Barley Water (Tea) for Urinary Tract Infections

If you are a woman then your chances of getting urinary tract infection or UTI are much higher than the men. It is a frustratingly painful condition in which you will find discomfort in urinating and pain in the sides.

Usually doctors will prescribe antibiotics to treat UTI. However there are many home remedies such as barley water tea which you may prefer to use before trying antibiotics. Untreated UTI can cause kidney damage in the long term.

What is Urinary Tract Infection?

Any infection in the urinary tract from Kidneys ureters, bladder and urethra is considered urinary tract infection. Urethra which is located near the anus, is the tube that transports urine from the bladder to outside the body.

Therefore, the bacteria particularly E coli from the large intestine when escape the anus can easily invade urethra due to close proximity. The bacteria can go to the bladder from there. If not treated properly then the infection can severely impact the kidneys.

Women have short urethra that is perhaps why women get bladder infection quickly. Although the body has protection mechanisms in place, the bacteria may still get into Kidneys with repeated infections.


How Barley Water can Treat Infection?

Barley a grain which is considered a healthy grain for the heart. It is rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants that can protect you from cancer also. It is rich in fiber and proteins

barley water for uti infographic

Barley is one of the main food items from which beer is manufactured. Bear is nothing but fermented water added with preservatives and chemicals. Barley water is diuretic. It is this aspect of the barley that helps in getting rid of the infections of the urinary tract.

Flushing out the content of the bladder frequently helps to reduce the concentration of the bacteria in the bladder and the urinary tract.


How to Make Barley Water?

You can make barley water as under. You should take hulled barley for best results. The pearl barley which is easily available at any grocery store is refined barley. It has already lost some of the nutrients in the polishing process.

  1. Add water to a cup of barley in such a way that the entire grain is covered with water and about 1 cm extra water on it.
  2. Let it soak overnight
  3. Strain the water and add the strained barley in 4 cups of fresh drinking water in a heating pot
  4. Boil and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes until the grains are completely cooked
  5. Strain the cooked barley in a fine mesh strainer
  6. Let it cool and drink it.

You will get roughly two cups of barley water in this process which is sufficient quantity for normal daily healthy drinking. However, for getting rid of urinary tract infection you should drink a cup of barley water every 3 hours. So you can soak the barley for 3-4 hours instead of overnight soaking and repeat the process. You will have to soak a cup of barley every two hours for 4 hours to achieve this objective.

Scientific Evidence

There are no scientific studies done on this aspect of barley. It is the diuretic property of the barley water which is being used to treat UTI. Like most other home remedies which are being used for thousands of years without any scientific evidence, at least diuretic aspect of barley is a scientific logic to deal with UTI.


If you are gluten intolerant, then you should avoid barley water. Otherwise barley is a safe and healthy food item. You can use other methods and natural remedies to deal with your infections.