Coix: An Underutilized Medicinal Meals

Job’s tears, yi yi ren

“Let your medication be your meals and your meals, your medication.” The sovereign dictum of Hippocrates is aptly epitomized by way of Coix (Coix lacrymi-jobi, also called Job’s tears and yi yi ren) as the commonest remedy for most cancers in China.

Coix is a member of the Graminaceae household of which all grains are a member. In China and all through Asia, this little recognized, non-glutenous grain obtained by eradicating the exhausting husk of the fruit is broadly used each as a meals and for medication. As a meals it’s densely nutritious.

Per 100 grams, these seeds comprise roughly:

  • 7 % fats
  • 18 % protein
  • 52 % starch
  • protein – 15.Four g
  • dietary fiber – 3g
  • Ca – 25 mg
  • Fe – 5 mg
  • Vitamin B1 – 0.28 mg
  • Vitamin B2 – 0.19 mg
  • Niacin – 4.three mg

Bioactive Constituents in Coix

The oil in coix (coixol) which is 5-7% of the dried seed is antispasmodic, partially accounting for its use within the remedy of arthritic and rheumatic circumstances. Coix is extremely touted profit for clearing the pores and skin of blemishes, warts, eczema and customarily clearing and softening the pores and skin. For these indications it’s used each internally and utilized externally as a cream or ointment.

The second main constituent, coixelide, at solely 0.25% is believed to account for its anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.

The bioactive constituents of coix seeds embrace polysaccharides, proteins, lipids, polyphenols, phytosterols, carotenoids, spironone and lactams. Spironone (Spironolactone) is a potassium-sparing and thiazide diuretic mixture used to deal with hypertension and swelling on account of extra physique water. Lactam additional contributes to the elimination of extra intramolecular fluid and has anti-inflammatory and antipathogenic properties. These constituents collectively supply a variety of medical and dietary advantages which embrace anti-oxidation, anti-cancer, anti-inflammation, anti-allergy, enhancing immunological exercise, regulating endocrine features, anti-obesity, anti-diabetes, gastroprotection, hypolipidemia, and modulating intestine microbiota. Coix displays all of those properties.

Coix as Meals

Its taste and texture is sweet-ish, bland and considerably chewy. It’s gluten-free, excessive in protein and starch, and along with its different constituents needs to be a welcome addition for a weight reduction food plan and for people stricken with celiac illness or gluten intolerance.

Due to its diuretic motion, it’s not advisable to be used throughout being pregnant. Due to its efficient blood-sugar-lowering, hypoglycemic properties, it needs to be used with warning for many who are taking diabetic remedy. Generally, it’s contraindicated for individuals with a yin poor dry structure.

Coix grain combines effectively with rice or oatmeal and may be added to soups and stews. One can discover quite a few recipes on the web.[1] Following are essentially the most fundamental directions for making ready coix:

  1. Rinse 1 cup dried coix in a colander.
  2. Add rinsed coix in a pot and add sufficient water to cowl.
  3. Carry to a boil then cut back the warmth to a gradual simmer.
  4. When tender, drain the coix and serve.

Coix as Drugs

TCM classifies yi yi ren as having a blandly candy taste and a cool (anti-inflammatory) vitality. Its bland taste indicators its diuretic motion and the candy taste its impact on digestion and assimilation. Thus, TCM designates that it has particular impact on the TCM Spleen, Abdomen, Lung and Giant Gut organ-meridians.

As a drugs, coix has many functions. The foremost one is its capacity to clear additional interstitial fluid (dampness in TCM) from the physique. Dampness is attributable to overeating, extra sugar, and low metabolism that will increase with age.

Dampness, when not effectively drained, congeals, ultimately inflicting phlegm and an acute persistent inflammatory situation referred to as damp-heat. Damp-heat is an inflammatory situation that happens with many illness complexes, starting from the looks of infective discharges of pus to yellow phlegm, leucorrhea, and arthritic circumstances together with rheumatoid arthritis for which coix is indicated.

Fats and weight problems are an apparent signal of dampness. With the U.S. being dwelling to the best variety of chubby and overweight individuals on the planet (70.9 % of males, 61.9 % of girls are chubby or overweight, in comparison with 38 % of males and 36.9 % of girls worldwide), it’s no surprise that so many are likely to decrease immunity and persistent degenerative illness.

TCM views dampness as a pathogenic issue related to ailments reminiscent of excessive ldl cholesterol, heart problems, digestive illness, metabolic problems, most cancers, persistent fatigue syndrome, a number of sclerosis, fibromyalgia, arthritic and rheumatic ailments, eczema, allergic reactions, and environmental sickness.

Dampness and its consequence Phlegm, one other pathogenic consider TCM, trigger stagnation of circulation. Because the reducing of metabolism is a consequence of getting older, as we grow old, everybody tends to build up dampness. Coix together with guggul (Commiphora mukul) are among the many two main botanicals to remove ama, described in Ayurveda as poisonous residue left behind from poorly digested from meals.

Coix and Most cancers

Dampness and irritation are related to many persistent degenerative ailments together with most cancers. Whereas with improved early analysis and most cancers therapies there was in an total decline of 29% fewer most cancers deaths, [2] most cancers nonetheless stays because the second main explanation for demise within the U.S. after coronary heart illness, with 1,220 deaths per day in 2020. [3] The exorbitant prices of typical medical remedies for most cancers encourage knowledgeable sufferers to hunt and discover profit from integrative care with various non-invasive approaches reminiscent of life-style, food plan, herbs and acupuncture.

