The Korea Herald


[Temple to Table] Giving warmth to the body, wormwood lotus root pancakes

By Korea Herald

Published : Feb. 5, 2022 - 16:00

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Wormwood lotus root pancakes (Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism) Wormwood lotus root pancakes (Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism)
Once in the past I went to the countryside, picked a full bag of wormwood, and returned to Seoul to make ssukgaetteok (mugwort rice cake). I arrived home late at night so I left the bag in the kitchen.

The next day, I opened it and found they had all turned yellow, and I had to throw them away.

Because wormwood has lots of heat energy, it tends to go bad unless you blanch or dry it right away. When you buy wormwood at a market, select plump ones of a proper length that have a whitish part and soft hair on the back of the leaves, not tender thin ones.

What medicinal functions does wormwood have? According to “Dongui bogam (Principles and Practice of Eastern Medicine),” it has warm energy with no toxicity, and it strengthens the stomach, liver and kidneys, which is effective for healing stomachaches. The Bencao Gangmu (Encyclopedia of Herbs) says that wormwood warms up the inner organs and dispels cold and damp energy. Known by diverse names, Korean wormwood is also called “manbyeong-cho” meaning “cure-all herb.” 

A basket of handpicked wormwood (Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism) A basket of handpicked wormwood (Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism)
With the ability to strengthen capillaries, it also lowers hypertension. Wormwood also helps remove blood that has leaked from blood vessels into surrounding tissues, as well as helping with blood purification and production.

It also strengthens the immune system by stimulating white blood cell production.

Replete with minerals and vitamins, it helps detoxify the liver and metabolize fat; it also gives relief from fatigue and slows down the aging process.

Because the warm energy of wormwood protects the body and dispels cold energy from within, its continual intake is recommended for those who are physically weak or want to get pregnant. When one’s hands and feet are unusually cold, they often take a foot bath in hot water in which dried wormwood and chili peppers are infused. With enhanced blood circulation, hands and feet begin to perspire and one feels refreshed.

Wormwood lotus root pancakes


100 g wormwood

1 lotus root

2 tbs flour

Pinch of salt

Some cooking oil

Perilla oil

1 tbs honey



1. Trim wormwood, wash several times, blanch in boiling water with salt, and rinse in cold water.

2. Squeeze excess water from wormwood and cut into small pieces.

3. Wash lotus root, cut 6 thin slices with skin on, and grate the rest on a grater.

4. Mix the wormwood, grated lotus root, flour and salt in a bowl, adding enough water to make a proper batter.

5. Put cooking oil and perilla oil on a pre-heated pan, and place a spoonful of batter on the pan to form a round pancake. Put a slice of lotus root on top of the batter and press lightly to embed it. Flip over and cook until golden brown. Serve with honey.

Article by Ven. Yeogeo

Provided by Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism


Temple food is food of the ascetics who express gratitude for all forms of life and wish for peace for the whole world. The Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism operates the Korean Temple Food Center where guests can learn and experience temple food. -- Ed.