Growing up, I always tagged along whenever my parents visited the Traditional Chinese Medicine shop. The shop owner’s daughter was always there helping fill herbal prescriptions, and I remember being in awe of her smooth, translucent skin. Even when I was just a kid usually more interested in looking at all the ‘weird twigs and mushrooms’ (what I called Chinese herbs back then), I still noticed how nice her skin was! I whispered to my mom one day asking about her skin, and the lady overhead. With a smile, she said, “Job’s tears. I eat it like rice.”
How does Job's Tears help skin health?
Controls acne breakouts and sebum production
Moisturizes dry skin
What are Job's Tears?
Job's tears, also known as pearl barley, coix seed, hato mugi, or 薏仁 (yi ren) in Chinese, is an ingredient that is quite popular in Asian skincare products as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine formulas. That means this all natural seed is effective at treating a variety of skin conditions when applied externally or taken internally!
Job's Tears are the seeds grown from a grass
Chinese Medicine view of Job's Tears for skin
Job’s Tears work on strengthening the Spleen in Chinese Medicine, which is a determinant of skin health.
They’re considered to be a cooling, draining food. Since skin ailments like acne, eczema, and rosacea is a sign of excess toxic heat in the body, Job’s tears will gently cool down your inflammation and soothe existing breakouts by draining pus and extra water retention.
Additionally, dry skin is an indicator of poor fluid metabolism, which is regulated by the Spleen. With regular consumption of Job’s Tears, you will strengthen you Spleen Qi (Spleen Energy) and encourage your body to properly utilize the fluids you intake, effectively moisturizing your skin from the inside-out too!
Besides being a great ingredient for skin, Job’s tears can also be an excellent all-natural and gentle diuretic. Women in Taiwan will drink Job’s Tears tea and eat Job’s Tears porridge before a big event to get rid of unwanted water weight!
Western Medical Research on Job's Tears
Extracts of Job’s tears have been shown to help reduce allergic reactions and boost immune systems in mice. Job’s tears are full of antioxidants and have an excellent protein to carbohydrate ratio. Don’t forget - they’re gluten free too!
What are potential side effects of Job's Tears?
There are no potential side effects - it is safely eaten as a main carbohydrate source in Asia.
Where can I find Job's Tears?
They can be found in all Asian grocery stores! I’ve seen natural food stores start to carry them as a gluten free option. They’re also available on Amazon.
How to make Job's Tears?
Job’s Tears require a considerable amount of soaking and/or cooking time to get it to a fluffy and soft state. But it’s really easy! In general, I do the following:
- Wash Job’s Tears
- Throw in my rice cooker and add 4-5 times the amount of water
- After the water cooks out, add more water and cook it for another cycle
You can take the water out and drink it like a tea! Job’s Tears as a drink has the same benefits. Use it to substitute any grain in cooking - it has a nutty, soft but substantial texture that holds up in soups and stews.
Alternatively, I keep it on low boil on the stove and keep adding water until it has cooked to the desired consistency.
Check out our Instagram post below for a short video on how we cook Job's Tears porridge!
My experience with Job's Tears
One of my first DIY masks was with Job’s Tears powder. I mixed it with water to form a thick paste to use as a face mask. My skin was always bright and rosy afterwards!
Now I make this porridge whenever I have an eczema breakout because it’s really effective at gently calming down redness and helping existing patches of inflammation go away. I also like to turn to this when I feel like my digestion is sluggish from overindulging on rich foods - it's got so many great uses and is truly a miracle seed for skin health!
Check out these products with Job's Tears, which brighten and smooth your complexion: