Barley tea for urinary infections

Updated March 23, 2017

When the urge to urinate become frequent and even painful, there's a good chance you're facing a urinary tract infection. It can be treated fairly easily using a variety of methods from basic antibiotics to cranberry and blueberry juice. But while waiting for the cure to do its job, you'll also want some symptomatic relief. Barley team can provide that.

Constrictions and Spasms

One aspect of UTIs that make them so uncomfortable is the internal swelling that constricts the bladder and exit to the urethra. And of course, a swollen, unhappy bladder spasms, too -- which adds to the false sense of urgency to urinate.

Many herbalists and naturopaths recommend a barley tea as a diuretic. It helps re-establish proper urine flow and may also reduce pain and unpleasant odours.

How to Make Barley Tea

Start with dry pearl barley grains that may be found at a farmer's market or natural foods store. Boil a handful of barley grains in a medium-size pot until the mixture is a cloudy, almost white liquid. When done, strain the liquid through a cheesecloth or fine strainer to remove the major sediment.

The liquid is best consumed hot, though some report that room temperature and even cold barley water is effective. This is a very common drink in many parts of Asia including Japan, China, Malaysia and Singapore.

Japanese Mugicha

Another option is to go to a tea shop or look online for Japanese barley tea, also known as Mugicha, and brew according to directions. Often this tea comes in tea bags as well as in loose form. Mugicha usually involves roasted barley and a deeper, stronger flavour that may or may not be as enjoyable as unroasted barley.

Besides a traditional hot, simmered brew, Mugicha can also be cold brewed. Drop one or more tea bags in a pitcher of cold water and let it sit until dark. It still creates a tea, although often lighter in colour and flavour.

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About the Author

Eric Feigenbaum started his career in print journalism, becoming editor-in-chief of "The Daily" of the University of Washington during college and afterward working at two major newspapers. He later did many print and Web projects including re-brandings for major companies and catalog production.