Hordeum vulgare Linn

Family ► Gramineae; Poaceae.

Habitat ► Cultivated as food crop in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

English ► Barley

Ayurvedic ► Yava, Hayeshtha, Hayapriya, Shuka-dhaanya, Tiksh-nashuka.

Action ► Barley—nutritive and demulcent during convalescence and in cases of bowel inflammation and diarrhoea. Protects immune system.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia ofIn-dia recommends barley in urinary disorders, muscular rigidity, chronic sinusitis, cough, asthma, lipid disorder and obesity.

Juice of young barley leaves—7 times richer in vitamin C than oranges, 5 times richer in iron than spinach, 25 times richer in potassium than wheat; high in SOD (superoxide dismutase), an enzyme that slows ageing of cells.

The nutritional quality of the barley depends on beta-glucan fraction of the grain. Beta-glucan-enriched fraction produced cholesterol-lowering effect in hamsters.

Naked barley extracts have been found to selectively inhibit cyclohex-anase activity and may be useful as a therapeutic drug for treating thrombosis and atherosclerosis.

Ethanol extract of young green leaves exhibits antioxidant activity attributed to a flavonoid, 2"-O-glucosyl-isovitexin. It also exhibits antiinflammatory and antiallergic activities. The leaves contain an indole alkaloid, gramine, which exhibits antibacterial properties.

Dosage ► Dried fruit—100-200 g. (API Vol. II); dried plant—10-20 g. (API Vol. IV.)

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