It might feel like summer is over, but we still have at least a few weeks of hot weather left to go. Cool off with some cleansing barley tea.
When I was growing up, a tall glass pitcher of barley tea was always chilled in the fridge in every household in Japan. This non-caffeine tea has been enjoyed from young children to elderly, just like sodas in this country.
It usually comes in tea bag, and all you have to do is fill the pot with water, and put one tea bag and chill. In a few hours, you can enjoy this slightly nutty, roasty-flavored tea throughout the day (or 2 days if you add more water).
Though this tea is so widely consumed, not so many Japanese (including me) are aware of its amazing health benefits. Here are some of them.
1. It cleanses your blood.
A substance, pyrazine, in barley tea is shown to prevent blood coagulation and improve circulation, which lowers the risk of heart/coronary diseases.
2. Barley tea is rich in antioxidants & minerals.
Barley is rich in antioxidants, which protect & heal from cell and DNA damages. Good for anti-aging, healthy skin, and improve overall immune system. Barley tea is also rich in minerals, replenish them on a hot sweaty summer day. It helps neutralize acidic condition of your blood and other bodily fluid to maintain internal homeostasis.
3. It has a natural cooling effect.
According to Eastern medicine, barley is more “yin” food, which naturally cools down your core body temperature. It’s true from my own experience that nothing is so refreshing than a glass of chilled barley tea on a hot & humid summer day!
4. Barley tea breaks down fat and cleanses the liver.
Barley is also known to help break down excess fat in the body. Along with its blood cleansing effect and antioxidants, barley is listed as one of the most “liver-healthy” food in Japan, and this tea is excellent after you had fatty BBQ or fried chicken.
Barley tea can be enjoyed chilled, warm or hot, so you can drink throughout the year. You can add slices of lemon or other fruits to add a little flavor. But no sweeteners, please.
This summer, keep a nice chilled barley tea in your fridge or carry with you in your water bottle, and stay cool!
To find barley tea, go to nearby Japanese grocery store or you can purchase it online.