Barley is the first cereal grain cultivated by humans, with records of its use as both food and medicine dating back to 7000 B.C. Early Asian and Middle Eastern cultures also consumed young wheat and barley grass. Ancient Greeks used the mucilage from the cereal to treat inflammation, while Roman gladiators ate barley to boost their strength and stamina, as previously noted. Here SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD, HealthLine.com, reflects on barley tea nutrition, benefits, and side effects, medically reviewed by Natalie Butler, LD, RD:
“Barley tea is a popular East Asian drink made from roasted barley. It’s prevalent throughout Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China.
Served both hot and cold, it has a light amber color and mild, toasted flavor with a hint of bitterness.
In traditional Chinese medicine, barley tea is sometimes used to help treat diarrhea, fatigue, and inflammation.
This article reviews barley tea, including how it’s made, its potential benefits and downsides, and how to prepare it.
What it is and how it’s made
Barley is a gluten-containing grain. Its dried kernels are used like many other grains — ground to make flour, cooked whole, or added to soups and stews. It’s also used to make tea.
Barley tea is most commonly made by steeping roasted barley kernels in hot water, although premade tea bags containing ground roasted barley are also readily available in East Asian countries.
Whole barley is rich in B vitamins and the minerals iron, zinc, and manganese, but it’s unclear how much of these nutrients are infused into barley tea during the steeping process (1Trusted Source).
Traditionally, barley tea is not sweetened, although milk or cream may be added. Similarly, the tea is sometimes mixed with roasted corn tea in South Korea, which adds sweetness. Plus, today you can find sweetened bottled barley tea products in Asian countries.
Barley water, another common drink in Asian countries, is made by boiling raw barley kernels in water rather than steeping them. The soft, boiled kernels can then be removed or left in the water prior to consuming the beverage.
Barley water is also common in countries like Mexico, Spain, and Great Britain, where it’s typically sweetened.
Traditional medicine has used barley tea to combat diarrhea, fatigue, and inflammation. Unfortunately, many of these applications are not supported by research. That said, the tea appears to be completely safe to drink and even offer some health benefits.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/barley-tea-nutrition-benefits-and-side-effects#benefits
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