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Benefits of Barley Water for Digestion & Immunity

  • Published on: 21 January, 2018
  • Last update: 21 January, 2018

One of my nutritional textbooks has an index of “therapeutic liquids” in the back, and I was surprised to see “barley water” listed for chronic fatigue and poor digestion. I’ve had barley soup before, but never thought of boiling it alone into a tea-like broth!

Turns out, this drink is an ancient elixir that’s been used for centuries to strengthen the body all over the world.


  1. IT’S PACKED WITH IMMUNE-BOOSTING BETA GLUCANS – Beta glucans are naturally occurring sugars found in the cell wall of mushrooms and plants such as oats and barley. As an immune boosting agent, they activate & stimulate our own macrophages and natural killer cells (which go on to fight cancer and tumor formation)! They are often used medicinally for high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. Beta glucans are especially helpful to bolster and strengthen the body in cases of chronic fatigue syndrome & other instances of physical and emotional stress.
  2. IT’S A DIGESTIVE TONIC – In Ayurveda, barley water is considered a digestive tonic, especially for those with low ‘Agni’ (digestive fire). The recipe below adds in additional warming herbs that strengthen the digestive force.
  3. SUPPORTS THE KIDNEYS & HELPS TREAT URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS – For centuries, barley water has been used to support and nourish the kidneys in times of stress. It soothes inflammation, clears heat, and helps flush harmful bacteria from the body
  4. LOWERS CHOLESTEROL & SUPPORTS HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS – Drink before meals with lemon for maximum benefit.


  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • 5 cups filtered water
  • ¼ cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 slices of ginger
  • juice of 1-2 lemons

Heat the barley, water, cinnamon stick and ginger slices in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, occasionally muddling the barley with a spoon. If you have organic unwaxed lemons, you can simmer the peel for the final 5 minutes which intensifies the taste.

After cooling, strain the mixture and add the juice of 1-2 lemons. Store in the fridge and drink 1-3 cups daily.

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