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:
- Chinese barley (30g).
- Winter melon sticks (15 to 30g), depends on your sweetness preference.
- 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!
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!
Here's an alternative if you are busy...
This instant beverage powder contains red bean, Chinese barley (strong properties in removing dampness in body).
It also contains red dates, Chinese yam and wolf berries which helps to harmonize the whole product so it is not too cooling (for the spleen).
This beverage only takes 2 minute to prepare (just add hot water) and it is a great substitute for your morning tea, coffee or milo.
Hope this helps!