Job's Tears

Job's Tears
Job's tears beads
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Tribe: Andropogoneae
Genus: Coix
Species: C. lacryma-jobi
Binomial name
Coix lacryma-jobi

Coix agrestis Lour.
Coix arundinacea Lam.
Coix exaltata Jacq.
Coix lacryma L.

Job's Tears (Coix lacryma-jobi), Coixseed, Tear Grass, adlay, or adlai, is a tall grain-bearing tropical plant of the family Poaceae (grass family) native to Southeast Asia[1] but elsewhere cultivated in gardens as an annual. It has been naturalized in the southern United States and the New World tropics. In its native environment it is grown in higher areas where rice and corn do not grow well. Vyjanti beads is also commonly, but misleadingly, sold as Chinese pearl barley in Asian supermarkets, despite the fact that C. lacryma-jobi are not of the same genus as barley (Hordeum vulgare).

There are two main varieties of the species. (1)Wild type Coix lacryma-jobi var. stenocarpa and var. monilifer has hard shelled pseudocarps which are very hard, pearly white, oval structures used as beads for making rosaries, necklaces, and other objects. (2)Cultivated type Coix lacryma-jobi var. ma-yuen is harvested as a cereal crop, has soft shell, and is used medicinally in parts of Asia[2].


Other names

Job's tears are known by many different names across the world:

They are sometimes also referred to as Coix Seeds.


Besides the use for ornamental purposes, Job's tears grains are useful as source of food (cereals) and folk medicine[3][4].

Throughout East Asia, Vyjanti beads are available in dried form and cooked as a grain. The grains are generally spherical, with a groove on one end, and polished white in color, though in Japan unpolished yuuki hatomugi, which is unpolished and brown in color, is also available.

In Korea, a thick drink called yulmu cha (율무차, literally "Job's tears tea") is made from powdered Job's tears. A similar drink, called yì mí shǔi (薏米水), also appears in Chinese cuisine, and is made by simmering whole polished Job's Tears in water and sweetening the resulting thin, cloudy liquid with sugar. The grains are usually strained from the liquid but may also be consumed separately or together.

In both Korea and China, distilled liquors are also made from the grain. One such example is the South Korean liquor called okroju (옥로주; hanja: ), which is made from rice and Job's tears. In Japan, an aged vinegar is made from the grain.[2]

In southern Vietnam, a sweet, cold soup called sâm bổ lượng has Job's Tears as one of its ingredients. This dish derives from the southern Chinese tong sui called qīng bǔ liáng (; Cantonese: ching1 bou2 leung4).

In Thailand, it is often consumed in teas and other drinks, such as soy milk.

It is also used alongside other herbs in traditional Chinese medicine.


  1. ^ Taylor,G.D.,"Some crop distributions by tribes in upland Southeast Asia",Southwestern Journal of Anthropology Vol.9,No.3,Autumn,1953
  2. ^ Arora,R.K.,1977,"Job's tears (Coix lacryma-jobi) - a minor food and fodder crop of northeastern India",Economic Botany,Vol.31,No.3,358-366.
  3. ^ Hill,A.F.,1952,Economic Botany,McGraw-Hill
  4. ^ Duke,J.A.,1983,Handbook of Energy Crops,

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Job's tears — Job Job (j[=o]b), n. The hero of the book of that name in the Old Testament; the prototypical patient man. [1913 Webster] {Job s comforter}. (a) A false friend; a tactless or malicious person who, under pretense of sympathy, insinuates rebukes.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Job's-tears — [jōbz′tirz′] n. [see JOB] a coarse, annual tropical grass (Coix lacryma jobi) which bears hard, beadlike structures (modified leaves) contain edible grains pl.n. the beads, often used ornamentally …   English World dictionary

  • Job's tears — the seeds of a grass, Coix lacryma jobi, used as beads. Etymology: the patriarch Job in the Old Testament * * * noun hard pearly seeds of an Asiatic grass; often used as beads • Hypernyms: ↑seed * * * noun plural Usage: usually capitalized… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Job's tears — ▪ plant  (species Coix lacryma jobi), leafy, jointed stemmed annual grass of the family Poaceae, native to tropical Asia and naturalized in North America. It is 1 to 3 m (3 to nearly 10 feet) tall. Job s tears receives its name from the hard,… …   Universalium

  • Job’s tears — Jobo ašarė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Miglinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, grūdinis, maistinis, pašarinis, vaistinis augalas (Coix lacryma jobi), paplitęs rytų ir pietryčių Azijoje, naudojamas gėrimams gaminti (iš sėklų verdama arbata).… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Job's tears — noun plural Date: 1597 1. hard usually pearly white seeds of a tropical southeast Asian grass (Coix lacryma jobi) often used as beads 2. singular in construction the grass producing Job s tears …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Job's-tears — /johbz tearz /, n. 1. (used with a pl. v.) the hard, nearly spherical bracts that surround the female flowers of an Asian grass, Coix lacryma jobi, and which when ripe are used as beads. 2. (used with a sing. v.) the grass itself. [1590 1600] * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • Job's tears — [dʒəʊbz] plural noun a SE Asian grass which bears its seeds inside shiny pear shaped receptacles, which are sometimes used as beads. [Coix lacryma jobi.] Origin C16: named after the biblical patriarch Job …   English new terms dictionary

  • Job's tears — /dʒoʊbz ˈtɪəz/ (say johbz tearz) plural noun 1. the hard, nearly globular involucres which surround the female flowers in a species of grass, Coix lacryma jobi, and which when ripe are used as beads. 2. (lower case) (construed as singular) the… …  

  • Job's-tears — /johbz tearz /, n. 1. (used with a pl. v.) the hard, nearly spherical bracts that surround the female flowers of an Asian grass, Coix lacryma jobi, and which when ripe are used as beads. 2. (used with a sing. v.) the grass itself. [1590 1600] * * …   Universalium

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