9 Benefits of Barley Water (including a recipe!)


By Anitha Gomathy

Barley water is a wonderful natural beverage, which helps to prevent urinary tract infections for those who opt to enjoy it on a daily basis. But there are many other benefits to this easy-to-make tonic, which are outlined below (along with 2 simple recipes).

Here are 10 reasons to incorporate barley water into your daily routine (note: barley is not gluten free).

UTI’s: This has been used as a natural remedy for urinary tract infections in both adults and children. It also prevents strong urine odor.

Weight loss and cholesterol maintenance: There has been research on barley water, which has shown it to be very beneficial in lowering cholesterol. It may also help keep you satiated for longer periods of time, making it a perfect tonic to include in many weight loss plans.

Kidney stones: Regular consumption of lemon barley water has been recommended while flushing kidney stones. Barley is rich in magnesium, which may help to prevent kidney stones from occurring in the first place, as well as aids in flushing out toxins. The insoluble fiber in barely water can also act against gallstone formation.

Skin health: Drinking barley water often and applying it topically on acne affected areas helps to reduce inflammation, providing a soothing effect. When applying to the skin, you’ll want a thicker formula, so opt for less water when making the mixture (you want it to be thicker like an oatmeal).

Cardiovascular health: Fiber is extremely beneficial for your cardiovascular system. It may help to prevent atherosclerosis, which is a build-up of plaque on the arteries.

Detoxing: Barley water acts as a wonderful natural body cleanser, flushing toxins from the body and keeping you hydrated. Drinking lemon barley water also helps to improve immunity!

Cooling down body temperature: This tonic helps to cool the body and in some countries, people choose to consume barley rice during the warmer summer months for its natural cooling properties.

Digestion: Consume a glass of hot barley water everyday for better digestion and to aid in fighting constipation or feelings of nausea.

Hydration: This is a great, healthy substitute to soda, coffee and other caffeine-laden beverages, which ultimately dehydrate the body.

Diabetes: Magnesium has been shown to react with enzymes in the body involved in regulating insulin levels and may reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

Extra benefits include:

Antioxidants: Great for cancer prevention and the promotion of a healthy heart.

Vitamins: Rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and vitamin E, makes barley water a great option!

9 Benefits of Barley Water (including a recipe!)
Barley water is commonly available in supermarkets. However, making a fresh, delicious homemade version that is free from artificial colors, preservatives and sweeteners is recommended for both quality and taste.
Serves: 4 cups
  • 1 cup organic Pearl Barley
  • 5 cups water
  • Juice of ½ - 1 lemon (to taste, or other fruit if preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey (optional to taste)
  • Cinnamon stick (optional)
  • Fresh ginger root (optional, to taste)
  1. Wash the Pearl Barley and soak it in water for at least an hour.
  2. Place the Pearl Barley, water, ginger and cinnamon in a pan. Switch the heat on.
  3. Boil it and then simmer for 20-25 minutes with the lid off. This will reduce the amount of water by about ⅓. The grains should be softened and cooked.
  4. Switch off, strain and add a few drops of lemon juice to the water (you can alternate with mint leaves, orange or lime juice, maple syrup, other herbs and spices etc.). Set cooked barley aside.
  5. Add honey to taste, stir and leave to cool. Now your homemade barley water is ready!
It is best to drink it on the day of making. It can also be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

BONUS Recipe: Raw Version of Barley Water
  • 1 cup organic Pearl Barley
  • 5 cups water
  • Juice of ½ - 1 lemon (to taste, or other fruit if preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey (optional to taste)
  • Cinnamon stick (optional)
  • Fresh ginger root (optional, to taste)
  1. Place all of the above ingredients into a large glass jug and cover with a breathable lid or kitchen towel.
  2. Stir the mixture and let it sit for 24 hours.
  3. Strain and serve.

The left over cooked barley can be used for:

  • Bulking out and thickening soups and stews.
  • Combining with chopped nuts, seeds, raisins and other dried fruits for an alternative to muesli or porridge. This has natural sweeteners and is high in dietary fiber.
  • Added to salads for taste and texture.
  • Pop it in your blender and use it as a thickener for your smoothies.


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Anitha Gomathy
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Anitha Gomathy

Editor, Reporter, Linguist and Freelancer at Anitha Mecheri
Anitha Gomathy started her career as a journalist. She has worked as an editor and reporter with various media outlets in India. Currently, she is a full fledged linguist and freelancer with her own translation agency, which provides all kind of language services in almost all languages. Medical translations are her favorite!

As an editor and reporter, she has worked for different health magazines (online and print). She is very interested in various health topics and new developments in the medical field. This keen movie-buff and passionate-art-lover is also a self-confessed foodie.
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