Experiencing Traditional Herbal Remedies
Today is the second and final day of the yearly Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Culture Festival (서울약령시 한방문화축제) up north at the Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Market in Dongdaemun.
Every fall since 1995, this event has taken place to celebrate the history and the effectiveness of traditional herbal remedies. Tents are set up along the main thoroughfare to educate visitors foreign and Korean on different traditional medicines and practices including herbal remedies, acupuncture and massage and it’s all free. Yesterday, people seemed very interested in getting me and the group I was with involved as we were probably 4 of the only 25 or so foreigners that made it to the event all day. There are tents specifically set up for foreigners only to make soap, get a massage and get a facial treatment among other things. At one point while we were making our very own soap a couple of older Korean women walked up and said they’d like to make some soap as well. The people in charge said it was just for foreigners to which the women responded by saying they were Chinese, though they clearly were not. There really wasn’t much harm in them taking part as there weren’t enough foreigners to fill the tent anyway. It seems to be a stop most people don’t make on trips around the city but just for the photo-ops and colorful bags of herbs that line the sidewalks, it’s worth a visit.
Tents give visitors the opportunity to try different teas, juices and coffees and make their own traditional Korean food to eat and enjoy. The most enjoyable experience for us were the free medical consultations.
We answered numerous questions on our health and then we were presented with opportunities to get special tea concoctions specifically made for us, different kinds of acupuncture and so on depending on what ailed us. I have been suffering from lower back and hip pain, due to being eight months pregnant I would imagine. I have never had acupuncture, but I can say that last night was the best sleep I’ve had in weeks and this morning much less pain in my back and hips. I’m a believer. It is a great opportunity to learn more about your body, oriental medical treatments and experience some of the benefits and all of it is free. If you have nothing on the agenda today, get out and enjoy this event!Address:
서울 동대문구 제기동 서울 약령시
YangnyeongMarket, Jegi-dong Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea
Subway: Jegi-dong Station, exit 2. One entrance to the market is immediately to the left, but to get to the main entrance to the festival area, walk straight for 1 minute and you will see a larger entrance on the left. OR Yongdu Station, exit 2. Walk straight to a large intersection, cross the street and turn left. You will come to the entrance on the right.
Bus: 1212, 2223, 3200, 421, 105, 147, 201, 202, 241A, 241B, 260, 261, 262, 270, 271, 272, 420, 421, 720, 2221, 110A, 120, 121, 130, 141, 148, 2222
When: Every autumn, usually early October.
This year: October 10 – 11, 2o14