Sounds Of Silence

It’s been a long time since I’ve suffered from laryngitis but twice this year I have lost my voice. The first time was in March, when I was on holiday in the USA. I didn’t want to ruin my trip, so rather than resting, I ran around in the rain, sightseeing and having fun. I paid for it when I got home but it was worth it! Last week I felt the same head cold developing followed by a loss of voice. This time I decided to take as much time off as I needed.

Not knowing how long I would need, I decided to spend my days rereading The Hollows series by Kim Harrison, featuring awesome witch Rachel Morgan. What a pleasure it has been to finish a book and then go straight on to the next one!  

For much needed hydration during my convalescence, I sipped homemade barley water. I grew up on barley water and have always thought of it as an old fashioned recipe. After doing some research, I discovered it was older than I thought, as barley water has been drunk since ancient times.

An ancient Greek version of barley water, called Kykeon, was consumed during the Eleusinian Mysteries which honoured the Goddesses Demeter and Persephone. Demeter was said to like her barley water flavoured with mint. I added honey and lemon to my version with sprigs of mint for Demeter.

Lemon Barley Water



3/4 cup pearl barley
2 lemons, zested and juiced
6 cups water
1/2 cup honey
sprigs of mint (optional)

Add the barley, lemon zest and water to a large saucepan.
Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Strain liquid into a heatproof container, discarding the barley and zest.
Add the honey and lemon juice and stir until the honey has dissolved.
Refrigerate overnight.
Serve with sprigs of mint or a herb of your choice.


  1. Sorry to hear you were sick! Hope you are feeling better. I have never heard of barley water, but I know barley itself is very healthy. I like barley soup — will have to try this lemon water also! I love that it is connected to Demeter and Persephone!

    Glad you had some good books to read during the illness 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m feeling better but I’m still taking it easy – and reading heaps 🙂

      I always thought barley water was British. The Queen of England reportedly drinks it every day and it’s a popular drink at Wimbledon. I’ve always loved it so I was rapt when I found a Demeter/Persephone connection! It’s really versatile as you can add as much or as little sweeter as you like and you can leave out the citrus juice. You can add the cooked barley to soups or eat it straight from the pan with a knob of butter. Let me know if you make it and what you think of it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have also lost my voice and have a cold/cough on and off now for months. Taking time out is always best and thanks for the reminder of the wonderful goodness of barley water, brings back memories.

    Liked by 1 person

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