Health – Grains

Wheat and other grains are widely used to make bread, pancakes, soups, etc., but not many know that there are also medicinal uses for these grains.

Barley flour made into a poultice can be used for the treatment of inflamed skin. A nutritive and demulcent (soothing for irritated mucous membranes) drink is made from barley by making a mixture of one part barley to 10 parts water, boil for 20 minutes and then strain. This can be used on feverish patients and where there is inflammation and mucous in the respiratory and urinary organs. The drink is soothing to the stomach and intestines and can be very effective in helping long-standing constipation. It acts as a general nerve tonic bringing back vitality to a weakened system making one feel more cheerful. It is useful in cases of diarrhea, pulmonary disease, inflammation of kidneys, liver disease, and mineral deficiency. Barley water can be diluted with milk to prevent the formation of hard masses of curd in the stomach of young infants. Another way to make a drink is to boil 2 ounces of barley in four pints of water until reduced to two pints; then add lemon juice or licorice root or raisins for flavoring ten minutes before taking off the stove.

As a tonic, barley water can be drunk regularly.

Oats may be made into a drink by boiling an ounce of the grain to a quart of water for half an hour. This drink can be taken where a laxative is needed or used for a diuretic. A nourishing broth for nursing infants may be made by mixing equal parts of oats, wheat and barley; grind the mixture and add four tablespoonfuls of the flour to one and a half quarts of water and boil until reduced to one quart; then strain and sweeten and give daily. Oats are considered helpful in cases of uremic poisoning and diabetes and to help where there is a thyroid deficiency. The oat drink or gruel is good in cases of fever and has been used in cases of poisoning from acid substances. The drink will usually be accepted by patients of weak digestion when other foods are rejected. It is considered to be good to restore the nervous system and as a tonic after debilitating sicknesses. It seems to aid the heart muscles and the urinary organs. It is recommended as an all-around drink for the sick, weak and healthy. Oatmeal or rolled oats is good for regulating normal and healthful blood sugar in the early morning hours. Oats are one of our few food sources used for obtaining iodine.

Brown rice, which contains an easily digested starch, is beneficial for stomach or intestinal ulcers and for the relief of diarrhea. A poultice of rice flour can be used to relieve skin inflammations of various kinds. We have seen serious cases of diarrhea respond most effectively to rice water made by boiling one ounce of rice to one quart of water for 20 minutes, straining and drinking. This drink is also used in cases of congestion, acute head pain, nausea, fainting, difficult breathing, stomach cramps, colic, worms and as a sedative.

Rye is recommended for individuals engaged in sedentary activities. It is believed to combat arteriosclerosis, and high blood pressure. Boiling three ounces of rye to a quart of water for 20 minutes produces a refreshing, soothing and mildly laxative solution.

Millet is an easily digested food good for constipation and beneficial for weight gain and general emaciation. It is considered good where mental or physical weakness exists and also for pregnancy.

Corn is considered good in cases of emaciation, anemia, constipation and as an overall body building food. The balance of unsaturated versus saturated fatty acids in corn oil helps lower the blood lipid levels. The suggested dose of corn oil is two tablespoons taken upon arising and before the evening meal for a few weeks or months. Some Indians would steep corn in lye to be used as an intestinal anti-spasmodic. Blue corn meal mush was applied hourly to bullet wounds. Others have used a corn meal poultice for skin ulcers, swellings and rheumatic pains. A cup of parched corn to two quarts of water lightly boiled for 20 minutes, then strained and drunk has been found useful in cases of nausea and vomiting in many diseases. Cornmeal gruel is excellent for convalescents. Cornbread is thought to be of benefit for those suffering from kidney or liver diseases.

Wheat has been recommended in cases of arthritis, rheumatic fever, and in some types of cancer, pulmonary disease including tuberculosis, anemia, and physical and emotional weakness. It is felt that the vitamin D in wheat helps in rickets and other vitamin D diseases. One recipe for a good heart remedy is to soak a half of a cup of coarse ground wheat in a thermos of hot water overnight. Eat this each morning for three months.

We can make a mild grain drink as indicated above with any of the grains by lightly roasting the grain; then gently boil one cup of the grain to two quarts of water for about 20 minutes, strain and add honey and a little cream or milk.

Another way to make a mild grain drink is to soak one cup of seed in two cups of water for 16 hours (24 hours in colder weather). Strain off the water and let the soak water ferment in a warm place for another 36 to 72 hours. It is then ready to drink. Another method is to soak the grain for two or three days after which the soak water may be drunk and then refill the container with water for another soak with the grain. After each drink refill the container; this can be repeated for up to two weeks. This mild grain drink should taste somewhat like whey. The best soaking temperature seems to be between 68 degrees and 77 degrees F. The drink is rich in protein, carbohydrates, dextrines, saccharine, phosphate, lactobacilli, saccharomyces, and Aspergillus oryzae. Many find this drink beneficial to the digestion. It is nonalcoholic and rich in B vitamins. It has been observed that acidophilus bacilli or lactobacilli create an acid medium in the intestine, destroying any unfriendly, disease-producing putrefactive bacteria. Many who use this drink feel that this enzyme-rich drink has helped them with minor to the most serious health problems. Likewise the regular drinking of the roasted grain drink has produced in others a feeling of well-being and vitality.

Excerpts from School of Natural Health