Coix Seed | Yi Ren 薏仁

Common Chinese Name: 薏仁 / 薏米, Yi Ren/ Yi Mi

Common English Name: coix seed, Chinese pearl barley, Job's tear

Common Form: White, dried, round kernels. Note that if the body of the seed is small and narrow, it is not the coix seed in TCM, but western Pearl barley.

TCM Five Flavors: Sweet, bland

TCM Energetics: Cooling

Meridian Affiliation: Stomach, Spleen, Lungs

Nutritional Science:

  • Nutrients: rich in antioxidant, fibre, and many phytonutrients specific to coix seed, 15.4g of complete protein/100g

  • Functions: lowers blood sugar, boosts immunity against cancer cells, relieves muscle spasm, regulates blood sugar, relieves abdominal bloating, constipation, diarrhea, reduces fever

TCM Benefits:

  • Helps with digestion and relieves diarrhea
  • Relieves facial edema and dull complexion  
  • Relieves pain within joints and tendons
  • Decreases fatigue due to summer heat and dampness

Cooking Suggestions:

  • Average serving size: 30-50g dried.
  • Rinse well before using. Soak for at least 1 hours and then boil until it is soft, about 40 minutes. 
  • Make soup, porridge, and more. You can also drink the liquid leftover from boiling yi ren!

Notes and Safety:

  • Generally safe for consumption. It has a very long history of being used in cuisine. 
  • Best suitable from mid-spring to late autumn. 
  • You can purchase organic yi ren here. 
Written by Five Seasons TCM

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