|Botanical Nomenclature||Hordeum vulgare|
|Taxonomy- Family||Gramineae, Poaceae|
|Distinguishing Features of the Plant||Hordeum vulgare is an annual plant growing up to 1m, which is classified in grass family and is a major cereal grain. It differs from the other plants of this category as its young leaves have two projections (sheaths) in their base and they surround the shoot. The flowering lasts from July to August and the harvesting takes place a little earlier than the fruits ripen. The plant's sowning happens in autumn and spring.|
|Part of the Plant with Active Substances||Aboveground plant parts|
|Active Substances||Starch (70-80%), carbohydrates, proteins, fats, cellulose, minerals (chlorine, cobalt, iron, phosphorus), vitamin B1, B12, B6, E, beta-carotene, protein, hordenine (alkaloid which has sympathomimetic action), aminophenol|
|Pharmacological Effects - Therapeutic Applications||The whole plant is used as emollient, diuretic, expectorant, antipyretic, galaktagogue, soothing and abortifacient. The herbal tea is recommended for the treatment of dyspepsia caused by cereals or milk consumption, bronchitis, diarrhea, constipation, as well as folic acid, vitamin B12 and B6 source. It is applied externally to the skin in the form of poultice as soothing against burns and wounds. A lot of scientific studies have shown that Barley may be used to reduce cholesterol level, as it contains three components which inhibit LDL synthesis in the liver. Although its consumption reduces also the HDL levels due to the soluble beta-glucan, contained in endosperm. Finally, the plant has anticancer action, attributed to the protease inhibitors contained in the seeds, which inhibit the intestine carcinogenic substances.|
|Method of Administration||The plant is administered as emollient, diuretic and expectorant in the form of powder (2-4g, consumed with water) and herbal tea (30-50g of dried plant in 1L of boiled water, 2-3 times a day). It is applied externally to the skin as sedative in the form of poultice made from the dried plant.
Warning: The use of herb preparations is not recommended without seeking advice from your physician or pharmacist. The substances they contain may interact with the subscribed drugs that the patient already takes, thus eliminating their therapeutic efficacy or inducing toxicity. They may also burden further weakened vital functions of the body thus exposing the patient to increased morbidity and life threatened conditions.
|Toxicity- Adverse Effects||Plant's consumption may cause asthma and hypersensitivity. Also people who have genetic predisposition can develop celiac disease.|
|References||1)http://www.drugs.com/npc/barley-grass.html 2)http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail460.php 3)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3523490/ 4) http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hordeum+vulgare 5)http://practicalplants.org/wiki/Hordeum_vulgare 6)http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/westernnews/160292_The-benefits-of-barley--Hordeum-vulgare-|