Job's Tears: traditional healing herb in Chinese medicine dubbed White pearl of the east

Fotolia_47559471_XSJob's Tears is one of the oldest cultivated cereals in the world. It was a staple food in ancient Egypt, Palestine, and Greece. This wild grass seeds have strong purifying effects. Job's Tears are used in traditional medicine to detoxify the body. It also supports the function of the spleen, Job's Tears helps with digestion of meat and fat and has a positive impact on the health of the whole body complexion.

Job's Tears is an annual tropical grass and cereal in Chinese language is Yi yi ren, in Japanese it is called Hatomugi. This plant has branched stalk with distinctive joints (similar to bamboo). It grows to a height of typically 1-2 m. Its leaves are dark green, 20-50 cm long and 5 cm wide, their edges are slightly wavy. Inflorescence is a panicle flowers are bland. During the maturation, the ovary changes in glossy white or blue-grey spheres with a diameter of 6-12 mm. It has this characteristic shape, which looks like "tears" which are created by hardening of sheaths bracts enclosing the female flowers. These seeds have considerable germination and crop matures in tropical regions approximately 4-5 months after sowing.

Originally, Job's Tears come from the tropics of East Asia and Malaysia, but now it is grown throughout the tropical and subtropical areas.

It is a relatively very adaptable plant. It is grows in light sandy, but it can also grow in heavy clay soils. For this plant is much more suitable sunny place. Job's Tears prefers stable and moderate irrigation, but it will also survive in heavily waterlogged soil. Job's Tears thrives in very acidic soils but also in neutral and slightly alkaline soils.

Why is this plant named as Job's Tears?

Seeds of this grasses looks like tears. Job's Tears they are called according to biblical Job's suffering. The story of Job shows that questions asking for the meaning of life and suffering can not be answered by human consideration. We as humans cannot explain suffering, but this issue can be resolved from the standpoint of faith, and for that is Job excellent example. The evil that struck Job was not a punishment at all, but rather a test of his courage and faith.

Sometimes you can also meet with other possible names of this beneficial plant, as is Tears of the Virgin Mary, David tears or even Jesus tears.

Legend about Job's Tears from the Chinese border region

According to Chinese legend hit areas of south-western China border area in the 1st century AD severe droughts. Hot and muggy weather has lasted quite a long time and the local population has started to rebel, the emperor sent into those areas his army. Due to the weather various diseases spread in the region and soldiers began to die. Some soldiers have noted that in areas where local people were eating white round grains of Job's Tears, there are no disease. For the soldiers it was completely unknown plant, but when they understand its effects, they started to at them. Even General of the Army has commanded to consume these miraculous as well. Illness began to subside...

After three years, when he returned to his homeland, he brought with him a load of these white grains. He wanted the people to grow and harvest this plant in his own country. People thought that what he carries are the real pearls, because of hatred they announced to emperor that the general is bringing with him as a war booty wagon full of pearls and he does not want hand them over the e to emperor. The Emperor was very angry and if general would not die soon after his return, he would probably executed him himself. The king's anger caused the survivors did not dare to bury general in the family tomb and they even did not organize a funeral ceremonies. Instead of awards, he received after the death just a disgrace, and this plant is since this time called in Chinese YiYiren - "grain for the kindness to beggary."

Using Job's Tears

This plant is grown as a fodder plant and its seeds are used to produce flour. It has been expanded widely in India, where it is replaced nowadays more and more by corn. Job's Tears is known in China, where it is cooked and eaten in soups. Roasted with sugar is eaten as candy or shelled as peanuts, which is very popular. From peeled roasted seeds is prepared coffee substitute, it is also used as a substitute for millet.

In the area of its occurrence it is also used in folk medicine, is a remedy against diarrhoea, bladder inflammation, swelling, against fever, pneumonia and against intestinal parasites. It is used also against various types of cancer, in its seeds occurs coixenolide that has real anticancer effects. Job's Tears is also used against avitamin. Hard seeds are also used to produce various decorative items, like bracelets and necklaces or rosaries in Christian areas. In the temperate areas is Job's Tears grown in gardens and orchards sad as an ornamental grass.

Effects of Job's Tears

In addition to the above effects, this cereal is used to detoxify the body; it supports the function of the spleen, helps in the digest meat and fats.

Job's Tears supportive effects are used during:

  • Detoxify the body
  • Overall mucosity
  • Cystitis
  • Swelling and pain in the joints and muscles
  • Warts and acne
  • Intestinal parasites and digestive problems
  • Skin imperfections

Job's Tears is one of the oldest cultivated cereals in the world. It was a base crop used as fundamental food in ancient Egypt, Palestine and Greece.

Job's Tears in Chinese medicine

Job's Tears is also nicknamed for its effects and appearance as a white pearl of the east, and it is one of the healing herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine. According to Chinese medicine is Job's Tears antioxidant that cleans the body from any sediments which cleans the organism from mucus, it helps during the treatment of gout, gall bladder and kidney stones and sand, rheumatism, arthritis, high blood pressure, obesity, problems with cholesterol and atherosclerosis. It can be a very useful auxiliary in celiac disease or Crohn's disease.

In Chinese medicine, is highly respected for its ability to release stiff deposit of harmful substances from the body, such as cysts, fibroids, myoma, goitre, fibroma, various tumours, and swellings.

