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The healing effects of barley water
Barley water was already known in ancient times. The barley was boiled with water, the grains were strained and the remaining liquid was drunk. Today, barley water is even sold as a finished product in the supermarket in Great Britain, for example. It is also reported that barley water is served on the table by the Royals almost every day.
In ancient Egypt, barley was a staple. At that time it was already known that this grain is not only filling, but also has a healing effect. So a decoction of barley grains was administered as a drink to strengthen during and after illness. Barley water was also used to fortify in ancient Greece. The poet Homer described a dish made from barley as the “marrow of men”, as a tonic.
The barley water is rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Above all, magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin E, silicic acid and the B vitamins are contained in it. For example, 100 grams of peeled barley contains approximately four times the magnesium of 100 grams of banana. The barley water is a healthy source of protein, is digestible, regulates the blood sugar level, keeps you full for a long time and reduces cravings.
The health effects of barley
In the following lines you will learn more about the positive health aspects of barley water.
Improves cholesterol levels
The European Food Safety Authority has determined that regular barley consumption works as a natural cholesterol lowering agent. This is due to the beta-glucan contained in it (a vegetable fiber). This binds bile acids, which are then excreted through the digestive tract. This is how the “bad” cholesterol - the LDL - is intercepted, bound and transported away from the body. The "good" cholesterol, the HDL, however, remains unaffected.
Good for digestion
Barley water is basic and therefore good for digestion and also for the whole organism. This home remedy also contains a large amount of insoluble fiber, which is important for a healthy intestine. The barley water helps with constipation as well as with diarrhea, supports hemorrhoid therapy and is good for the stomach. It also prevents the formation of gallstones.
Helps you lose weight
Since barley water, as already mentioned, has a positive effect on the intestinal flora, this indirectly boosts the metabolism somewhat. This can also be useful when losing weight. Another positive effect is that the water has a satiating effect and reduces cravings.
Healing for the stomach and intestines
The slimy consistency of the barley water has an extremely positive effect on the mucous membranes in the stomach and intestines. In case of gastric mucosa or intestinal inflammation, drinking this healing drink is recommended.
Good for the heart
It is known that a high-fiber diet can also have a positive effect on the heart. As the barley water contains fiber, as has already been mentioned several times, this is also good for our vessels and thus somewhat reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Reduces the risk of diabetes
How important a healthy bowel is for us is becoming increasingly clear. Correlations between a Diabetes II disease and poor intestinal flora are now being discussed. The barley water ensures a healthy environment in the intestine and regulates the blood sugar level. This reduces the risk of diabetes.
Has a cooling effect on the body
Especially in summer, on hot days, the British use the barley water, called "Barley Water", to refresh themselves. This cooling effect on the organism can also be used with fever. Incidentally, the body is also strengthened. The fever-lowering effect can be supported by the addition of elderflower syrup or linden blossom tea.
Preparation of barley water
For the preparation of barley water, the barley should first be soaked for a few hours (80 to 100g barley, preferably from certified organic cultivation, in two liters of water). Then the whole thing is brought to a boil and should then simmer for an hour or two. The barley should be cooked really soft, the liquid should be reduced to one liter. Then everything is skimmed off through a sieve and the healing water is ready. The barley grains remain and can be eaten, for example, as an addition to the salad.
If you want, you can refine the taste of the barley water or increase the effect with the addition of spices. We recommend cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, lemon peel, cloves and, for example, raisins or figs, which are easily cooked with them. Depending on the taste, the additives are left in the water for a short time or until the end. When the barley water is ready, it is drunk straight, mixed with lemon, orange or apple juice or sweetened with honey or sugar. The barley water stays in the fridge for a maximum of three days and can be drunk both cold and warm.
Effect of the added spices:
Cinnamon is helpful for diabetes, ginger helps the stomach and intestines, cloves stimulate the metabolism, lemon contains vitamin C, raisins and figs are good for the intestines and naturally sweeten the barley water.
Can everyone drink barley water?
Children and pregnant women are also allowed to drink barley water. Some midwives recommend this water to mothers for milk production. For this, 50 g of barley in two liters of water are boiled for about one to two hours, strained and then refined with honey and a dash of lemon juice. For a day or two, they take a sip of it. However, people suffering from gluten intolerance (celiac disease) should avoid barley in any form.
Recipe: barley water with ginger and figs
For this you need:
- Two dried figs
- 80 g barley,
- 20 g peeled ginger,
- a pinch of salt,
- the juice of a lemon
- and two liters of water.
The figs and ginger are cut into small pieces and brought to a boil together with the barley, a pinch of salt and the water. Then the whole thing simmer for about an hour or two - until only about a liter of liquid is left. After straining the barley kernels, add the lemon juice. This drink not only tastes good, but supports every diet and can replace a meal every now and then. (sw)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Susanne Waschke, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
- Temelie, Barbara; Trebuth, Beatrice: The Five Elements Cookbook: The Practical Implementation of Chinese Nutrition for Western Cuisine, 2009