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Health Benefits of Chinese Pearl Barley aka Coix Seeds

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Job's Tears Permission granted to use under GFDL by Kurt Stueber

Job's Tears Permission granted to use under GFDL by Kurt Stueber

What is Chinese Pearl Barley also known as Job's Tears aka Coix Seeds?

Do you know the health benefits of Chinese Pearl Barley? Are you looking for more information about this healing herb? I have provided some information and sources to find out more on this page. Known as Job's Tears, this grain (not a type of barley actually) has long been revered for its health benefits in Asia. Known by the Chinese name Yi Yi Ren, and it's Japanese name Hato Mugi, it has been used as a general health tonic, primarily benefiting the functions of the spleen, lungs, and skin.

You can enjoy it alone, mix it with rice, or add to soups and stews. It's also wonderful as pilaf or risotto.

"Job's tears seems to be safe when in food amounts. There isn't enough information to know if taking Job's tears in pills as a supplement is safe."

I am not a doctor or medical practitioner of any kind. I am simply reporting on my understanding and research for this grain. Please seek the advice of your doctor for any medical issue and notice the warnings I have posted on this page.

In view of the numerous health benefits of this widely distributed staple food, are you thinking of incorporating this grain into your diet?

THIS PAGE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health.

Hato Mug is Job's Tears

This is the way the distributor describes this product: "Considered medicinal in the Orient, this ancient grain is less sticky than brown rice. Enjoy it alone, mixed with rice or in soup. Macrobiotic, Vegan, Raw, Kosher, Gluten-Free "

Heirloom varieties are traditional varieties that have been grown for many generations, without hybridizations of the strain or genetic alterations.

Job's Tears in Chinese Medicine

Coix Lacryma-Jobi (yi yi ren)

The nature of Job's Tears is slightly cold; sweet; and it is attributive to spleen, stomach, lungs, liver, and large intestine.

The seeds are from an annual grass that grows to 1-2 meters tall with white globular seeds that resemble pearl barley.

The therapeutic effects are to promote diuresis and invigorate the spleen; relieve dampness obstruction and eliminate phlegm; clear away heat and drain the pus; anti-rheumatic. Suitable for scanty urine; swelling and pain in joints and sinews; rheumatism; lung infections; cough with blood in sputum and dry scaly skin.

Source "From Foods "n" Herbs"

Do not take Job's tears if:

*You are pregnant or breast-feeding.

*You are scheduled for surgery in the next two weeks.


Two Kinds of Job's Tears

Jobâs Tears

Jobâs Tears

Chinese pearl barley can be found in Asian grocery stores, Chinese ones in particular, in transparent, plastic packaging, typically labeled, "Pearl Barley." It is spherical, pearl white, and larger than rice. There's also a brownish groove on one side of the grain.

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You shall be able to find both raw and cooked Job Tears. The cooked one is not meant to be eaten immediately but is fried to have its property turned from cool to warm (part of the concept of Chinese food therapy). Source

Job's Tears Korean Dish

Badagnani Kongbap

Badagnani Kongbap

"...kong bap (a mixture of rice with various grains and beans, Korean cuisine). Visible ingredients include dried short-grain rice, glutinous rice, red rice, black glutinous rice, barley, sorghum (Indian millet), azuki beans, green peas, black soybeans, Job's tears, and corn." ~Badagnani

cc Photo by Badagnani

Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way

such as Job's Tears

Bestselling cookbook author Lorna Sass demystifies whole grains, such as Job's Tears, with a thorough grain-by-grain primer followed by more than 150 irresistible recipes. She shares tips for buying and storing these grains as well as the best and simplest way to cook them.

Be cautious with this combination

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with JOB'S TEARS

Job's tears might decrease blood sugar levels. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking Job's tears along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others. ~~WebMD

More Info About Jobs Tears - From Healthy Doses

"Coix lacryma, also known as "Job's Tears", is a food-herb that many people confuse with barley. It is actually referred to as Chinese pearl barley in North America because it has a similar taste and appearance to common barley.

Chinese pearl barley is not really barley at all. While misleadingly called "barley," it is not in the same genus as true barley (Hordeum vulgare). While barley, or H. vulgare, has its own healthy benefits, Chinese pearl barley has also been known as an anti-tumor agent and an alternative treatment for cancer. Chinese pearl barley is used as a traditional Chinese tonic for primarily the skin, lungs, and the spleen.

