The Health Benefits of Roasted Barley Tea With Chicory

The Health Benefits of Roasted Barley Tea With Chicory

Roasted barley tea, which is popular in the Far East, is usually called barley coffee when it’s served in the United States. Chicory is often paired with ground coffee, and when it’s combined with roasted barley, the resulting beverage gains a depth of flavor and color. Barley and chicory each contain natural antioxidants. While there’s only preliminary research into the roles of these antioxidants, they might have benefits as diverse as preventing cavities to potentially fighting cancer.

Roasted Barley and Chicory Basics

Roasted barley and chicory are both enjoyed as caffeine-free coffee substitutes. Blends containing chicory and coffee are favorites in some areas, such as New Orleans. Both ingredients are sometimes added to ground coffee as fillers, where they add to the coffee’s bulk during times when problems such as drought affect the amount of coffee harvested.

The chicory used in coffee comes from the root of the common chicory plant, which is roasted and ground. To make tea from roasted barley, the whole grains must be simmered in water for about 20 minutes.

Source of Antioxidant Flavonoids

Barley tea contains a variety of plant-based compounds called flavonoids, including quercetin, reported an article published in Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry in 2004. These compounds act as antioxidants.

In laboratory tests, antioxidants from barley inhibited the growth of cancer cells by blocking damage to DNA from reactive molecules called free radicals, according to a report published in the January 2009 issue of Phytomedicine. However, more studies must be conducted to determine whether antioxidants in barley tea fight cancer in people.

Promotes Dental Health

Drinking barley tea with chicory may keep your teeth healthy because both ingredients help prevent cavities. Barley tea contains compounds called melanoidins, while chicory contributes quinic acid. These substances help inhibit the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.

Roasted barley tea, or coffee, stopped bacteria from sticking to tooth enamel in lab tests, according to a report in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in December 2006. The report also noted that the active substance, melanoidin, likely develops when barley is roasted. However, it’s not yet known exactly how much roasted barley tea reduces the incidence of cavities in people.

Added Benefit From Chicory

The compounds responsible for chicory’s bitter taste may add to the benefits from drinking barley tea with chicory. These active ingredients, called sesquiterpene lactones, are easily extracted from chicory roots. In fact, tea made with chicory root is a source of sesquiterpenes.

Chicory root extract containing sesquiterpene lactones reduced inflammation caused by colon cancer cells, which may help prevent the growth of new cancer cells, according to studies cited in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences in June 2013. Since studies so far have been in the lab, research using people is needed to verify whether they have the same effect in the human body.

Organic Rice, Grains & Beans is available to purchase at

This article is originally posted on Live Strong

The Health Benefits of Roasted Barley Tea

The Health Benefits of Roasted Barley Tea

Individuals interested in beverages with therapeutic properties may be intrigued by roasted barley tea, known in Japanese as mugicha or in Korean as boricha. Barley tea is available in loose grains, tea bags or prepared tea drinks. It is traditionally used for detoxification, to improve digestion and for urinary tract infections, among other applications. While these uses have not been proven by scientific research, barley tea has other health-promoting properties.


Roasted barley tea interferes with the absorption of oral streptococci, states the December 2006 issue of the “Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.” Italian researchers exposed pretreated ceramic beads mimicking tooth enamel to bacteria and the tea in various combinations, discovering that the tea inhibited bacterial colonization and adhesion. Researchers noted that one chemical known for its anti-adhesive properties was absent in barley tea which was not roasted.


Barley tea has antioxidant properties, notes the December 2004 issue of “Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry.” A team of Japanese researchers from Shizuoka University analyzed the chemical components of barley tea and their effects on peroxynitrite. This unstable oxidant can lead to cell death and health complications including cardiovascular, inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases, explains The research team determined the presence of 10 chemicals within barley tea which were able to scavenge, or destroy, the peroxynitrite.

Anticoagulative Properties

Barley tea improves blood fluidity, according to the April 2002 issue of the “Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology.” High blood viscosity can lead to impaired blood circulation and related health disorders. Japanese researchers working for the Kagome Company found that the fluidity of the blood increased directly in proportion with the presence of alkylpyrazine, a substance which gives flavor to their tea.

Organic Barley Tea is available to purchase at

This article is originally posted on