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Hordeum distichonHordeum distichon/H. vulgare (Graminae)

BARLEY, PERLATUM

 

Traditionally, barley grain (polished or germinating) is used as a convalescent food in forms such as soup, malt extract or barley water, especially after diarrhoea or bowel disease. Chinese physicians use it for loss of appetite, poor digestion, and bloating.

 

Barley was one of the first crops ever farmed; records go back to neolithic times. As well as being a staple cereal, barley has long been used as a medicine for all manner of internal and external afflictions. It was also used as a nutritive for, in Culpeper's words, "persons troubled with fevers, agues, and heats in the stomach". Barley is an annual grass with distinctive ears of grain that have long stout bristles.

 

PARTS USED

Polished grains, germinating seeds.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Indole alkaloid, gramine; proteins; B vitamins.

 

ACTIONS

Nutritive; soothes internal body surfaces.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Used in convalescence, especially after diarrhoea or bowel disease. The Chinese prescribe it for loss of appetite, poor digestion, and fullness in the abdomen.

 

PREPARATIONS

Grains, decoction, malt extract.

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