Job's Tears strengthens the stomach and spleen and it removes from the organism excess water, its effects are diuretic.

Job's Tears helps during cough and various respiratory diseases. It helps strengthen the lungs.

Job's Tears keeps the skin soft and supple, protects against eczema, helps treat inflammatory skin diseases - e.g. Psoriasis, acne, varicose ulcers etc. According to Chinese tradition, it is also believed that Job's Tears slows hair greying and it is used for so called "restart" of the organism. It can get rid of tiredness everything what is superfluous.  

In China is Job's Tears used in early autumn to strengthen defensiveness (especially children's immunity). In China, they usually eat every evening one small bowl puree prepared from Job's Tears and carrots for 3 weeks.

  • lishi jianpi – conduct away moisture and strengthens the spleen
  • lishi chubi - conduct away moisture and removes blockages
  • qingrepainong - cleanses the warmth and pushes out purulence


Job's Tears and its use in the kitchen

Job's Tears has in the kitchen wide use. In India is from Job's Tears produced flour in China it is added to soups and various mixtures. It is served as a side dish and it is possible to prepare it sweet and as a snacks. Job's Tears is gluten-free!

You can purchase Job's Tears in our shop therefore do not hesitate to try it the kitchen to improve you culinary art. Try to add Job's Tears into soups, pureed mixture can serve as a basis for a spread, or you can make from it patties, which are then fried. Baked mixture is similar to a meatloaf or season or soufflé. Job's Tears is excellent with mushrooms.

Use of Job's Tears in the kitchen is as follows:

  • Cooked a side dish
  • Decoction in curative teas
  • Into soups
  • Cooked and pureed as an addition to porridge, pancakes, spreads, soufflés and meat loafs
  • Grinded - for thicken sauces
  • Similar use as normal flour

Try, for example, some of these inspiring and tasty recipes.

Meat loafs from Job's Tears


  • 4 tablespoons of Job's Tears
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cloves of garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of grated cheese
  • 200g of minced meat or soya granules
  • Pepper, salt, cumin and chives, parsley (preferably fresh)

Meat loafs from Job's Tears – Preparation

Let stand Job's Tears in water for about half an hour, then cook until tender for about an hour. Drain and mash it. Grate on a fine grater the carrots and zucchini, pour off the liquid from them. Chop finely onions, herbs, and garlic. Mix and season everything and create from this mixture pancakes. Fry then everything in hot oil and then gently bake it in the oven. In case that the mixture appears to be too watery, it is possible to add little bit of breadcrumbs.

Excellent Chinese soup with Job's Tears


  • 1/2 chicken
  • 5 tablespoons of Job's Tears
  • 5 slices of chopped fresh ginger
  • 200g of chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 2 chopped spring onion haulms
  • 2 tablespoons of rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons of goji
  • Salt and pepper

Chinese soup Job's Tears – Preparation

Put boned and chopped chicken in a pot with water, bring to a boil, add ginger and Job's Tears which we have macerated at least for 30 minutes in the water. Simmer it for about an hour. All other ingredients add and cook for another 15 minutes. At the end season it with salt and pepper.

A few advices and tips for cooking Job's Tears in conclusion

  • Rinse always Job's Tears under running water and then it soak for a while. In the recipe is usually mentioned at least 30 minutes, but you will not do anything wrongly, when you soak Job's Tears in the water the day before.
  • If you prepare something salty from Job's Tears it is always good to add during cooking some root vegetables, which you can remove at the end of cooking, or you can mash it and add into a meal.
  • For the enrichment of minerals, add some kind of seaweed when cooking Job's Tears.

Healthy Recipes from Chinese Medicine

Carrots with Job's Tears for empowerment of immunity


  • 500g carrots, diced
  • 1 kg Job's Tears
  • Little bit of cane sugar

Carrots with Job's Tears – Preparation

Cut first carrots into cubes and infuse it in hot water or simmer it lightly. Cook in another pot 1 kg of Job's Tears, cook it for an hour and a half, until it turns into a sticky and thick puree. Then mix Job's Tears and carrots together and simmer for a while, we can add a little bit of sugar cane too. Ideally, take a bowl of this mixture daily - 250 ml. It is very good prevention against colds and it also increases immunity. It can be used also in case of illness, Job's Tears removes moisture and phlegm from the organism. In Chinese medicine, it is also used in case of starting cataracts (very effective).

Puree from Job's Tears

On 2 parts of Job's Tears add 1 part of water and let it simmer on low heat for about 1 hour until the water from the mixture does not boil away. Put the mixture away from heat and stir it. Because Job's Tears is a corn, it is possible to cook it both in water and in steam. Job's Tears is excellent as a side dish. It can be used as a puree or it can be added into porridge.

Yimishui, water from Job's Tears

Before cooking, rinse Job's Tears and soak it in water for about an hour. For 1 cup of Job's Tear you need 20 cups of water. After an hour, cook Job's Tears in the same water in a uncovered pot for about 60 minutes. A decoction from Job's Tears can be drink hot or cool. Iced drink from Job's Tears can be enriched with a little bit of fresh lemon juice. They drink decoction of Job's Tears in a much more concentrated form (they use less water) during digestive problems characterized by lack of appetite and nausea.

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