Bee spit is the special sauce in this Japanese Voice Care Candy

Are you one of those people who use your voice a lot? Work, home, a side hustle like a podcast perhaps? If you are, then I've got the candy for you. While searching for chocolate one day, I ran across these Voice Care Throat Lozenges (by the Japanese company Kanro). The Japanese is fine, but I love the English tagline: "Let's Sing in Your Best Voice!".

Now I'm like you and just guessed these are like any other cough drop or hard candy. The package tries to tell you differently though. The front boasts that the candies were developed jointly with the Tokyo College of Music (Ongaku Daigaku), and it sounds like they spent a lot of time trying to develop a product that really does do wonders for your throat. The back notes they are for people who “talk a lot, sing a lot, people who want a clean throat or just want to feel refreshed.”

Photos by Thersa Matsuura

Along with various unidentified herbs (the ingredients only mention "herb extract" along with orange, apple, and olive leaf essence), propolis seems to be the special sauce of Voice Care Candy. Propolis, if you don’t know, is sometimes called bee glue, think bee spit mixed with beeswax. It is used by bees to seal small gaps in the hive. Traditionally, it was also used as a medicine to treat cold sores, genital herpes, and mouth pain after surgery, not that there was much evidence showing that it worked for any of those things. Propolis is also sometimes used as a varnish for makers of stringed instruments or even in car wax. All of these examples makes me think that maybe, yes, Voice Care Candy would be good to coat, soothe, and perhaps freshen my throat.

I do a little podcasting and mouth noises are the bane of my (and my tech guy's) existence, so I decided to give these a try. I don't want to get too excited yet, but after one recording (post sucking on a Voice Care Candy) my tech guy said, "I don't know what you did but do it again." When I told him what I'd done he told me to buy all the bags of Voice Care Candy. It seems like all those squishy and popping mouth noises were significantly reduced. Again, this is still early in the testing, but I have bought a couple more bags and plan to use them. Oh, and they taste really nice, too!

Photos by Thersa Matsuura

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