Koreans Defend Against Microdust (Smog) with Red Ginseng

IVol.9_1n Seoul, Korea, the colors of N Seoul Tower tell the density of microdust during the day. The city government is using these lights to notify the citizens about the level of air pollution in the area quickly and easily for the citizens. On days with clean air, blue lights adorn the tower, but on polluted days, red lights warn the citizens to stay inside.

The lights on N Seoul Tower has stayed red for several days in a row recently, to which Koreans are taking more interest in taking care of their health.

According to a report by YTN, Korea’s first 24-hour TV news network, red ginseng is more effective in alleviating inflammation from microdust than medicine, which is increasing red ginseng’s popularity.

Research by Professor Lee Deok-cheol of Korea’s renowned Yonsei University Severance Hospital and Professor Kim Jeong-ha of Chungang University showed that microdust irritates skin and mucous membranes in the body, which red ginseng can help alleviate.

The research team exposed laboratory rats to microdust to cause inflammation in their bronchial rubes and pulmonary cells, and injected red ginseng and anti-inflammatory medicine in different groups. The result was that the lab rat group with red ginseng injection was found to have the least inflammatory materials in their bodies.


The researchers forecasted that continued consumption of red ginseng can lead to improved immune system, as well as partial prevention of bodily inflammation caused by microdust.

Red ginseng consumption by Koreans are continuing to rise, as well.

Jeong (age 45), who is a salesperson at Myeongdong store of Cheong Kwan Jang, Korea Ginseng Corporation’s red ginseng brand, said: “Compared to last year, red ginseng sales are higher this December in preparation of the lunar year. People hear that red ginseng is effective in increasing immune functions and preventing bodily inflammation caused by microdust, and ask for red ginseng products much more recently.”

Jeong (age 28), who works at Gangnam, where microdust levels are exceptionally high even in Seoul, said: “My eyes hurt and I feel like my throat is filled with mucus even after a short time outside. I always wear a mask before going outside, wash my hands after coming home, and drink red ginseng tea after brushing my teeth to protect my health.”

Hallyu stars boost ginseng popularity

Vol.9_3 Korea Ging Corp.´s red ginseng products have gained international popularity after hallyu celebrities were seen drinking the healthy products in dramas, according to company officials. KGC officials said demand for “Korea Red Ginseng Extract Everytime Royal” among other ginseng products, is soaring in China and other Asian countries thanks to popular actors such as Song Joong-ki and Kim Woo-bin.

“Korea Red Ginseng Extract Everytime Royal,” which is a tube-shaped, easy-to-carry product that contains red ginseng tonic, has been featured on the popular dramas “Descendent of the Sun” and “Uncontrollably Fond.” The officials added that the dramas changed young people’s stereotyped idea of ginseng goods as traditional health-related products for elders, to

easy and trendy healthy treats for them. The popularity expanded beyond the nation to hallyu fans in China and Hong Kong. Red ginseng is widely known to have remedial effects such as helping the immune system, stamina and blood circulation.

*Hallyu : Korean Wave
By Song Ji-won (jiwon.song@heraldcorp.com)