The Seoul Yangnyeongsi Market, located in Dongdaemun-gu, eastern Seoul, is the capital’s hub of herbal medicine.
Walking through the market, one may be struck by the fragrances in the air created by the wide variety of herbal ingredients -- from ginseng and dates to milk vetch roots. The smell of “hanyak,” traditional Korean herbal medicine, provides comfort and relaxation for many, as it invokes memories of aromas they may have smelled at their grandparents’ homes.
The Seoul Yangnyeongsi Market has expanded, centering around Bojewon, a clinic from the early Joseon era (1392-1910) that was established to treat people using herbal medicines. Although the clinic is now gone, more than 800 herbal medicine shops are located in the market catering to people searching for unique ingredients.
Seoul K-Medi Center, a multipurpose cultural complex established to promote traditional Korean herbal medicine, hosts educational programs, exhibitions and activities related to the traditional cures.
The center also runs the Seoul Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Museum, the Yaksun cooking classroom and a K-beauty shop that offers a variety of cosmetics and hair products made from medicinal herbs.
Photos by Park Hyun-koo
Written by Park Yuna