Cheongsimwon ― must-have drug for travelers
By Yi Whan-woo
The summer vacation season is at its peak, and holidaymakers are rushing to the countryside to climb the hills and mountains or to relax by the sea, or even traveling overseas.
While packing some people may forget to include first-aid items.
Medical experts recommend vacationers take “uhwang cheongsimwon,” a traditional Korean herbal medicine, to better cope with unexpected situations.
It is an over-the-counter remedy and the anxiolytic pill is comprised of ox bezoar, civet, and herbal ingredients.
The pill is effective when people panic and need to return to a calmer state, according to Ryu Jong-hoon, a professor at the college of pharmacy at Kyung Hee University.
“The study suggests that uhwang cheongsimwon is a good anxiolytic medicine without generally stimulating locomotor activity due to exposure to a new, strange environment,” Ryu stated in his study on the medicine in 2009.
It was originally made by Heo Jun, a royal physician and the author of an encyclopedic medical book written in the 17th century during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910).
The UNESCO-registered “Donguibogam” states uhwang cheongsimwon is a remedy for middle-aged or older patients who tend to pass out because of a stroke or hypertension.
It is now produced by Kwang Dong Pharmaceutical, one of the country’s leading drug manufacturers. It can be used for those with cardiovascular and hematopoietic problems.
The company’s version is called Original Woo Whang Chong Shim Won. It is available as either a pill or syrup and can be purchased at local pharmacies.
The firm adds precaution is required in regards to dosage depending on one’s age.
“Anyone older than 8 can take the medication but we strongly recommend that they first consult with a pharmacist for the appropriate amount,” a public relations official of the firm said.
Kwang Dong has exported the medicine to Japan and pharmacists there have recognized its effectiveness. They formed an academic research organization called Keigyokukai in August 1988 to introduce Woo Whang Chong Shim Won to customers.
The group has 420 members. In 2008 and in 2012, they visited Kwang Dong’s facilities in Seoul to conduct extensive studies on the medication.