Korean Folk Medicine

In Korea, when men get sick (usually the common cold) it is frowned upon or made fun of by other male peers to go see a doctor. Men feel it is inferior or feminine for a man to have to get treatment when all he has to do is go out drinking with his buddies. The folk remedy is to fill up a glass to the brim with beer and soju (korean hard liquor) and sprinkle the top with ground pepper. Then he must proceed by drinking the entire cup in one shot. The hard liquor mixed with the ground pepper temporarily alerts and rejuvenates the sinuses. Initially, this makes the person feel a sudden shock from the liquor and feels relieved from his sickness. This is apparently the alpha male thing to do in Korea.


Obviously this method has no medical base but it isn’t so uncommon and particular to Korean culture. I’ve heard from others that if one has a hang over, it is best to take a shot of whiskey or vodka and that will cure the hang over. Surprisingly the method has worked for me and others. I am not so sure about alcohol curing colds though. From my informants explanation, this remedy is mostly practiced to reveal how manly (or not) one is within the peer group.