Barley Tea and Rice for Pancreotonia and Pulmotonia

But poison to Vesicotonia individuals

May, 1994     

Light and Salt

Dr. Dowon Kuon

Barley is one of the most important grains to Korean people. It is high in diastase, which makes barley easy to digest and causes barley to be an aid in digestion. Since diastase helps to alleviate fevers, it is good for children who are ill. However, barley may not be beneficial to everyone, and it could even be harmful to some people. Then how can we discern who benefits from barley and who does not?
 
If those who are negatively affected by barley were to suffer from certain physical indications, such as smelling something offensive, feeling nauseated, or getting blisters on their lips, whenever they ate barley, they would avoid it. But unfortunately, human beings’ sensory organs have not developed to that extent. Consequently, barley is eaten both by those who benefit from barley and by those who do not benefit from it. Although these individuals suffer negative effects due to eating barley, they do not realize that those effects are caused by barley. Even people who experience positive effects from barley do not realize that it is actually barley that makes them healthier. This shows us that, in fact, much of human disease is caused by indiscriminate choice of food.
 
In considering animals, such as wild animals, birds, and fish, it is observed that they die only from natural causes. In contrast, unnatural causes of death, such as diseases in livestock, are caused by human beings. Many fish and birds have been killed this year because their habitats have been polluted by human beings.
 
The question then follows: What keeps animals from contracting diseases? Animals can discern by birth which food items are good for them and which food items are bad. We do not know exactly if this discernment comes from a certain sense of taste, smell or sight, but it is evident that animals have some kind of innate sense for discerning food. Bees, butterflies, and birds all feed on honey, but they do not get diseases from it nor compete over the same kind of honey, because they can each recognize the kind of honey that is beneficial for their kind.
 
What then is the case with human beings? Some people eat whatever others consider to be beneficial, even if it is snakes, worms, or frogs. Unfortunately, even ginseng, a so-called elixir, can be harmful to certain people. The problem is that human beings do not have the ability to discern whether a certain food is beneficial or harmful for them.
 
Why do human beings not have the sense of discernment that animals have? It is probably due to a scar from Adam’s initial sin. At the very moment Adam committed sin, human beings lost not only the sense of knowing God but also their ability to discern between good and evil and between beneficial foods and harmful foods.
 
With these considerations in view, what is the best way to know who should eat barley and who should not eat barley?
 
Human beings can have any of eight kinds of physical constitutions—hepatonia, cholecystonia, pancreotonia, gastrotonia, renotonia, vesicotonia, pulmotonia and colonotonia. Out of these eight body constitutions, vesicotonia has the weakest digestive capacity. Therefore it would seem that barley, given its high diastase content, would be good for vesicotonia. But actually, barley is very harmful for this constitution. Individuals who have the vesicotonia constitution tend to suffer from gastroptosis and a weakened stomach when they eat barley.
 

Fifteen or sixteen years ago, a man, who was a high school principal, came to see me with his baby grandson, who was almost dying from constant diarrhea. He said that none of the treatments his grandson had been receiving were successful. After I examined his grandson, who turned out to have the vesicotonia constitution, I realized that his diarrhea was caused by barley tea mixed with milk. The next day, the principal came to tell me that his grandson no longer had diarrhea after being given plain water instead of barley tea.
 
Barley is also regarded as the best food for people who have diabetes, since barley does not contain starch, but for the vesicotonia constitution, barley does more harm than good. It would be convenient for vesicotonia individuals if barley would smell bad or cause pain on their tongue so that they would simply spit it out as soon as it touches their mouth.
 
It then follows to ask, Who is barley good for? Barley works as a medicine to pancreotonia individuals. People who have the pancreotonia constitution have a strong digestive system with a good amount of saliva—enough to dissolve all the rice in their bowl. Since their strong digestive power is often the cause of gastric fever, barley helps to relieve them when they feel pressure in their chest or have a headache. Since pancreotonia individuals are the most likely to develop diabetes, barley is a necessary food item for them. Unfortunately, these individuals may not find barley particularly tasty. This is due to the human inability to discern between beneficial foods and harmful foods.
 
Why is barley, which is rich in the digestive enzyme diastase, poisonous to vesicotonia individuals, who have a weak digestive capacity, and medicinal to pancreotonia individuals, who have a strong digestive capacity? Simply speaking, the food we eat is composed of two kinds of elements: visible elements, which can be analyzed, and invisible elements, which cannot be analyzed except with difficulty. Of these two kinds, the more crucial to human beings is the latter. The invisible element in barley lowers the stomach temperature once it is ingested. It cools down the high stomach temperature of pancreotonia individuals that is the cause of their frequent headaches. However, when an individual with the vesicotonia constitution, which is characterized by a cold stomach and digestive problems, eats barley, his stomach becomes even colder.
 
The effects of barley are not as noticeable to other constitutions as to vesicotonia and pancreotonia; barley can be beneficial to some of the other constitutions, though not significantly, and has neutral effects on the remaining constitutions.
 
Although we do not have the ability to discern what foods are beneficial to us, we can, by knowing our constitution, recognize what the beneficial diet is for our constitution. To know our body constitutions would be very helpful to us, because the beneficial and harmful foods for each body constitution have already been recognized by the Eight Constitutions Medicine.

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