Tea barley may still sound foreign to the ears of the Indonesian people.Unlike most teas made from leaves or flowers, barley tea is made from barley seeds. In addition, this tea also has a unique taste and aroma and has many health benefits.
Barley tea is one type of tea that is popular in East Asian countries, such as Japan, South Korea, and China. Besides being known as barley tea, this tea is also often referred to as boricha, mugicha, or peace cha.
Barley tea is made from seeds extracted from the barley plant (Hordeum vulgare). Before being enjoyed as tea, the barley seeds are roasted until they are brown in color. After that, the barley seeds are brewed using hot water and ready to be served.
Due to the roasting process, this tea gives it a slightly bitter taste. There are also those who say this tea has a distinctive taste like the taste of nuts. In serving, barley tea can be drunk alone or mixed with lemon, honey, or sugar to add flavor.
Various Benefits of Barley Tea
In addition to having a delicious taste, barley tea can provide benefits for the health of the body. In fact, this tea has long been used as a traditional medicine in China. The benefits of consuming barley tea include:
1. Prevent damage to body cells
Barley tea is rich in antioxidants which play a role in preventing damage to cells in the body due to exposure to free radicals. In addition, barley tea also contains antioxidants quercetin which can improve heart health, maintain normal blood pressure, and maintain brain health.
2. Help lose weight
When drunk without any additives, barley tea contains almost 0 calories. Consuming this tea is more or less the same as consuming water so it can help meet daily fluid needs. This is very important in healthy weight loss.
In addition, barley tea contains chlorogenic acid and vanillaic acid, which are antioxidants that are thought to be able to increase fat burning in the body, so that fat accumulation in the body is reduced and weight loss can also be reduced.
3. Maintain oral health
A study states that someone who regularly drinks barley tea will have less dental plaque than those who don't drink it. In addition, this tea is also able to kill bad bacteria in saliva that can cause problems in the mouth.
4. Improve sleep quality
Barley tea is known to contain a lot of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that plays a role in regulating the sleep cycle. So, drinking this tea can help you get better quality sleep. However, further research is still needed regarding the benefits of barley tea to improve sleep quality.
5. Prevent cancer
Because it is rich in antioxidants, barley tea is also thought to prevent the growth of cancer cells in the body. However, more thorough research is still needed to confirm the benefits of barley tea in preventing cancer.
The benefits of barley tea are indeed very interesting. However, you still need to be careful, because this tea contains a chemical compound called acrylamide. Excessive consumption of acrylamide can increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer and pancreatic cancer. However, there is no definite evidence associated with this risk.
In addition, barley tea also contains gluten so it is not suitable for consumption for people who are on a gluten-free diet or have gluten allergies, such as people with celiac disease.
To get the benefits of barley tea and prevent its side effects, drink the tea as you would regular tea (1–3 cups a day).
In addition, if you suffer from an illness or are undergoing certain medications and want to use barley tea as an alternative treatment, you should first consult with your doctor.