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Barley Tea: Health Benefits, Side Effects And How To Prepare

Barley tea is a popular herbal drink widely consumed in East Asian regions like Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The tea is prepared by roasting barley seeds and then using them for the tea preparation. In liquor industries, germinated and dried barley are used as a source of malt for the production of beer.

Barley tea has multiple health benefits such as weight management, glucose control and digestion improvement. It is famous for its high fibre content, smokey aroma and roasted taste. A study has shown that barley grains, which are used in preparing barley tea have vital nutrients like beta-glucans, antioxidants, polyphenols, arabinoxylan, phytosterols, tocols, and resistant starch.

The best thing about roasted tea is that it can be enjoyed both as a warm and cold beverage. Also, it can be sipped after adding low-fat milk or honey as a sweetener. Take a look at the details.

Health Benefits Of Barley Tea


1. Prevents allergies rhinitis

A study has shown that fermented barley grain extract can reduce the effect of inflammatory cytokines and may help treat allergic rhinitis symptoms such as nasal congestion, headache and runny nose. Though not many studies are conducted on the use of barley tea against allergies, seeing the positive effect of barley fermented extract, it can be considered an appropriate remedy to treat the condition. [2]


2. Acts as anti-diabetic

Barley tea can be an effective remedy in the prevention of diabetes, after considering its positive results on mice. The tea is best used as an alternative for sugary drinks due to its low-calorie and high fibre content. Barley tea can be an effective antidiabetes remedy. [3]


3. Can help with male fertility problems

Barley grains are packed with a vital mineral and antioxidant called selenium. The mineral is known to improve sperm motility and its quality for better fertilisation. Low selenium count in the body is responsible for fertility problems in both men and women along with muscle weakness, hair loss and mental fog. [4]


4. Slows down ageing

In research, barley tea was examined and it was found that the tea improves cognitive functions, maintains intestinal microbiome and reduces the risk of heart diseases, thus increasing the lifespan of a person to approx. four weeks. Along with these, it also delays cognitive decline and spatial recognition due to ageing.


5. Boosts immunity

Barley tea contains an active protein called peptide which is linked to boosting the immune system. The other major immunomodulatory substances in barley tea include beta-glucans and arabinoxylan. They are known to increase the production of bone marrow cells and white blood cells which helps improve immune functions. [5]


6. Reduces inflammation

The phenolic compounds in barley tea are responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties. Barley contains polyphenols like ferulic acids and p-hydroxybenzoic. This helps reduce inflammatory cytokines in the body and reduces inflammation.


7. Prevents cardiovascular diseases

Barley tea has cardioprotection property. The presence of vitamins (A, C, B1 and E), flavonoid (saponarin) and amino acids (tryptophan) in barley tea helps in heart disease prevention. Also, beta-glucan in barley grains is known for reducing cholesterol levels which help prevent heart diseases.


8. Regulates blood pressure

Beta-glucan is a form of soluble dietary fibre which is widely known for its positive effect on heart diseases and hypertension. This nutrient helps lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure and reduce blood pressure. [6]


9. Improves bowel health

As barley is high in dietary fibre and known for laxative properties, it helps bulk the stool and promote bowel movement. Barley is also an ideal diet to prevent haemorrhoids and relieve constipation.


10. Reduces chronic kidney diseases

The two essential nutrients in barley tea; vitamin B6 and magnesium helps in breaking down the solid masses of calcium oxalate which are mainly responsible for kidney stones. This helps prevent chronic kidney diseases like kidney stones or UTI.


11. Has anti-cancer properties

The presence of beta-glucan, phenols, flavonoids, resistant starch and arabinoxylan in barley grains is responsible for its anticancer effect. Also, the antioxidative and immunomodulatory effect of the tea helps in the prevention of colon and other cancer types. [7]


12. Prevents metabolic syndrome

Barley tea has positive effects on the oxidation on LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) due to the presence of polyphenols. The high amount of abnormal cholesterol in the body is mainly responsible for metabolic syndrome. Reduction in bad cholesterol thus, helps prevents the condition.


13. Accelerates wound healing

Beta-glucan in barley tea also helps to repair wounds by promoting tissue granulation and inducing the multiplication of cells. It promotes the proliferation of human fibroblasts that helps accelerate wound healing. [8]


14. Treats sleep disorders

Whole grains such as barley are natural dietary sources of melatonin. It helps increase the production of melatonin in the body, which further helps in treating sleep disorders like insomnia. Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the body to regulate the circadian cycle. [9]


15. Acts as a detoxifying agent

Barley has more than 20 properties, including detoxifying effects. It helps filter the harmful toxins from the body and promote good health. The laxative property of barley also helps in detoxification.


Side Effects Of Barley Tea

  • Beta-glucan in barley tea may trigger allergic symptoms to people with celiac disease.
  • The high fibre content in the tea may cause constipation or loose stools.
  • A compound named acrylamide released from lightly roasted barley can be cancer-causing among a certain group of people, if taken in a large amount.

How To Make Barley Tea


  • 1 litre of water
  • 2 tablespoons of roasted barley (In low flame, stir barley grains continuously in a frying pan or skillet until they get brown. Don't use any oil).
  • Honey (optional)
  • Method:

    In a boiling water, add barley grain and boil for 5 minutes at low flame. Switch the gas knob and allow the mixture to steep for 5 minutes. Strain and drink. You can also refrigerate it and consume. If you prefer a little sweetener, add honey.

    Common FAQs

    1. How much barley tea should you drink a day?

    Barley tea shouldn't be consumed more than two or three times a day. Though it has potent nutrients and active compound, it may cause constipation or loose stool if consumed in high amount.

    2. What are the benefits of barley tea?

    Barley tea may help prevent diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, digestive problems and chronic kidney disorders. It can also treat sleep problems, slows down ageing and treats male fertility problems.

    3. Is barley tea good for weight loss?

    Barley tea is low in calories and high in fibre, antioxidants and other vital nutrients which may contribute to weight loss.