Thermal nature: cooling.
Flavor: sweet and salty.
Healing Properties TCM:
- Strengthens the spleen-pancreas, regulates the stomach, and fortifies the intestines,
- Builds the blood and yin ﬂuids and moistens dryness.
- Promotes diuresis,
- Benefits the gall bladder and nerves,
- Very easily digested
a decoction of barley water (2 ounces pearled or roasted whole barley to
a quart of water) is traditionally used for convalescents and invalids: treats
diarrhea (pan-roast before cooking),
- Alleviates painful and difficult urination,
- Quells fever (use in a soup),
- Helps reduce tumors, swellings, and watery accumulations such as edema.
Kinds of Barley:
- Sprouted barley is a common Chinese herb; it is slightly warming and has a sweet ﬂavor:
- Treats indigestion from starchy food stagnation or poorly tolerated mother’s milk in infants,
- Toniﬁes the stomach,
- Alleviates stagnant liver signs including chest or upper abdominal swelling and tightness,
- Strengthens weak digestion and poor appetite in cases of spleen-pancreas deficiency,
- Also useful in candida yeast- induced digestive weakness.
- Whole barley, sometimes called “sproutable,” is mildly laxative and contains far more nutrition than the commonly used “pearl” variety, including more ﬁber, twice the calcium, three times the iron, and 25% more protein. To remove the laxative property, roast whole barley until aromatic before cooking. This also makes barley, which is considered the most acid-forming grain, more alkalizing.
- In addition to its use as a cereal or cereal cream (from ﬂour), Roasted barley can be ground to a powder and stirred into hot water as a drink, or decocted as a tea in its whole berry form.
Both the tea and drink relieve summer heat and fatigue, and act as digestive aids and coffee substitutes.
Roasted whole barley or pearl barley can worsen cases of constipation.
If you want to learn more about energy and healing property of Whole Grains, visit our Membership site of follow our online programs of read our books “Food as medicine”.
 Pitchford, Paul, Healing with whole food. Asian tradition and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, 2002.