“Job’s tears” is an important part of Chinese dietetics. The home of this plant is China and India. It grows at higher altitudes, where rice and corn growing is not too successful. The name “Job’s tears” refers to the drip-like shape of seeds and the biblical figure of Job, a representative of great sorrow. The oldest story tied to this plant comes from China.
Approximately in the year 41 AD, the Chinese emperor sent General Ma Yuan to suppress the rebellion on the southwest border. In these areas, there was a hot and humid climate that encouraged the spread of various contagious diseases. The local population prevented the infections by eating white round grains. The Imperial soldiers soon discovered that their effects were indeed remarkable. When the General returned after three years, he brought with him a carriage of these grains so that people could plant them in his homeland. His return caused a great uproar because unfortunately, people thought that the pearls were hidden in the carriage and that the General, without the emperor’s consciousness, became rich. They immediately informed the Emperor, who became very angry. Shortly after the return, the poor General had died and, due to the sovereign’s anger, his relatives could not put him into the family tomb or organize funeral ceremonies. So instead of awards, he received only humiliation. People named these grains “yiyiren“, which can be translated as “no good deed goes unpunished”.
Job’s tears seeds are genetically close to maize, therefore, they are safe for people suffering from the gluten allergy. They are also the subject of Western research. These seeds have demonstrably anti-tumour, analgesic and also sedative effects. They lower blood sugar and lipids, regulate blood pressure and cholesterol and support the immune system.
From the TCM point of view:
“Job’s tears” is sweet and at the same time neutral and has a slightly cool nature. It mainly applies to spleen, lungs and stomach. To a lesser extent to the liver, kidney and colon. It drives harmful dampness from the body and strengthens the spleen, removes blockages, cleans hotness, relieves from watery oedema, damp and hot diseases, diarrhoea, painful urination and rheumatism. “Job’s tears” drains water in a gentle manner. Therefore does not damage yin and it is safe to use it for a long time. The easiest preparation of “Job’s tears” for therapeutic purposes is in the form of decoction. Soak it for about one hour in water (pour fifteen cups of water over one cup of Job’s tears). Then cook the seeds in the same water, uncovered over medium heat. For taste add a drop of lemon. In Korea, people consume more concentrated juice with less water and traditionally use it for digestive problems, anorexia, and nausea. Job’s tears can be also a tasty part of various recipes.
It should not be used during pregnancy.