Barley Water Benefits In TCM

chinese barley water

Barley drink is very common in Singapore but do you know its benefits and not everyone is suitable to drink it? In this post, you will learn what is the benefits of barley drink and how to cook an effective barley drink for you and your family.

First thing first, its Chinese name is called 薏苡仁 or 薏米。Its English name is called coix seeds but we often called it barley here in Singapore. There are two types of coix seeds, one is Chinese barley (they shape bigger and rounder) and the other type is called the Holland barley. The following is a comparison of these two barley:

For the purpose of its healing effects, we will be using Chinese barley in this post as its benefits are more obvious compared to the one from Holland. 

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Chinese barley has cooling properties, so it can help to reduce heatiness in body. But the main benefits of barley is it helps to reduce water retention, especially in the lower part of your body. Drinking barley water can also helps to lose weigh because it helps to eliminates excess 湿 (dampness) in your body.

Other benefits recorded in TCM for barley is it can also help to relief diarrhea, but this is more of a secondary effect, I don’t suggest to use just barley to treat diarrhea. Barley also has the benefits of detox and prevents cancer cells forming.

In short, it is a wellness drink for most people when the weather is warm or you want an effective and affordable method to lose weigh through eliminating water retention. 

People who are not suitable to drink barley water 

In general, everyone can enjoy the barley water except for women who are pregnant. The reason is because barley also has 滑利 properties (sorry, I can’t find a suitable English translation for this word). 

 

How to prepare an effective barley drink

The following recipe is for one person (two cups). Do adjust the amount accordingly if you are preparing for more people. The ingredients you need are:

  1. Chinese barley (30g).
  2. Winter melon sticks (15 to 30g), depends on your sweetness preference.
  3. Water (750 to 900g), depends on how much the water vaporised when cooking. At the end of the cooking, you should left with two cups (each about 250ml) of water.

The cooking method is very simple. Wash and rinse the barley and winter melon sticks and put them into the water. Turn on the fire and bring the water to boil. Once the water boils, turn the fire to smallest and let it simmer for 20 to 30min. Turn off the fire and enjoy the barley drink!

Winter melon sticks
Winter melon sticks

Adding winter melon sticks here is to enhance the effect of eliminating water retention in body. Most melons, especially winter melon has the effect of getting rid of excess dampness in body. Two common ways to identify dampness in your body is if you have water retention or loose / sticky stools most of the time.

Do note that you need to drink this water for a period of time if you want to see visible results. I suggest you can start from two to three times per week. Also, avoid (if you can’t do it totally, then reduce) fried, oily and spicy food as they encourages dampness in your body.

Let me know if you have any questions, if not, enjoy your barley drink and its healing effects!

chinese barley water
Chinese barley water (you can add some lemon slices to flavor)

iHerb Promo Code SG (Updated Sep 2019)

iherb discount codes

I have been a iHerb customer since 5 years ago and I highly recommend their products not only because the price there is cheaper but also their range of products are organic as compared to the common brands we found in local department stores.

I always update this page with the latest iHerb promo code for Singapore customers. The code for current month is: ZIM276. You can enter this code every time you buy from iherb, you will save 5 to 10% depending on the products you purchase.

The following are some of my favorite products just to share with you in case you want to hit the minimum spending for free shipping.

  1. African Black Soap Bar – This help me save tons of money! Being one of the highly rated products on iHerb, I use this soap to clean my face twice a day. It helps to calm my skin and reduce acne problems. You can read the reviews here. This soap only costs SG$5 and can be used for months!
  2. XyliWhite, Toothpaste – A lot of the toothpaste in the market contains SLS (Sodium Lauryl sulfate) and paraben which are not good for our gums. I use this brand for several years already and like it very much. This product also has one of the highest reviews in iHerb.
  3. MegaFood Multi-vitamins – I have blogged about the importance of organic multi-vitamins before in this blog post. The only brand I buy nowadays for multi-vitamins is MegaFood. Click here to see a range of products they carry.
  4. Coromega, Omega-3 Orange Squeeze – This is a unique product. I don’t like to swallow big fish oil capsule so I prefer this brand where it is in gel form that I can easily squeeze it into my mouth and swallow it. This is my way of getting my omega 3 daily intake.

Do you have any iHerb products to recommend? You can share with me in the comments section =)

Just a reminder, the iherb promo code for Singapore is: ZIM276.

P.S. If you are located in other countries, you can also use the same code above to get the same discount. This code is universal =) 

Learn how to choose which herbal tea is suitable for you

In Singapore, there are many types of herbal tea and do you know how to choose which one to drink? In this post, I will share some common types of herbal drink you can find in Singapore and their properties so you can make the right choice for your health!

1- Chrysanthemum (菊花) Tea / Drink

Chrysanthemum is the most common herbal tea or drink you can find in most herbal stalls or shops in shopping mall.

The main property of Chrysanthemum is cooling (beneficial for lungs and liver). It can help to reduce body heatiness, headache and dizziness, and swollen / painful eye area due to liver heatiness.

