Friday, November 03, 2006

Barley tea. Doctrine and Covenants 89:17

DC 89:17 "Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain."

One of my Korean customers introduced me to barley tea. You can buy it in tea bags at Asian grocery stores. I recently bought a box of 30 bags for $2.75. Each bag is enough to make 3 cups, so it works out to about 3 cents per serving. (Cheaper than herbal tea.) You can also buy roasted whole barley (usually found at Asian grocery stores too) and put it through a mill or coffee grinder and brew it in a coffee maker or one of those tea-pots with a built in strainer.

Click here for a recipe for making barley tea from whole roasted barley or how to roast your own barley from pearled barley.

It does need a sweetener though. I prefer honey or raw (turbinado) sugar.

This was brought to mind after an investigator asked our missionaries about green tea. They checked with the mission president, and said that green tea is to be avoided like black tea per the Word of Wisdom.


At 11/03/2006 12:44:00 PM, Anonymous danithew said...

Do you drink barley tea straight or with sugar?

At 11/03/2006 02:32:00 PM, Blogger Rob Osborn said...

Do you really think the "mild drinks" referred to here are non-alcoholic? I have interpreted hte "mild drinks" here as being low in alcohol content like beer. If they contain no alcohol then they couldn't be classified as "mild" drinks. This is in contrast to verse 5 where we are to abstain from "strong drinks" which are high in alcohol content and are not made with grain or barley but are instead distilled drinks.

Just my 2 cents.

At 11/03/2006 03:07:00 PM, Blogger Bookslinger said...

danithew: With raw, brown, or turbinado sugar.

Rob: Yes, I think "mild drinks" refers to non-alcoholic.

My purpose in this was not to debate the details of the verses, but to point out a way to obey the positive side of the Word of Wisdom. I'm also big on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

I kind of like tea made from roasted barley, and I'm grateful one of my customers turned me on to it. The recipe linked to above also mentions some health benefits of barley tea.

Barley tea ties into my recent activities and this blog because it is available at Asian grocery stores, where I sometimes go and offer people copies of the Book of Mormon in their native language.

And, I have to admit I thought the title would draw traffic, which it has. :-)

And hey, it turns out barley tea is cheaper than Postum! 3 cents/serving (not counting the sugar). What a deal!

At 11/03/2006 09:56:00 PM, Anonymous Burkingshaw said...

Readers need to understand the point of Korean’s use of barley tea. You see, Korean water isn't so safe to drink. It needs to be boiled for a good long time first. Barley tea first put in water makes the water cloudy. It is only after boiling the water turns clear. Thus, by simply looking at the water one can tell if it has been boiled and is presumably safe to drink. As a missionary in Korea, we often would boil our water without adding barley, so we could drink regular-tasting water. When offered a drink from us, no Korean would ever have any, for fear that it may have been less than clean. Barley tea was really more practical than good. I don't recall it ever having been sweetened in Korea. Its primary use was simply hydration. Your use of it as an enjoyable herbal tea drink seems a bit odd to me.

At 11/03/2006 11:24:00 PM, Blogger Bookslinger said...

Burkingshaw, Thanks for the insight.

Indianapolis has drinkable tap-water, and these Korean clients also had bottled water available. They were drinking it as a warm beverage, much like one would drink coffee at the office. And I think they put sugar in it. So for those folks, it may have been out of habit for the taste, but it wasn't because the drinking water needed to be boiled first.

The store I bought this in had it in the coffee/tea section. I've also bought a 2 pound bag of roasted barley at one of the Asian stores before I knew that the barley-tea bags were available, but I thought it was for cooking at the time, rather than tea. Now that I know how to make it from barley, and have a coffee grinder, I will use the bulk roasted barley when the bags run out.

At 11/06/2006 01:37:00 AM, Anonymous lief said...

Barley tea was a staple for us missionaries in Japan, too. It is drunk hot in winter, cold in the summer. I prefer it cold. Also, you can make a decent "milk tea" out of it with 1/2 sweetened barley tea and 1/2 milk.

At 2/06/2008 09:46:00 PM, Blogger scrivens said...

It has always worried me at my recommend interviews that I didn't even know what a barley drink was. My bishops would always tell me it was no biggy but I want to follow the good and the bad. A bishop in Georgia told me that at the time the Word of Wisdom was reveiled, many people were drinking a mild barley drink and that there are still some places in Utah were they sell it. I don't know much about it, never lived in Utah or Korea but I think that the WHOLE section of D&C 89 was reveiled by the Lord to Joseph Smith. I'm really excited to try your recommendations. I don't think anybody is horrible if they don't, Just personal preference I guess. Thanks!

