Job’s tears

   Job’s tears is an ancient, gluten-free cereal grain related to corn. It comes from a grass native to Southeast Asia but is grown in many tropical regions. The plant produces a string of teardrop-shaped seeds that look like beads.  Job’s tears are also called coixseed, tear grass, nato mugi, Chinese pearl barley, and adlay.  This grain can be mistaken for barley due to their similar appearance, but barley is much smaller and not as round. Job’s tears is much more expensive than barley.

   The wild variety of Job’s tears is harvested for jewelry-making and decoration. These seeds have a hard hull that turns white when dried and can then be polished. The common, cultivated variety has a softer shell and is used for cooking and medicinal purposes.


• Rich in many vitamins and minerals; primarily           iron, calcium, fiber, and protein
• Controls blood sugar
• Helps with allergies and high cholesterol
• May aid in osteoporosis prevention
• Used to help with digestive problems such as          bloating, diarrhea, and constipation
• The seeds are anti-inflammatory and antiseptic
• Can treat infections located under the nail
• The hulled seeds are used to treat problems                   with the lungs, spleen, stomach and large              intestine
• Nourishes and moisturizes the skin
• Aids in the treatment of swelling caused by               water retention

   Pregnant women, people with constipation, and those with little perspiration should not eat Job’s tears.


   When the grain is hulled, you can boil it like rice. Job’s tears is mostly used for soups, stews, porridges, drinks, and pastries. Job’s tears can be used in any barley recipe as a substitute. In India, the grain is brewed into a beer, and in Japan, the grain is used to make tea. The Japanese also roast the seeds to make a drink similar to coffee. The dried seeds are ground into flour to make breads, pasta, and cereals.

   To cook, rinse until water comes out clear. Using 2 parts grain to 1 part liquid, bring liquid to a boil, add the Job’s tears and simmer uncovered for 50-60 minutes, or until all water has evaporated.

   When storing, keep Job’s tears in an airtight container. It will keep for several months in the refrigerator and for 6 months or more in the freezer.

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