Thus, you should choose Chrysanthemum tea / drink if you experience some headache, dizziness especially due to lack of sleep these few days or just starting to have some flu (heaty type) symptoms such as sore throat and keep feeling your mouth is dry.

2- American Ginseng (洋参) Tea / Drink

Good american ginseng is expensive and helps in strengthening qi (补气) but the type that you find in common herbal tea / drink normally do not have such strong potency.

The main property of american ginseng is strengthening qi (beneficial for heart, lung and kidney) and cooling effect. For the purpose of this blog post, american ginseng tea / drink has the effect of cooling and small effect of boosting your qi (energy).

Thus, you should choose american ginseng tea / drink if you often experience tiredness, and mouth dry. You can also choose american ginseng tea / drink if you feel that your palm and feet often feels hot.

3- Monk Fruit (罗汉果) Tea / Drink

Monk fruit also known as Siraitia grosvenorii or more commonly Luo Han Guo (罗汉果) in Singapore. It can help to reduce heatiness in lungs and improvement bowel movements (beneficial for lung and big intestine).

The main property of Luo Han Guo is to soothe throat and moisturize lungs. It also helps to ease constipation.

Thus, you should choose Luo Han Guo tea / drink if you have sore throat or feels that you have symptoms of sore throat coming. Also choose this drink if you have minor constipation these few days. Lastly, it will also help in dry cough (very hard to spit out the phlegm).

NOTE: Do visit a TCM physician if you have coughed for more than 2 weeks, because herbal tea will not cure the root issue of the cough.

4- Chinese Barley (中国薏米) Tea / Drink

Chinese barley is another very common type of herbal tea / drink in Singapore. In fact, I highly recommend most people to drink Chinese Barley because of our Tropical climate here. Chinese Barley can help to reduce water retention and strengthen spleen. Out of all the herbal tea / drink, Chinese Barley is the only one that can strengthen one’s spleen.

The main property of Chinese Barley is to help you get rid of excessive water in your body especially in spleen and lower part of your body. This is why Chinese Barley is a common herb to use to treat swollen angle, feet and lower part of the leg due to water retention.

Thus, you should choose Chinese Barley tea / drink if you have water retention in the lower part of your leg or generally you have weak spleen (have stomachache after cold drinks and oily food). Chinese Barley can also helps in weigh loss but you must make it a habit to drink it consistently to see results.

Caution: Women who are pregnant please consult a TCM physician before you make Chinese Barley a regular drink.

Note: There are two type of barley, one is Holland Barley which main property is cooling and the other one is Chinese Barley, which we mention in this blog post. make sure to choose the right one when you buy.

5- Honeysuckle (金银花) Tea / Drink

Honeysuckle is also a common type of herbal tea / drink in Singapore. Out of all herbal tea / drinks, Honeysuckle has most cooling effect and is highly recommended for people who are very heaty!

The main property of Honeysuckle is cooling and detox (beneficial for lungs, heart and stomach).

Thus, you should choose Honeysuckle tea / drink if you have bad breath, sudden rush of acne or feeling very heaty (symptoms of sore throat, mouth dry and keep wanting to drink water and urine appears very yellowish and feels hot)

Caution: Honeysuckle is extremely cooling hence it is not suitable for people with weak spleen. If you often have diarrhea after drinking cold stuff or oily food, then I would say Honeysuckle is not suitable for you.

A Note About Mixed Herbal Tea / Drink

It is now very common for you to see mixed herbal tea / drink such as
Chrysanthemum with Luo Han Guo or
Chrysanthemum with American Ginseng. For such herbal tea, you can refer to their each effects above but I strongly encourage to go for the individual herbal tea if you need relive in a particular symptom, for example, if you are only having a sore throat, then I would suggest you choose Luo Han Guo rather than
Chrysanthemum with Luo Han Guo.

I hope these information helps! If you like a particular herbal tea / drink but didn’t see it listed here, you can comment below and I will consider adding it to the list!

TCM Food / Dessert for Constipation

tcm food dessert for constipation
tcm food for constipation

In this post, I will share a very simple-to-prepare dessert that everyone can try at home to relief constipation.

That is – Papaya Aloe Vera dessert.

Both aloe vera and papaya have the effects of increasing bowel movement. In fact, aloe Vera is classified as 泻下药 in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).

Both papaya and aloe vera can also help to improve liver functions. Papaya helps in liver detox while aloe helps in decreasing heatiness in liver.

This dessert is suitable for people who has constipation or heatiness in liver (symptoms such as redness in the eye or feeling giddiness).

If your stomach can’t take cold stuff (always have diarrhea after taking cold stuff) , then you can add some longan (龙眼) in this dessert.

I have been using Del Monte Aloe Vera and I find that their aloe vera has good effects. You can purchase this brand of aloe vera in the local supermarkets (I bought mine in AMK NTUC).

tcm dessert for constipation

I hope these information helps someone out there!