Guest Post: Tea Time for Beauty, A Barley Infusion

Both women and men throughout the history of the world have sacrificed their health, bodies, and wellness in the pursuit of beauty.

For approximately ten centuries, successive generations of Chinese women systematically broke and bound their feet in an attempt to achieve the desired “three inch lotus.”   The Ancient Egyptians, used kohl – a paste made of soot, fatty matter and metal, usually lead, antimony, manganese or copper – to produce exaggerated eye-makeup. Men and women in Ancient Greece took things a step further by slathering lead all over their face. Their white lead face cream, according to a 2001 article in the journal Clinics in Dermatology, was designed to “clear complexions of blemishes and to improve the color and texture of the skin.” Despite lead's health hazards, ranging from skin ruptures to madness to infertility, upper-crust Romans went on to use white lead to lighten their faces, then topped that off with a bit of red lead for that “healthy” rose glow (Suffering for Beauty has Ancient Roots). 

Today some people will still do anything to achieve modern standards of beauty, even if that means getting a bird poop facial, paying $350 for an anti-wrinkle face-slapping treatment, or soaking one’s hair in bull semen for shiny locks (Beauty Queen Secrets).

My recipe for barley tea will not only provide tea lovers with an easy, tasty new recipe steeped in fun historical facts, but it will also leave readers with glowing, healthy complexions!  However, I assure you that this recipe does not contain any lead or semen. It is affordable and you will remain perfectly intact after consumption.  In fact, this recipe is enjoyed by none other than Queen Elizabeth herself.

Famous for her radiant complexion, the Queen’s youthful looking skin indicates that teatime can serve myriad purposes. I used the recipe from Rachel C. Weingarten's "Hello Gorgeous Beauty Products from the 1940s to the 1960s."

 I made this infusion by allowing ½ cup of barely to steep in warm water.

Once the water darkened, I added a teaspoon of honey and the lemon juice (Hello Gorgeous Beauty Products from the 1940s to the 1960s).

This concoction honestly tastes really good, and maybe I was just imagining it, but I swear my face had a nice glow to it after my first cup. Enjoy looking fabulous, and remember don’t thank me, thank the Queen!

(post by Lauren Degabriele)


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