My name is: Grace Yoon.
My stomping ground is:I was born and raised in Dallas, TX and currently reside in New York and South Korea.
I’m known for being: Founder and chief herbalist officer at Qi Alchemy, Korean wellness pioneer, Korean herbalist, plant and mushroom lover, forager.
I'm talking about: I am Korean-American and had the privilege of living with both of my grandmothers, each of whom played an influential role in my life and shared their Korean heritage with me. My maternal grandmother was an Eastern medicine practitioner, so I started receiving acupuncture and taking herbal medicine at a very young age. My product Qi Alchemy is an ancient herbal remedy that Koreans take on a regular basis to help reduce inflammation, support balanced energy and improve your skin. Our hero ingredient is fermented red ginseng that has many health benefits, and Korea is known to produce the highest quality red ginseng in the world.
You can find it at: Online at qialchemy.com and at specialty retailers like Bonberi Mart and The Alchemist’s Kitchen.
Before I launched this, I was: I’ve been in the health and wellness industry for over six years, where I worked at early stage start-ups in corporate meditation and also wellness hospitality. I always knew that I wanted to focus my career in health and wellness based on my cultural roots.
My interest was sparked when: While I was walking through an herbal market in Korea, it made me question why these sorts of herbal remedies were unavailable in America, a country where three in five people die from chronic inflammatory diseases which result in strokes, respiratory illnesses, heart disorders, cancer, obesity and diabetes. I wanted to share these effective ancient herbal remedies with the Western world.
What inspired me to start this was: My grandmother was like a second mother to me, and her death impacted me and made me realize that life is short. We spend nearly 70 percent of our time working, and none of my previous jobs made me feel alive and excited about work. A few days after my grandmother’s passing, I was standing on my apartment rooftop overlooking the Empire State Building, and I saw a white flag waving. In my consciousness, the word “surrender” entered and resonated with me. I didn’t want to let society’s definition of success dictate the rest of my life. I knew if I continued on the corporate path, I wouldn’t be able to make an impact in the world. That’s when I decided to quit my job and work for start-ups while building my company.
The idea behind it is: These ancient herbal pearls have been passed down from generations of royal physicians and people in Korea take these pearls on a regular basis to help relieve pain, inflammation and boost the immune system.
What makes it different is: The beautiful pearls are an ancient medicinal remedy dating back to the Joseon Dynasty in the 1300s, so I wanted to package it in a way that was modern but also represented Eastern culture in an alchemical way. Korean culture has become globalized from K-pop to K-beauty, and I strongly believe K-wellness practices will influence the way people approach their health and wellness.
Our secret ingredient is: Fermented red ginseng has many great benefits such as reducing inflammation and increasing energy, mental focus and clarity. Our proprietary blend goes through a six-year harvest and fermentation process which produces high levels of saponins, a chemical compound in ginseng that offers anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties as well as antibacterial effects.
My favorite lesser-known detail is: There’s a reason why Korean women have the longest lifespan in the world.
It’s especially important to boost our health right now because: We live in a world where our foods are processed and don’t contain adequate nutrients that our body needs, so it’s important that we take natural herbal-based remedies to help nourish our bodies.
My favorite new ritual for self-care is: Starting my morning drinking room temperature water then brewing a hot cup of Qi Alchemy herbal pearls while reading and meditating.