In Korea, the hottest period during the summer, July and August, is called “Sambok,” starting with “Chobok,” followed by "Jungbok" and "Malbok" in a ten-day interval. During this period, Koreans eat nutritional foods in order to overcome the heat, and the most loved nutritional dish is Samgyetang.
During hot weather, one sweats a lot, which leads to the depletion of physical health. In the Oriental medicine, sweating itself is viewed as the loss of nutrition. In order to replace the lost nutrients, people eat especially hot nutritional foods during the summer. This is based upon the saying of Oriental medicine, “Heat should be counterattacked by heat only.” It has been believed that when the body heat increases, leading to sweating, due to hot weather, one can overcome the heat with Samgyetang of chicken with *hot energy and ginseng.
In fact, during the hot weather, the external body may be hot as well; however, the internal body tends to get cold and thus, the stomach function is easily weakened. This is why many suffer from diarrhea during the hot weather. Once, however, one eats Samgyetang with hot energy, one’s cold stomach is warmed up. Also, Samgyetang’s ingredients are full of nutrients: chicken is rich in protein and essential amino acid, and ginseng is called as a panacea. Samgyetang is easy to eat and digest.
If one has excessive heat, it is good to replace ginseng with milk vetch roots or add mung beans with *cold energy, thereby striking a balance between cold energy and hot energy. Thus, with the main ingredients of chicken and ginseng, one may add various subsidiary ingredients, depending on one’s individual physique, and enjoy special Samgyetang or fusion Samgyetang.
*Hot energy / Cold energy : This does not mean the temperature of a dish, but this means under the "Oriental medicine whether the digestion of food ingredients make one’s body hot or cold.