November 28, 2020

Barley water health benefits

If you haven’t heard much about barley water just yet, it’s time to learn all about it. Made from an ancient grain, this water is an incredible beverage that has actually been a dietary staple diet since the beginning of civilisation.

Barley might more commonly be associated with beer nowadays, but this power grain has plenty of health benefits when used in foods and drinks. For a start, it’s an excellent diuretic, and can cure urinary tract infections and also help the body to keep cool during the summer months. 


It contains a whole host of essential nutrients, including soluble and insoluble fibre, vitamins, essential minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc and copper, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.

Let’s delve into the full range of benefits you can get from barley water.

1. Good for detoxification

Drinking a glass of barley water before breakfast helps flush out toxins

Regularly drinking barley water, such as drinking a glass before breakfast, helps you to flush out toxins from your body and intestines through the urinary tract. This process is largely triggered by a group of sugars called beta-glucans, which are found in the cell walls of barley. 

As a result, barley can help in cleansing the internal system of the body.

2. Home remedy for urinary tract infections

We briefly mentioned that barley water acts as a diuretic, and for this reason, in many households, it’s considered to be a natural remedy for urinary tract infections. If you can’t get to a doctor, try drinking a few glasses of barley water on a daily basis until your infection subsides. Barley water is also said to be a good remedy for kidney stones or cysts.

3. Helps to assist in digestion

Barley water can help in the digestion process

Research has found that barley water acts as a digestive tonic, which means it can help with the process of digestion. Barley water is often recommended to people suffering from constipation or diarrhoea, thanks to its high fibre content. 

It can also help to restore the electrolyte balance during infections. As barley water is a fairly light drink, it’s easy on the stomach, and because it contains essential minerals, it also helps with various digestion-related processes in your body.

benefits of barley water and how to make it

4. Promotes weight loss

Barley water promotes weight loss

Barley is an excellent source of fibre, making it a great option for people seeking to lose weight, as it tends to fill you up for a longer time, therefore cutting down your food intake. When you drink a glass of barley water with breakfast, the fibre from the beverage will take longer to pass through your digestive system, helping you to stay away from those naughty mid-morning snacks. 

Not only that, but barley water is good for digestion, and it also stimulates the metabolism of fats. Keep in mind, though, that this definitely doesn't mean that you can indulge in fatty foods and expect barley water to work its magic.

5. Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

Helps keep blood sugar under control

Barley is a good source of beta-glucans, and also works towards keeping check on blood cholesterol by preventing the body from absorbing LDL and triglycerides from food. It has also been proven in testing to keep blood sugar under control by improving insulin resistance. 

Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory properties that not only help in cooling the body but in protecting the heart as well. If you have diabetes, you may be particularly interested in the ability of barley water to lower your blood sugar after eating.

How to Make Barley Water

Now you know the benefits of barley water, you might be interested to try it out yourself. You can buy barley water from the supermarket, but where’s the fun in that? If you really want to make the most of this healthy drink, it is best to stir it up at home. It’s simple to make, and you can even use flavour boosters and sweeteners to improve the taste.

You’ll just need a quarter of a cup of pearl barley, four cups of water, a pinch of salt, and an optional drizzle of honey and a squeeze of lemon juice.

You can add an optional drizzle of honey and a squeeze of lemon juice to your barley water

To get started, gather your ingredients, then heat the water and pearl barley in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Next, add the salt and let it simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Give the grains an occasional stir with a spoon. 

Then strain the liquid into a glass, and add your lemon juice and a little honey to your taste. Let it cool completely before drinking. You can also keep it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and then have it.

If you love to get experimental with your seasonings and flavours, you can use ginger, cinnamon, cumin seeds, and other spices, or orange juice to enhance the taste of your barley water. And if you happen to have any leftover grains, there’s no need to waste them – they can be used to make cereals or salads, or as a thickening agent for curries and smoothies.


It’s fun and easy to make your own barley water, and there are so many health benefits of the drink that make it all the more worthwhile. So give it a go yourself – you just need some barley, tap water, and your favourite sweeteners, and you’re all set.

About the author

Tim Russell

I am passionate about health and wellbeing and have writing for over 10 years on the subject. I have a BSc Hons Degree and undertake vigorous research to help people improve their lives and live more a healthy and happy life.

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