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In 'Dong-ui-bo-gam', Drinking Water Influences the Health of the People

20 Feb 2020
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In Korean history, there is a medical book called 'Dong-ui-bo-gam (Principles and Practice of Eastern Medicine' that properly reflects public health consciousness. It was compiled in 1596 and completed in 1610 with a total of 25 books. In July 2009, the book was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 'Dong-ui-bo-gam' emphasized the spirit of nursing and prevention from the diseases. It is said that the treatment of illness is important, but prevention is true well-being. The paradigm of Dong-ui-bo-gam's idea still spreads and recognized not only in Korea but throughout the world. On the other hand, there are about 33 different kinds of water mentioned in Dong-ui-bo-gam. It has said, the drinking water is the most important factor that determines a person's health and longevity.



1. Jeong-hwa-su (井華水): It refers to the well water collected for the first time in the early morning. The nature of the water is flat, sweet, and nonpoisonous. It was believed to replenish negative energy and remove bad breath.  Drinking with tea and bathe with the water every day may help clear your head. 

2. Han-cheon-su (寒泉水): It refers to the well water that is not poured into a jar. The nature of the water is mild, sweet, and nonpoisonous. The water was used to treat diabetes, nausea, fever, dysentery, gonorrhea, and constipation.

3. Gug-hwa-su (菊花水): A pond or source of water covered with chrysanthemums. The nature of the water is gentle, sweet, and nonpoisonous. The water was used to treat strokes, dizziness, and weakness after illness.

4. Nap-seul-su (臘雪水): It refers to the melted snow from the third day of Dongji, lunar calendar. It was used to treat sudden fever after drinking and various poisons. 

5. Chun-wu-su (春雨水): It refers to the rainwater collected on the first of the Lunar New Year. When taken with medicine, it improves the yang energy, the basic energy source necessary for the human body. The married couple took this water for fertility.

6. Chu-ro-su (秋露水): It refers to the dews on the end of the eggplant grass. The nature of the water is mild, sweet, and nonpoisonous. The water was used to relieve diabetes, lightens the body, and make unhungry. It also helps to lighten the skin.

7. Dong-sang (冬霜): It refers to the frost that falls in the winter season. The frost was collected then used to treat hot flashes and nasal congestion caused by cold. 

8. Bak (雹): It refers to the hailstone. About 1.8 liters of hailstones were used to cure soybean paste.

9. Ha-bing (夏氷): It refers to the ice used in the summer season. It is very temperamental, sweet, and nonpoisonous. The ice was used to only cool down the food but not for eating.

10. Bang-je-su (方諸水): It refers to about 0.5 liters of water collected by a huge clam and left under the moonshine. The nature of the water is cold, sweet, and nonpoisonous. It is similar to morning dew. The water is used to treat boil and its scar.

11. Me-wu-su (梅雨水): It refers to the rainwater in May. The nature of the water is cold, sweet, and nonpoisonous. The water helped to clear the eyes, calms the mind, removes fever, and relieves dehydration of the child.

12. Ban-cheon-ha-su (半天河水): It refers to the rainwater held at the end of a fence or in a hole of a large tree. The nature of the water is mild and slightly cold. The water was used to sterilize the wounds and prevent from miscellaneous beings. It was also to treat delirious symptoms.

13. Ok-ryu-su ( ): Water sprayed on the straw roof and received under the eaves. A dog bite can be used to apply soil mixed with jade water. Do not drink it because it is poisonous.

14. Mok-ok-nu-su (茅屋漏水): It refers to the water collected under the eaves after sprayed on the roof. The water then used with Ok-ryu-su ( ), and clay to treat dog bite. The nature of the water is poisonous. 

15. Ok-jung-su (玉井水): It refers to the mountain water in a jade valley. The trees and grass glow green when there is jade. The nature of the water is gentle, sweet, and nonpoisonous. When drank for a long time, the body becomes glossy and soft, and the hair becomes dark. 

16. Byuk-he-su (碧海水): It refers to the seawater, collected in the middle of the big blue ocean. The nature of the water is warm, salty, and little poisonous. It was used to treat scabies and itchiness. 

17. Cheon-li-su (千里水): It refers to the river water that flowed from a far distance. The nature of the water is gentle, sweet, and nonpoisonous. The water was used to control weakness after illness. It also uses to improve intestinal and bladder health. The river water after heavy rain in summer and autumn were not used because of insect contamination and possible snake venoms.

18. Gam-lan-su (甘爛水): It refers to the water that forms bubbles in contact with the air. Waterfalls can be an example. It was to treat diabetes, weakness after illness, and diarrhea.

19. Ryok-ryu-su (逆流水): It refers to slow-spinning water. A whirlpool is an example. It was used to treat phlegm because the water had to turn back characteristic.

20. Soon-ryu-su (順流水): It refers to gentle flowing water. The nature of water is gentle and has characteristics of flowing downwards. It was used to treat back pain and arthritis.

21. Geub-ryu-su (急流水): It refers to fast-flowing streams. The nature of water is aggressive and has characteristics in fast-flowing downwards. It was used to detoxify the urine and treat paralysis under the skin.

22. On-cheon (溫泉): It refers to hot spring water. It was used to treat stroke, muscle and bone spasms, skin swelling, and people with scabies.  Food and medicine were suggested after bathing with this water: the body will feel exhausted. Skin diseases were used in boiling temperature.

23. Neng-cheon (冷泉): Refers to ice-cold water. The nature of water is sour and cold. It was used to treat migraine headaches and chills. Bathing during the day in the months of July to August of the lunar calendar was suggested. Bathing at night will surely die.

24. Jang-su (漿水): It refers to clear surface water on top of the sour raw millets. The nature of the water is lukewarm and sour. It was used to treat dehydration and diarrhea. In the northern part of the region ate soaked raw millets (raw millets were prepared in the boiling water, then cool down under the well) to overcome the heat during summer.

25. Ji-jang-su (地漿): It refers to water after the loess was submerged. It is used to treat various poison symptoms including mushroom poisoning. Fed about more than 1.8 liters (0.47 gallons) to the patients. (The water should be collected from nature, not artificially.)

26. Yo-su (療水): It refers to a water pit in the valley where no human stands. It was used to improve the weak stomach and appetite. The water was also used in oriental medicine preparation for jaundice treatments.

27. Seng-sook-tang (生熟湯): It refers to a mixture of a half bowl of hot water and a fresh half bowl of well water. The nature of water is salty and nontoxic. Patients with pretend and food poisoning were fed more than 1.8~3.6 liters (0.94 gallons) after mixing toasted salt in the water.

28. Yol-tang (熱湯): It refers to boiled water. The nature of water is mild and non-toxic. The more time spend on boiling, the better the effects was said. When not boiled enough, the swelling would occur. It was also used to treat muscle cramps.

29. Ma-bi-tang (麻沸湯): It refers to water boiled with fresh ginseng. It was used to treat consumption fever (tuberculosis) and diabetes.

30. Cho-sa-tang (繰絲湯): It refers to boiled cacoon decoction water. It was used to treat snake poisoning, diabetes, dry mouth, and extinguishes bad energy out of the body.

31. Jeung-gi-su (甑氣水): It refers to the water under the lid of a pot. It was used to treat hair loss.

32. Dong-gi-sang-han (銅器上汗): It refers to the water under the brass lid. When consuming rice with this water, malignant boil and carbuncle might occur.

33. Chui-tang (炊湯): It refers to the overnight scorched-rice water. Washing with this water, the face will look pale and psoriasis will occur.

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