Monday, February 23, 2009

Hordeum vulgare L.

English Name : Barley

Family : Poaceae

Origin : Southern Caucasus region

It is an annual plant that is widely cultivated as a food grain. It is stout, simple stem is hollow and jointed and grows from 11/2 to 3 feet high. The narrow, tapering leaves ascend the stem In two ranks, the third leaf over the first; and their bases form loose sheaths around the stem. The flowers grow in bristly-bearded terminal spikes, producing eventually the elliptic, furrowed barley grains.

Parts Used : Seed, stem, leaf and plant

Herb Effects
The shoots are diuretic. The seed sprouts are demulcent, expectorant, galactofuge, lenitive and stomachic. They are sometimes abortifacient; antiviral and antiprotozoal (50% EtOH plant extract). The seed is digestive, emollient, nutritive, febrifuge and stomachic.

Active Ingredients
Flavones (leaf and stem); proanthocyanidins and biflavonoids (seed extract); from 50% EtOH plant extract, ascorbic acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, choline, ferulic acid, folacin, (seed); beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, coumarin, esculetin, esculin, herniarin, scopoletin, tryptophan, (plant); catechin (leaf),

Medicinal Use
Cholera (plant); as an emollient for inflammations of the skin, a demulcent and in fever (seed decoction). They are used in the treatment of dyspepsia caused by cereals, infantile lacto-dyspepsia, regurgitation of milk and breast distension. It is taken internally as a nutritious food or as barley water and is of special use for babies and invalids, to reduce excessive lactation. Barley is also used as a poultice for burns and wounds.

Decoction: Wash 2 oz. barley with cold water and ball in 1 cup water for a few minutes. Discard this water and boil the barley in 4 pints of water until the total volume is 2 pints. Strain and use as required.
Barley Water: Wash pearl barley in cold water. Boil 1 part pearl barley in 9 parts water for 20 minutes and strain. A dose is from 1 to 4 oz.

Contraindicated during lactation.


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