Sunday, October 11, 2009

Seoul Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Museum

So our Korean class met on Saturday to go to Seoul Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Museum in Jegi-dong on Saturday. We had a large group of us, and evidently they had never had a group of foreigners come to the museum before. The museum was fairly interesting, and a nice woman tried her best to give us an English guided tour. She was a bit uncomfortable with speaking English and so she often refereed to my boyfriend to translate. Even still, the tour was nice enough.First task was to learn to wrap our own medicine. The medicine was some nice smelling dried orange peels... speaking of which.. they are still in my purse.. and I'm doubting my wrapping job held up for two days in the bottom of my purse... uhoh..

The next task was learning how to grind the medicine with mortar and pestle or these rolling contraptions that I have no word for in my vocabulary.

Here's our volunteer tour guide and my boyfriend trying their best to translate complicated medical information into English. The books in the glass in front of us are copies of the first Korean herbal medicine guide book, written by a fellow named Ho Jun a few hundred years ago.

We were educated a bit about ginseng. We learned that white ginseng should not be taken by people with high blood pressure, or if you are feverish. Red or black ginseng on the other hand is suggested for everyone. The four plants at the bottom are wild ginseng. Not farmed, but found growing in the mountains. One of these plants is worth about $30,000 USD according to a seemingly knowledgeable man who started to follow our tour around and correct our tour guide on everything she said. If you eat one of these before the age of three, you will lead a very healthy life. Here is the male parts of a seal. It's said that if men eat just a little of this with the rest of their herbal medicine prescription, they will have lots of stamina. Interesting idea...

The museum didn't take long to get through and a group of us downtown to the Jongno area for dinner. That was a fun time too, and maybe I'll post about that later.


  1. How do you get there? Do you have to make an appointment? Is there a fee?


  2. Sorry, forgot to post about that. There's no appointment necessary and there's no fee. Just take line 1 to Jegi-dong Station and go out exit 3. Walk up to the main intersection. It's in the big building on the corder on the left. You need to go around to the back, and go down the elevator to B2. I know it sounds kinda sketchy, since it's in a random apartment building, but it's nice. Maybe if you can get a Korean to look at the website there might be a map there.