|▲ Lee Geun-sik, President of South West Coast Hwangchil Cooperative|
Excellence of Korean hwangchil
According to oriental medical books, hwangchil (dendropanax morbifera: a kind of tree) helps recover from fatigue, improves symptoms of stoke, arthritis, heart disease and stomach ache, and strengthen the kidney function, and balances the menstruation period. Popular from ancient times, however, the buzz started to decline from 200 year ago and seemed to be almost forgotten from the people. But a surprise came suddenly when an habitat of the tree was found in South Jeolla Province 30 years ago. 7 areas of the province and one area (Seogwipo) of Jeju Island were proven to be eligible to cultivate this valuable tree and the South West Coast Hwangchil Cooperative embraced the 7 areas into affiliated branches and is producing 100% fermented-natural juice products by technology transfer from the team led by Prof. Ji Yeon-tae at Chonnam National University. “The hwangchil extract and fermentation technology-driven juices are produced under a strict producer safety management system from gathering and transport to drying, manufacturing and selling” says the cooperative president Lee Geun-sik. The roots, stems, DIV and barks are all going through the low temperature extracting process which then goes through 29 days of microorganism cultivation and fermentation to be a 100% juice; it is then made into various products. With this excellent producing system, the cooperative obtained a venture certificate, ISO9001 and ISO14001 and the products are being supplied to many oriental medicine clinics and hospitals in Korea at the moment. “Passing down the wisdom and medical practice of our ancestors in application with the western medicine is our job to create a healthier life for the people.” Meanwhile, the cooperative president Lee published a book <Lee Geun Sik’s Story of Hwangchil> and currently is busy preparing for holding ‘World Hawangchil Festival’ in April next year with a hope to spread excellence of Korean hwangchil to the world.
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