestinal and intestinal medicine section near the entrance on the first floor! Some drugstores have panels that show what is available on each display shelf, so it is a good idea to check those, too.
Drugstores in Japan are so crammed with products that sometimes it can seem difficult to find anything.
If you feel lost, first look for the regular cans of Ohta’s Isan, recognizable by blue and white lines. While many medicines in drugstores come packaged in boxes, there are not many medicines that come in tins, so Ohta’s Isan stands out!
Most of the time, other products in the series are lined up next to or above and below the canned Ohta’s Isan medicine. You could also save this article to your favorites and show the product photos to the drugstore staff for guidance.
What is the difference between Ohta’s Isan medicines available in Japan and overseas?
You may have seen Ohta’s Isan medicines being sold in your home country, but you may wonder: is there any difference between those sold in Japan and overseas?
In fact, there are no major differences at all. However, due to differences in ingredients between countries, some overseas Ohta’s Isan products may differ ever so slightly.
Moreover, the extended product line-up available in Japan and overseas are different. While the standard Ohta’s Isan series can be purchased in some countries and regions, many of the extended line-up products introduced in this article are available only in Japan.
You can buy Ohta’s Isan stomach medicine series at pharmacies or drugstores!
If you want to buy Ohta’s Isan stomach medicines in Japan, you should be able to find them at pharmacies or drugstores such as Mine Drug, located in most urban areas. Drugstores also carry gastrointestinal medicines other than the standard ones introduced here.
In addition to standard products, Ohta’s Isan gastrointestinal medicines come in a variety of forms for stress-induced gastric problems and stomach issues, with each one being specially designed to treat certain symptoms.
With over 144 years of experience in dealing with stomach problems, Ohta’s Isan gastrointestinal and intestinal medicines may provide relief from long-standing GI troubles. On your next trip to Japan, you can also choose a product from the extended line-up to suit your individual symptoms!
Mine Drug Shinjuku East Exit Storeミネドラッグ 新宿東口店
- Address Shinjuku Pandora Building 1F, 3-23-12 Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo
Hours: 9 AM – 11 PM
Closed: January 1 only (contact the store for details)
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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