Job’s tears (Coix lacryma-jobi), also called coix seeds, adlay millet, Chinese pearl barley, 薏苡仁 (yi yi ren), hato mugi, yumul, are used both as food and a medicinal herb in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It has been cultivated for centuries in Asia and Africa as an heirloom grain, and should not be confused with the common Western barley – Job’s tears is gluten-free while Western barley is a gluten-containing grain.
In TCM, the sweet, bland and slightly cooling seeds is used as a spleen tonic in the treatment of fatigue and diarrhoea, to resolve dampness associated with wind-damp conditions such as stiff joints, arthritis, emphysema, cough, and asthma, as a diuretic to relieve edema, and to disperse heat. Job’s tears also has a reputation for beautifying the complexion by helping to eliminate acne and other blemishes.
Job’s tears can be used as a grain-like dish on its own, or mixed into congee, soups and teas. Soak the seeds in water at least 1 hour before using.« Back to Glossary Index