3 Koryo medical classics

The traditional medicine was largely developed and applied in Asia. Although some folk medicine are transmitted by tradition in other continents, Asia, particularly Korean Peninsula and its neighboring countries can be considered to be leading the exploration and application of traditional medicine. It is because the traditional medicine in these countries boasts the long history, is scientifically systematized in rationale and patently works.
Since the rational medical service was first available in the eastern part of the globe, it used to be called the eastern medicine in contrast to the medical science which was originated in Europe, the western part. Now countries name their traditional medicine after the typical age in national history. DPR Korea calls its traditional medicine Koryo medicine symbolic of the historic time when the unified territorial sovereignty had been established in all Korea-Koryo Dynasty.
Koryo medicine is native to Korea as it was invented by the ancestors and came a long way of historic development and not only has originalities in theory and recipes distinguished from other oriental traditional medicines but is the invaluable legacy of national medicine which has been developed in conformity with local life style and ethnic constitutional characteristics. The archaeological unearthing brought to light the fact that the ancestors had made application of sharps and medical herbs to management of sickness as early as 5 000 years back. The history of Koryo medicine, as a matter of course, spans the same long as the one of Korean nation.
Throughout the long historic course, the ancestors explored into formulation of the systemized theory of the national medicine, and “Hyangyakjibsongbang”, “Uibangryuchwi” and “Tonguibogam” are counted as the 3 Koryo medical classics of the nation out of the descendent works.
“Hyangyakjibsongbang” had been compiled in 85 volumes during the period of 1431-1433, in which a formulary of 10 706 Koryo medicines for 959 kinds of disease and 1 479 methods of acupuncture are written and names, properties, efficacies, indications, timing for collection, processing and incompatibilities of 694 kinds of Koryo medicinal stuff etc. are listed.
“Uibangryuchwi” which came in 1445 is an encyclopedic book that integrates into one the then 150 Koryo medical references which recorded the experience and achievement until gained in the national medicine.
“Tonguibogam” which was published in 25 volumes in 1613 is a collection highly acknowledged not only in those days but today as it presents the critical theories and methods of treatment and the corresponding recipes of Koryo medicine clarified in the preceding books in brevity and well organized systematic manner. The collection comprises the information about 1 400 kinds of locally available Koryo medicinal stuff, 1 800 kinds of single-medicine prescription and 3 600 kinds of composite-medicine prescription as well as acupuncture and moxibustion and a variety of caring of health.
The above help scientifically categorize, systemize and specialize Koryo medicine to put it onto a further modernized standard.