Korean Traditional Medicine: How Much Do You Know About It?


Are you interested in oriental medicine? Have you tried it before? Or do you just want to know about it?

Hellomon will tell you about Korean traditional medicine briefly. If you like this post, we will be back with more information. Please share your stories if you have gotten acupuncture or had moxa treatment. 🙂


Korean medicine was originated in ancient and prehistoric times and can be traced back as far as 3000 B.C. when stone and bone needles were found.

It flourished in the period of the Joseon. In 1592, Dongeui Bogam (동의보감) was written by Heo Jun, the major physician of the Joseon dynasty. This work further integrated the known Korean and Chinese medicine of its time and was influential to Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese medicine at that time.

In the early nineteenth century, the Sasang typology (사상의학) was written by Lee Je-ma, the historical physician who developed much of traditional Korean medicine. He classified human beings into four main types, based on the emotion that dominated their personality and developed treatments for each type. The four types are Tae-Yang (태양 or “greater yang”), So-Yang (소양 or “lesser yang”), Tae-Eum (태음 or “greater yin”), and So-Eum (소음 or “lesser yin”).


Some major features of traditional Korean medicine are;

1. Traditional Korean medicine takes comprehensive treatments. It doesn’t focus on curing the diseases locally, but finds the cause of the illness holistically. Then it adjusts physiological disorder so that the disease can be cured.

2. In Traditional Korean medicine, to anatomize or experiment on bodies to figure out the source of the illness doesn’t occur. Instead, it tries to figure out the source of the illness by observing our bodies as they are.

3. Traditional Korean medicine cures the diseases depending on patients’ constitution.

Methods of treatment in general

Herbal medicine

Herbalism is the study and practice of using plant material for the purpose of food, medicine, or health. They may be flowers, plants, shrubs, trees, moss, fern, algae, seaweed or fungus. The plant may be used in its entirety or with specific parts being used. Herbal medicines may be presented in many forms including fresh, dried, whole, or chopped.


Acupuncture needles are a medical instrument used to cure ailments by the method of withdrawing blood and stimulating certain points on humans and animals by inserting them on specific pressure points of the body. Acupuncture enhances the flow of vital energy (also known as “Qi”) along pathways (called meridians).


Moxibustion is a technique in which heat is applied to the body with a stick or a cone of burning mugwort. The tool is placed over the affected area without burning the skin.


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