Coix lacryma-jobi var. ma-yuen is harvested as a cereal crop and is used medicinally in parts of Asia." ~Healthy Doses


"If there is heat, cool it;

if there is cold, warm it;

if there is dryness, moisten it;

if there is dampness, dry it;

if there is vacuity, supplement it;

and if there is excess, drain it."

- Neijing,

The Yellow Emperor's

Classics of Internal Medicine

How does it work?

From WebMD

"Job's Tears is a grass.

The grass, root, and seed of the plant are sometimes used as a medicine.

Job's tears contains chemicals that might interfere with cancer cell growth. Other chemicals might also have antioxidant effects and also decrease growth of bacteria and parasites. But most research on Job's tears is in animals and test tubes. There isn't enough information to know if Job's tears has this activity in people. Fiber contained in Job's tears might also decrease how much fat and cholesterol the body absorbs.

Job's tears seems to be safe when consumed as a food substance. There isn't enough information to know if taking Job's tears in pills as a supplement is safe."

Job's Tears Benefits

by Julia Woodford

" It improves the flow of water throughout the body, so it can be used by those experiencing water stagnation such as abdomenal bloating and edema (excessive water weight). Coix is also commonly used in many formulas for arthritis and rheumatism since these conditions are associated with excess moisture."

"In terms of nutrients, Job's Tears contain numerous amino acids, lysine, arginine, B1, adenoisine, and thiamin."

"Regarding preparation, Coix can be used as an extremely healthy and nutritious grain substitute in cooking, and there are currently a number of products on the market which use Coix as the food base for diet cereals. (My own Chinese Medicine doctor has recommended regular inclusion of barley in my diet for weight loss. So I plan to start cooking up pots of Job's Tears on a frequent basis so I can have at least one bowl per day.)"

Julia Woodford, July/Aug. 2007

"It is also said to be very nourishing to the skin, helping to clear blemishes and soften coarse skin, thus it is considered as a beauty aid in Asia. By grinding the seeds and mixing with honey, a paste can be made to smooth on problem skin, reducing blemishes and redness."

Treating Cancer with Herbs: An Integrative Approach - An Integrative Approach

Dr. Tierra writes that this medicinal food should form a regular part of the diet of those wishing to prevent or even treat cancer, particularly of the breast, lungs, stomach, and large intestine.

Amazon Product Description states "In this book, Dr. Tierra provides a complete, systematic approach to treating cancer from a holistic perspective, while detailing the entire range of herbs and herbal medicines available to the practitioner and the patient alike."

Storage For Job's Tears

Storage Containers: airtight containers of plastic or glass or tight wrapping.

Storage Locations: refrigerator or freezer.

Shelf Life: several months in the refrigerator and 6 months or more in the freezer.

Macrobiotic Cooking - for Body and Soul

Macrobiotics is a healthy, nature-friendly way of life based on a diet of whole grains, vegetables, and beans. People all over the world have embraced a macrobiotic diet because of its health benefits including higher energy, beautiful skin, and a tranquil mind,

What Do You Think About Job's Tears? - I love to hear from my readers

canhealth on May 26, 2014:

I like the idea of treating cancer with herbs, they have a lot of healing properties.

EbooksFreeWeekl1 on September 22, 2012:

Because of your lens, I think a lot about Job's Tears! Tealady, I am a sucker for health benefits! Thanks for creating this lens :)

Pat (author) from Midwest, USA on July 10, 2012:

@greenmind: Webkangaroo, thanks for saying hello!

GreenMind Guides from USA on July 10, 2012:

wow, this is a really great lens, thanks. I never knew any of this!

dream1983 on June 22, 2012:

Great lens, nice informations! Squidlike

anonymous on April 18, 2012:

I loved Pearl Barley in Prgy and Bess!! She stole the show!

JoshK47 on April 13, 2012:

Great lens - chock full of awesome information, to boot! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

squidoolover76 on September 16, 2011:

Lovely lens and as according to my choice,thanks

yourpersonaldiet on December 21, 2010:

Awesome job. And Yes I have also not heard about it before.

Jeanette from Australia on November 22, 2010:

I have to admit that I had not heard of these Job's tears before. So you have given me a fascinating and informative read.

scar4 on November 16, 2010:

Super Job, love it !

Thomas F. Wuthrich from Michigan on October 04, 2010:

An excellent informative lens. I will ask about Job's Tears when I next visit the Chinese food and herbal store I go to. You've piqued my curiosity. Thanks for the information! Thumbs up.

lindamiller on June 26, 2010:

Thank you Pat. I just ordered from Amazon through your link. :)

lindamiller on June 25, 2010:

Thank you Pat. You are a real blessing!

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