The antineoplastic motion of coix and coixenolide was utilized in a well-known anti-cancer components generally known as WTTC by Yoshima Okusa, a Japanese doctor. WTTC relies on the initials of the components substances: Chinese language wisteria seed[4], trapa (water chestnut), Terminalia and coix.

  • Wisteria seed is poisonous. Its use in Conventional Chinese language medication relies on its being ready and dosed to reduce its toxicity. It has a cool anti-inflammatory vitality. It’s most likely the mix of its diuretic and considerably diminished toxicity that makes it efficient for the remedy of most cancers.
  • Trapa or Chinese language water chestnut is a scrumptious botanical used medicinally and as a confection in China. It’s chilly in nature, candy in style and acts on the Lungs and Abdomen organ meridians. It clears warmth, relieves indigestion, promotes urination, relieves hypertension, cures sore throat and hemorrhoids, stops coughing, and clears phlegm.
  • Terminalia most likely refers to chebula generally known as he zi. It is likely one of the three substances within the well-known Ayurvedic detoxifying compound generally known as triphala. It’s chilly in nature and particularly used for persistent diarrhea and dysentery attributable to deficiency-cold.
  • Coix has anticancer, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties as described earlier on this article.

From the above substances we see that WTTC is indicated for most cancers of the abdomen and intestines (particularly colorectal most cancers) though many have come to make use of, most likely misuse it usually for all cancers. Nonetheless, contemplating the hostile results of typical Western most cancers remedies on the digestive system, we see how, whereas not a most cancers cure-all, it imparts a protecting and preventive profit for the GI tract when utilized in mixture with surgical procedure, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

A day’s therapeutic dose of coix ranges from 16 to 32 grams or extra each day, used singly or as a part of a formulation. It’s broadly utilized in China, Japan and different Asian nations as foodhaving a repute that in areas the place it’s often consumed there could also be a notably decrease incidence of most cancers.

An anticancer pharmaceutical produced from Coix seed oil, referred to as Kanglaite, has confirmed efficient in treating a number of kinds of cancers in China. As a pharmaceutical it’s used as an injection.[5]

Kanglaite can be utilized for the remedy of:

  • chorioepithelioma (a fast-growing tumor which develops from trophoblastic cells)
  • ovarian most cancers
  • lung most cancers
  • digestive tract most cancers

The mechanism of motion of Klangaite is as follows:

  • reverses the multi-resistance of tumor cells to anticancer medicine
  • counteracts the cachexia of cancers
  • inhibits the tumor angiogenesis
  • impacts the genetic expression of tumor cells by up-regulating FAS/Apo-1 gene expression
  • induces apoptosis of tumor cells
  • inhibits the mitosis of tumor cells throughout G2/M phases

Subhuti Dharmananda’s article on coix gives many different makes use of.[6]


It is a situation that generally happens secondary to liver cirrhosis.

Purple kidney beans: 30 grams

Coix: 30 grams

Polished round-grained rice: 30 grams

Tangerine peel (chenpi): three grams

These substances are to be boiled to make a gruel that’s taken in two meals throughout the day.

The mixture of coix with aduki beans is an efficient mixture for clearing extra water from the interstitial areas of the physique.


A mix particularly helpful for edema, constipation and easing urination attendant to prostatic hypertrophy is a porridge fabricated from coix with crushed prune seed (yuliren).


Cachexia or losing happens within the remaining phases of most cancers and it’s a problem to produce top quality vitamin to cachexia sufferers. In truth, most sufferers don’t die instantly from most cancers however from cachexia or extreme losing. It’s as if the most cancers step by step gobbles up the vitamins of the physique for its personal progress. For that motive, you will need to maintain a report of any vital lack of weight occurring with most cancers sufferers. The next medicinal soup, which is a barely modified model of the well-known Chinese language 4 Herbs Soup (Si Shen Tang) used to strengthen the TCM Spleen and the digestive system and enhance poor urge for food[7] is given to sufferers affected by cachexia attendant to most cancers and all different losing ailments.

  • 9 g Dioscorea (shan yao)
  • 9 g Poria cocos (fu ling) mushroom
  • 6-9 g euyrale seeds (fox nut)
  • 6-9 g lotus seeds
  • 16-30 g coix
  • pork or beef as desired


Mix 500 g coix with 150 g tien-chi ginseng (sanqi, panax pseudo ginseng) and grind them to a powder. Take 15 g thrice each day (equal to 34 g of coix and 11 g of tien-chi). This mix was given for the remedy of uterine fibroids, a situation of damp and blood stagnation. Tien-qi inhibits bleeding whereas vitalizing blood circulation.

Different Tidbits about Coix

Primarily based on the looks of the seed pod resembling tears, coix is often referred to as “Job’s tears,” referring to the Bible passage within the Ebook of Job, “earlier than my eyes drop tears.”

It’s simply grown however the activity of eradicating the outer husk to be used as meals and medication is one that almost all should not outfitted to do. The entire unhusked seed pods, referred to as pericarps, which have a naturally occurring gap at every finish, are immune to moisture and had been referred to as “corn beads” and strung right into a necklace by the Cherokee for private adornment. They’re additionally used for making necklaces and rosaries by Europeans who dubbed them “Mary’s Tears.”

I hope that this introduction evokes many extra to combine coix into your lives as medication, meals and whilst ornaments. Coix could be an exquisite common addition to our food plan. It’s obtainable for rising and as meals or medication from many on-line suppliers.

[1] Websites which have fascinating coix recipes:


[3] https://www.most

[4] Wisteria seed is poisonous. It’s use in Conventional Chinese language medication relies on its being ready and dosed to reduce its toxicity. It’s most likely the mix of its diuretic and considerably detoxified toxicity that makes it efficient for the remedy of most cancers.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.