It is known that Qiongyugao was created by Chinese Shin Cheol-ong. Shin Cheol-ong found that Qiongyugao made of four kinds of medicines (Korean ginseng, di huang, fu ling, and honey) is highly effective for dry cough, and Hong Joon in the Sung Dynasty compiled his experiences and orally transmitted prescriptions into Hong-ssi-jip-heom-bang, which is the first record on Qiongyugao.


The treatment effect of Qiongyugao is so excellent that it appears increasingly frequently in medical books. It was introduced in Gu-seon Hwal-in-sim-beop (Methods of Vitalizing Human Mind) by Joo Gwon in the Ming Dynasty, and Jang-ssi-eui-tong by Jang Ro in the Qing Dynasty. In Korea, the medicine is explained in detail in Dong-eui-bo-gam written by Heo Joon in the mid Chosun Dynasty.


A Korean Local Legend of Qiongyugao based on Korean Oriental Medicine Book

Everything in the world has a sequence. That is, we need to distinguish between what is first and what is next. The contents of Dong-eui-bo-gam are extensive, but they are organized orderly according to their importance in diagnosis and treatment. Considering this, we can say that Qiongyugao itself summarizes the characteristics of Korean herbal medicine.

Qiongyugao is the first prescription in Yang-saeng-yeon-nyeon-yak-yi-pyeon (drugs for health and long life) of Nae-gyeong-pyeon in the front part of Dong-eui-bo-gam. The first prescription may not necessarily mean the best drug, but it is quite symbolic.


Qiongyugao is made of home-produced di huang, native honey, home-produced fu ling, and home-produced ginseng. The four materials are mixed up with one another harmoniously. Di huang (mind) has the nature of going down to the ground, fu ling (soul) wandering in the air, and Korean ginseng (spirit) going up to the sky.

These ingredients are harmonized by honey (blood), and honey must be home-produced. Qiongyugao is not effective if it is not made of home-produced materials. Saying again, Qiongyugao is effective only when the contents of Korean ginseng, di huang and fu ling are controlled for each patient. When we take a medicine, we must not expect luck by chance. As mentioned earlier, in order for a drug to be a drug, it must be effective. Adequately prescribed Qiongyugao is genuine Qiongyugao.


The reason that only home-produced ingredients should be used is as follows. Because Korean land is infertile and the climate is changeable, it is not good for producing crops but is very advantageous to the production of medicine. The reason can be inferred from the saying that loach roasted alive in sesame oil is tonic to the body.

That is animals and plants growing where the weather is changeable all the year around and day and night become good medicines. Let me give another example, apple. Apple can avoid fruit drop when temperature difference between day and night is over 10℃, and the larger temperature difference is the sweeter and the larger the apple is. In other words, severe changes produce medicines and change itself is medicine.