At 12/30/2008 12:32:00 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

For almost 30 years I've been soaking whole wheat, barley, and/or rye in 2/3 water and 1/3 grain, 24 hours, strain and drink. The "mild drink" is not yet fermented, but has germinted the grain. If left only a few hours longer it starts fermenting, and becomes a "strong drink". Finally, sprout the grain and eat with whatever. Taken from "Living the Full Word of Wisdom" by Jack H. West.

At 8/25/2011 10:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: 12/30/2008 "Living the Full Word of Wisdom" by Jack H. West. I had a copy of his talk but have lost it. Can "Steven" tell us where to find one for sell?

At 8/29/2011 01:24:00 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

Dear Anonymous,
I have not looked to see where someone could buy a copy of Jack West's "Living the Full Word of Wisdom", but I have copies and I'm willing to make more if you can't find the real deal. I know it's worth the investment.

At 6/21/2012 08:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have looked at several barley recipes. The only difference is in the type of water used. Some recipes just say water. I would think distilled or water without chlorine would be best.

1/4 Cup Barley (Preferably dehulled, not pearled) cook the barley in about a quart of the distilled water. Once the barley comes to a boil, decrease the to low and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Let it cool, then strain the barley through a fine mesh strainer and pour it into a gallon jug and fill the jug with distilled water. Every morning pour a little barley water into a glass and put 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar into the glass and drinks it. Then pour a large glass of the barley water, and drinks that.

For the last 30 years of his life, my father, Orion W. Packer, looked for a simple answer to stop using asthma inhalers. I was very disappointed that the answers I found in the scriptures did not seem to help my Dad or my two sisters, who also suffered with breathing problems. Ten years after Dad died, our Chiropractor, came home from a seminar all excited about “Barley Water.” She said she had always wondered what was meant in D&C 89:17 where it talks about a mild drink made from barley. We were all excited to try it. Barley Water has proven to be the answer my Dad was looking for all those years. My sister, Ruth Martin, has had the most success with the way she makes the Barley Water. 1/4 Cup Barley (Preferably dehulled, not pearled) 1 Gallon Distilled Water She cooks the barley in about a quart of the water for 30 to 45 minutes. She lets it cool, then pours it into a gallon jug and fills the jug with distilled water. Every morning she pours a little barley water into a glass. She puts 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar into the glass and drinks it. She then pours herself a large glass of the barley water, and drinks that. She does not take any medication for her asthma, and has completely stopped using inhalers. Barley Water tastes quite pleasant. However, sometimes, she uses the barley water instead of plain water to dilute concentrated juice. I have tried mixing 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and some honey into it. In England, you can buy barley water flavored with orange or lemon. A few years ago in February, before she drank the barley water regularly, Ruth was at my house, in Draper, Utah. She had been outside moving things around in her car. She came into the house, and flopped herself down at my kitchen table. Gasping for air, she said, “I have not been breathing well for about 20 minutes.” “Oh, that is a little long to not be breathing.” I said, as I poured a cup of barley water and put the fourth teaspoon of Cream of Tartar in it. I handed her the cup, turned and walked back toward the stove. As I got to the stove, I heard her say, “That is much better.” It was at that point, we both realized that drinking the Barley Water with the Cream of Tartar in it, worked faster than an inhaler. I had one lady tell me she did not have asthma, she had chronic bronchitis. I told her that the Barley Water does not care what you name the problem; the Barley Water will help with breathing. After drinking a half glass of barley water, she was surprised at how fast her breathing was back to normal. Brigham Young talked about a scourge going through this people. A few weeks ago, Don & I went to a Fireside in Brigham City. Sister Susan Puls was talking about a flu pandemic which is expected to kill many people. She said this flu would start out like any other flu. The difference will be when the patient has pneumonia symptoms, and then a hard asthma attack. Many people will die before they can get help with their breathing. The Barley Water and Cream of Tartar will work to help people breath when this Flu hits, IF they know to drink it. D&C 89:17

Click on blue link for benefits of Barley.

At 8/23/2012 11:47:00 PM, Blogger Sheree said...

I would love to buy a copy or even two of Jack West' Living The Full Word of Wisdom. Please contact me at

At 8/31/2012 12:37:00 PM, Blogger Sheree said...

Can I buy a copy of Jack West's Living the Full Word of Wisdom from you??
I don't know how else to get ahold of you other than here. Please contact me through my email address.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home