Natural Beauty: Barley Water

Lately I’ve been seriously looking into homemade and natural alternatives to beauty products. After last summer’s horrific run-in with some laundry detergent I had a violent reaction to (I still have marks from it, and it’s been 6 months now) I’ve been on a mission to find alternatives to chemicals I’m putting in and on my body.
My skin also seems to be at its worst in the winter— drying out from heat and cold, and reacting badly to mad swings in the weather, and after trying several products from the store that didn’t seem to help much, I decided to research some old-timey ways that women took care of their skin and their health. I thought it would be fun to talk about here, and so I wanted to share with you this rather ancient concoction– barley water.

My friend Jenny sent me this link the other day about the beauty benefits of barley water, which I later learned has a whole host of other benefits, including everything from kidney and stomach health to infant nutrition. The article on barley water was submitted as a beauty trick out of Ireland, and as the girl in the photo has coloring almost identical to my own, I thought I’d make it. I followed the instructions of the article in boiling half a cup of barley for a little over an hour and then added several oranges and a couple of lemons. The article suggests adding a bit of brown sugar to sweeten, but I chose to add a little bit of honey for my sweetener and it came out fine.
After some finagling with a strainer and a second pot, I scooped the fruit out of the water and then strained the barley out separately. Its a shame to waste the barley, so I saved it to use in making some bread or adding to a soup. I added the fruit back into the mixture and poured it in a pitcher and set it aside to cool. It is very hot when it’s first made. The article explains that you can save the barley water in a container in the fridge and have a cup each day.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what barley water would taste like. And I was surprised at the punch it packs— I’m not sure if it’s due to the addition of all the fruit or if barley on its own is naturally tart, but the barley water tastes almost exactly like grapefruit juice. Which I like! I think it’s better actually, because I have a hard time drinking citric drinks like grapefruit juice and orange juice. So the barley water was a good balance of tart but not overwhelmingly.

I’m looking forward to seeing if I see improvement with my new old wive’s tale brew, and all the health benefits barley has. If you make yourself a batch of barley water, I’d love to hear what you think!
Til next time,

9 thoughts on “Natural Beauty: Barley Water

  1. Interesting! I may have to try some barley water.I noticed a huge improvement in my scratch-til-I-bleed winter dry skin when I switched to whole milk and started taking Cod Liver Oil regularly. I've also been using organic expeller-pressed coconut oil for EVERYTHING for months. I use it as a moisturizer all over, it's great for massage, and I even clean my face with it. I cook with it, too.


  2. Amazing how wonderful it is to go back to Nature and learn from it…I am always so surprised, lol! I don't know why, but I am.I have been drinking green smoothies and since starting, my skin has truly changed. No more pimples and no more cravings! Thank you so much for sharing…m.


  3. Wow! This sounds really interesting. Thanks for sharing this. I'd love to know if you works for you. 🙂 To be honest, I had never heard of barley water before – I've been hearing about all the benefits of green smoothies lately – and am thinking of testing the waters there. Looking forward to learning of your results!


  4. Wow, we eat barley here all the time but I have never heard of barley water. But, why not? It cannot hurt and maybe it does carry value other than just a delicious grain to eat. Please let us know if this makes a difference. I am curious as to how much barley water a day= desired results? If it took up to 5-6 cups a day, that could be kinda of difficult to achieve on a regular basis. Keep us posted!


  5. I've never tried barley water, but I have a good amount of pearl barley left over from making Scotch Broth, so I'll have to try it out, especially if it'll keep my skin clear! I used to have all kinds of problems with my skin (it's very sensitive). I've switched to aluminum-free deoderant, all-natural old-fashioned soaps and laundry detergent and I try to keep my sugar intake at 1 tablespoon or less per day. It all seems to help! I used to think that before modern cosmetic products people must have been all ugly and pimply, but I've found that the \”old wives\” remedies often work best for me.


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