Emoliente – A Powerful Drink For Any Weather

Emoliente is one of my favourite drinks. Perfect for a cold winter day if you drink it straight from the steaming pot, and also incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day, once it’s been chilling in the fridge for a few hours. This beverage has been sold by street vendors in Lima for more than a century, and people love it both for it’s sweet soothing flavor and for its medicinal properties. It’s fervent drinkers believe it’s a natural diuretic, and also good for the liver and for digestion in general.

Emoliente is prepared using a mix of herbs selected by the person preparing it. Some brands sell the herb mix ready to put in the pot of boiling water, just like the one I found in a Korean supermarket the other day, and have made today. I have a cold, so drinking it now comes very handy!

As a general rule, what every emoliente must have is: toasted barley, flax seeds, dried horse tail (the herb, not a real horse’s tail!), dried grass, and llantén (plantain leaf). To this you can add as many things as you wish, including aniseed, boldo, lemon verbena, lemongrass, and cat’s claw, a native South American woody vine, consumed for its powerful anti inflammatory properties.

To make it, you put everything in a pan with water, and let it boil for about half an hour. You then strain it, sweeten it with sugar, and finish it off with some lemon juice. I sweetened mine with raw honey. The package instructions of the brand I bought, say you should first boil the toasted barley for half an hour, and at the end you add the other ingredients without boiling them any longer. It also says you should put a quince in the boiling water, together with the toasted barley. As you can see, there are many ways of preparing a good emoliente.Some better than others, but I’ve never come across one that I didn’t enjoy. They always seems to taste and feel good, whatever you put in the preparation. Here it is for you to enjoy, whatever the weather you’re in. Cheers!

Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • Dried horse tail
  • Dried grass
  • Flax seeds
  • Llanten (plantain leaf)
  • Chopped quince (optional)
  • Water
  • Sugar or honey
  • Lemon
  1. Boil all the ingredients in a large pan filled with water, for half an hour.
  2. Strain, sweeten, and add lemon juice to taste.


  1. If it’s good for digestion, yes, I’ll have some please! I think I can smell it! Great color, too!

  2. Se ve maravilloso!!!!!!!! Como de día de spa! Definitivamente iré a buscar los ingredientes.

    • Es verdad! Muchas veces los peruanos comemos o tomamos cosas super nutritivas y revitalizantes, sin saber que son buenas. Lo hacemos por tradicion y porque es rico!

  3. me encanta porque se ve super fresco y por la mezcla de los ingredientes parece ser delicioso y un aroma espectacular 🙂

  4. It looks so soothing! It’s my first time hearing about it but I can just imagine the results.

  5. Natural diuretic? SOLD! I have never heard of this but will definitely make a list of all the ingredients. Sounds lovely and healthy! Thank you for sharing!

    • Yes Yvette, you can buy the ingredients separately if you want. But as I mention in the post, you can also buy the emoliente herbs ready to put in the pan, in many latin or ethnic food stores. I got mine in a Korean supermarket where they sell latin ingredients too.

  6. I’m always looking for something that’s good for digestion. Thanks!

  7. Thank you for the recipe. I’m going to try it out.

  8. Love all these warm drinks for the cold winter.

  9. im drinking right now!!!!! ……..aaaaa so good is good good good

  10. Peru Delights: I’m so impressed with this website. Yo tambien soy Peruana! Everything I’ve seen here is healthy and delicious, as well as very Peruvian. Beautifully presented. I googled “Emoliente” and I found this treasure. Gracias! I will definitely “like” you on Facebook.

  11. please , I wonder is emollient good to use for a enlarged prostate ?


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