Yì Yǐ Rén 薏苡仁, Job's tears, Reveal Date: 7/11/24

Article published at: Jul 4, 2024 Article author: Lily Michaud
Coixseed, Job's Tears, yi yi ren, by Agnieszka Kwiecień, Nova
All Brown Bear Herbs Herbalism & Tactics for Thriving Together Article comments count: 0

This week we tasted and meditated with Job's tears, or coixseed, yì yǐ rén 薏苡仁, scientific name: Coix lacryma-jobi. Alyssa, my daughter, and I were in attendance. We had a zoom Plant Meditation Club gathering :)


Areas for further investigation: Jobs tears, yì yǐ rén, as a means to increase wood energy. Yì yǐ rén to facilitate sacred, spiritual sex. Use of this herb as a food for hypothyroidism.

a photograph of yi yi ren, or Job's tears, in a bowl. This seed looks a lot like popcorn.
Pre Meditation: Taste, etc

The seed looks small popped popcorn (see photograph). The tea of the crushed seeds had the color of light straw and is mild in taste. The tea was fairly mild and neutral. Later on in the steeping the flavor became more sweet--light sweetness of a grain, like corn or wheat. Initially I felt the tea’s energy more in the back of my mouth and nose. Alyssa felt energy in her forehead and eyes in the beginning.

Meditation 1:

Alyssa: forehead pressure, around eyes, sinuses cleared, alert and content, no specific thoughts or visions

My daughter: The Soul Glo commercial song from Coming to America is playing. It is a disco scene with colors flashing everywhere. There is a Black person with a large afro. The voice over is “Soul glow, get your inner colors on.”

Cut to a comedy news show: Old white guy says “More like, ‘get your colored on.’” and other racist stuff.

Next scene: A Black woman with a rainbow behind her (is this lesbian?) twerking to the song “Get Your Freak On”.

My daughter seems bright and excited, laughing a lot. She was fired up, talking about racism before the meditation and this herb seems to have increased her passion.

Me: My mouth is happy, feels fleshy (I think this is a spleen herb, which is associted with the mouth), aware of teeth, forehead, mild third eye headache. I feel grounded but I noticed I am scattered mentally. I have become more conscious of that lately, not just this meditation. I feel my nose. I tried to talk to it, but it is not a chatty herb. It motioned energetically that it does what it does in the reproductive area and also the mouth and other herbs have done this too for me but it doesn’t feel the need to say anything about it. Generally uplifted, grounded but light. I feel a lot of sexual energy in my yoni area. 

Meditation 2: 

Alyssa: Uplifted, mood uplifted, a little cooling (on a hot day), still energy around the nose. Calm and stable.

My daughter: A Black, curvy, woman is on the TV, shaking her hips to “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira. Colorful fireworks are going off hehind her. The same douchebag white guy is sitting in his LazyBoy. When he points his remote at the TV the fireworks behind her changed to fireworks that spelled out the word “Colored” in brown. The white guy turned out to be the president. Then, there is a movie banner for the movie “The Color Purple”. The main actor is giving a speech. She says the Black community would not be what it is without Tupac and Ian McKaye. 

Me: I feel my reproductive organs highlighted. I feel lots of sexual energy. Energy moves from chakra 1 to 2, then 1 to 4, then 1 to my face. I am feeling my heart chakra rotate in a big way. I feel a lot of sexual energy. The herb is quiet and I am scattered but I feel like I should be able to get a little more direct information from the herb. I try out different strategies and land on, “How should your medicine be used?”

Response summary: Energy moves down to my genitals. “A lot of people want to have sex with the genitals.” This appears to be a relatively shallow type of physical pleasure. The herb can be used to have sex with the liver (the framework is Chinese medical conception of the liver). The herb elevates the energy from the genitals to the liver. The plant indicates the liver's ability to push up through earth (wood element). Once the liver is involved, the liver can bring energy up as desired to make it a spiritual act. It seemed like the energy created from sensual/sexual interaction can move up through the hiatus of the diaphragm and ascended from there. I asked for other examples, because it seemed to be indicating the liver having a lot of possibilities. It seemed mostly focused on that, but did mention, with the air of irrelevance (because it is not applicable to me)--making babies. The wood energy and other qualities of the liver remind me of the kundalini energy. Rather than affirming that idea. It seems more like the plant shared that the liver has the ability to give energy to spiritual activity (and a lot of other things, rather than being the source). At any rate the plant was indicating it has the ability to elevate sex to the liver level and at that point hand off the goal of spiritualizing sex to the liver, which will help. The plant may also support the liver. 

Coixseed, Job's tears, Yi yi ren, unknown illustrator, image from Leiden University
Summary and Traditional Use:

This herb is mildly cooling. It is used to relieve dampness which typically impacts the lower limbs and pelvis first. So it can improve damp digestion (diarrhea) and damp reproductive health issues. This herb is traditionally thought of as supporting the stomach, spleen (both associated with the mouth), and lungs (nose). In our plant meditation, two of us experienced highlighted eyes, which are associated iwth the liver in Chinese medicine. I don't know of this herb being used for liver support. In the meditation it was giving me insight into the movement of the wood element through the earth and the connection between the two organs. I think that alleviating damp can improve brightness and, in this case, perhaps free up liver energy. All three of us for brighter and more excited after taking this herb, though in a stable way. This herb did not seem chatty by nature, but seemed to support insight and growth. The cultural references that came out around racism and Black community culture, were complex and while mostly in my daughter's awareness, were presented in new light. The musicians and songs referenced connected Black culture to several other cultures and to history. There is a lot to dive into with all those videos and cultural references! Enjoy. 

This grain herb is used as a food. This gluten free grain may be helpful as a gluten free grain option for hypothyroidism. With Hashimoto's thyroiditis gluten often is a contributing factor to the body's reaction to the thyroid. Job's tears seems to increase enthusiasm when it is present, so it may help with apathy, which is a common low thyroid symptom regardless of etiology. 

This seed is also used in traditional jewelry making. It may share some of its medicine when used for craft too. 



Do you have knowledge or experience of this herb as medicine, food, or for crafting? Please share in the comments below. :) If you are interested in getting to know plants in general and new things about plants through meditation and shared experience, sign up here


Leave a comment