This herb medicine district in Gyeongdong Market, which was established in the 1960s, is where 70% of all Oriental medicine in Korea is sold. Traditional clinics all around the country purchase their herbal medicine from sellers here at Gyeongndong Market, and regular customers visit every season to buy the medicine they need. You can walk down an alley of the market that has the pungent aroma of herbal medicine or visit Seoul Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Museum. Most of the stores here serve as gathering spots for the older generation and as traditional medicinal clinics. The medicines’ expiration dates, places of origin and level of pesticides are all clearly marked, thanks to strengthened policies and inspections.
An insider's talk
Young people often look for foreign herbs that they’ve seen on TV. As such, antioxidants, such as finger root, chia seeds and hemp seeds, are popular these days. These items are also known to be effective for weight loss. I have been working here for more than 30 years and to exaggerate a bit, all it takes for me to figure out which parts of a person’s body need healing is to look at his or her face. In fact, about two thirds of all merchants here closed up after the IMF crisis. I am worried that another is crisis is coming as I see less customers these days.