Thanks to my friends Janiece S and Sonja S for their amazing contribution!!
We have used it. It's always what we reach for first. In fact, I was in the hospital for a time and had a lung collapse from too much fluid input from the IV. I called my friend and asked her to sneak some barley water in to me. It worked! I was out if there two days later, rather than five, as doctors predicted.
Here's the recipe I use ( you can find various recipes of this)
1/3 c hulled barley. 1/4 or 1/2 cinnamon stick.
1 gallon purified water ( or best you have available).
1t cream of tarter
Boil water, barley, and cinnamon stick. Lid on. Turn off, let steep 20 mins. Strain into a gallon pitcher. Stir in cream of tarter. Pour s cup and drink. Add ice as needed. You can also make ice cubes of these and store in freezer in a zip lock for emergencies ( for asthmatics). Drink as often as you feel is needed. I've been told or works faster than an inhaler for some. It's pretty much a main remedy during flu season at our house.
The recipe that Sonja gave is excellent! Some people make it with lemons or other fruits or with ginger or mint. Some people sweeten it with honey. We like it just plain if there is no cream of tartar in it. It is rather mild. I only use cream of tartar for lung issues that are severe. Actually, even the lung issues have responded well without the cream of tartar too. I actually rarely use it. You can find different recipes for barley water on the internet or experiment with your own as once you have the barley water, you can add what you want to it.
You also can pour boiling water over barley in a thermos and let it sit for several hours. I use this a lot for the ease as well as just to keep it warm through rough nights where we are turning to it frequently. My family prefers it warm when they have a cough.
You can use pearled barley, but you are getting greater benefit with hulled barley.
It is also used for many other conditions and is a great general tonic. If you are LDS think of the Word of Wisdom ... barley for mild drinks. We often have it in the refrigerator to drink daily. We use in for water in various recipes, etc.
Though I have not seen all of the research or had personal experience with all of this, here is some other info I have learned about barley water. Occasional searches on google always reveals something new and interesting about barley water.
-It contains almost all vitamins and minerals, like calcium, magnesium and potassium, zinc
apparently it is very high in magnesium which people are almost always deficient in.
-It a rich source of vit B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and Vit E (FOLATE!)
-It contains phosphorus to help process calcium and vitamin K, cell repair and reproduction
-it contains copper - important for people dealing with inflammation and arthritis.
-It contains fiber
-It contains amino acids
-A good source of Lysine
-Antioxidant properties, including lignans important for fighting and preventing cancer and heart disease
-Reduces risk of developing type II diabetes as it helps with blood sugar levels
-UTI or kidney issues
-Maintain good bowel function or constipation -- great for digestive health
-Helps restore fluid and electrolytes balance (though I'd add salt to it for this purpose.)
-Good if you have diarrhea for the reason listed immediately above this
-Lowers risk of hemorrhoids or bowel cancer
-Fights bacterial infestations of the intestinal tract
-Lowers risk of atherosclerosis and other cardiac diseases
-Helps with gallstones and kidney stones
-Helps with cell growth and repair
-Research suggests it may be helpful in treating hepatitis
-Cool barley water for fevers, to soothe and heal stomach, irritable bowels, dry coughs, diarrhea, cystitis, irritable bladders
-Laryngitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, soothe sore throat
-Excellent was for raw, itchy skin
-Has PD41 which has a strong action on DNA = cures cell death, delays aging, cures pancreatitis, stomatitis, dermatitis, lacerations of the stomach and duodenum.
-Reduce breast cancer in postmenopausal women
-Remedy to fair up skin complexions and reduce/prevent wrinkles, softer skin
-Can be used for cleansing the skin
-Arthritis or other inflammatory diseases
Barley Water for Women
-Nutritious during pregnancy and breast feeding
-Increases lactation, soothes afterpains of breastfeeding
-Regulates digestion for mother and baby
-Helps with weight loss after baby
-Helps alleviate morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy
-Provides essential nutrients to mother and baby during pregnancy
-Improves digestion and prevents constipation and hemorrhoids during pregnancy
-Helps fight infection and diseases during pregnancy
-Prevents gestational diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels during pregnancy
-It helps prevent nasal congestion that is common during pregnancy
-It improves blood circulation during pregnancy
-Prevents high blood pressure, varicose veins and edema during pregnancy
-Prevents formation of gall stones during pregnancy
> So how do you cook the barley? Where do you get it from? How much do you give them. This sounds really interesting and I'd love to have it on hand when needed. Thanks so much for sharing!
> Barley water with cream of tartar. Cooking the barley with a bit of a cinnamon stick helps with the flavor of the cream of tartar. This stuff is so simple and so amazing!! We have had it help breathing, coughing, asthma, pleurisy, pneumonia and 2 yr long lung pain thought to have been caused by scar tissue until it went away with an evening of drinking barley water. A family favorite and the first that we go to for things like this.