Monday, September 27

Traditional Korean herbalists, a unique profession facing extinction

Readers who have watched Korean dramas that portray the Joseon era (1392-1910), such as “Dae Jang Geum,” may have seen scenes in which doctors practiced acupuncture and gave sick people herbal medicine.

Even now, Korean people, especially those who cannot find cures for their ailments in modern Western medicine, often rely on going to traditional Korean herbal medicine shops ― known as “hanyakbang” in Korean ― to buy herbal medicines such as decoctions (boiled down concentrated extracts), powdered medicines and tablets, to restore their energy and eliminate illnesses.

The Japanese colonial government attempted to eradicate the traditional Korean medicine system and introduce the Western medicine system into Korea during the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910-1945), which ended up reducing the number of experts and knowledge here.

Continue the story at Korea Times.