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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Job's Tear used as a Healing Food for Acne

Job's tear (Coix seed or Chinese pearl barley) is readily available in Chinese food stores and herb shops. It tastes like regular barley. It is most well known for its diuretic effect and its ability to ease painful joints. It is rich in nutrients. Its oil contains the active compounds coixenolide (antitumor) and coixol (anti-inflammatory, antihistaminic) and its polysaccharides (coixans A, B, and C) have hypoglycemic effects.

Job's tear is frequently used in the diet therapy of the following conditions: painful joints, rheumatism, edema, acne (pimples), eczema, warts, chronic enteritis, etc. Here is a recipe from a recent issue of a Chinese cosmetology journal [Zhongguo Kexue Meirong, (4): 39(1996)] for treating acne. It simply calls for cooking 2 oz. of Job's tear with 2-3 oz. of rice and adding sugar to taste. Eat this once a day for 15 days. I think you can eliminate the sugar here [see Diet therapy of acne, below]. The same recipe can also be used for edema, stiff and painful joints, by replacing regular rice with glutinous rice and eliminating the sugar [Shizhen Guoyao Yanjiu, 7(2): 111(1996)].

In a recent report from a military hospital in Jinan, Shandong Province, 44 patients (ages 5 - 43) with flat warts (chest, face, back of hand, forearm, and neck; 6 mo-4 yr duration) were successfully treated with Job's tear. For adults, 50-60 g (less in children) were cooked in water and eaten daily for 5-12 days. At the same time, a paste was made with Job's tear powder and vinegar and applied to affected areas 1-2 times daily. Twenty-seven patients were treated both internally and externally while 17 were treated only externally. Among the former group, the flat warts completely disappeared in 24 patients (88.88%) and partially resolved (>30% surface area) in 2, while only one showed no response. In contrast, only 8 of the 17 patients (47.06%) in the external group showed complete resolution and 7 had > 30% resolution, while two had no response. Average response time for the internal/external group was 6.5 days and that for the external group 8.5 days. It was observed that the affected areas blistered and increased in size for a few days before the warts dried up and fell off. The authors gave two case examples, both of which had been previously treated with modern methods (liquid nitrogen, interferon, and transfer factor) with unsatisfactory results. This simple Job's tear treatment of warts is certainly worth considering.

These and more herbal remedies are available from the volumes of Dr. Leung’s newsletter, of the same name as this blog ( Leung’s Chinese Herb News). This newsletter was published and sent to subscribers (most were industry-insiders) from 1996 to 2004. The collected works now serve as an excellent reference work, created with Dr. Leung’s frank, honest opinions and down-to-earth communication style. For more information about Dr. Leung and his writings, visit http://www.earthpower.com/. To order the newsletter containing the remedies mentioned above, visit the bookstore, click “Buy Now” on the newsletter, and select Issue # 2 from the drop down list.

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