Botanical Name :: Hordeum vulgars
Indian Name :: Jau
Barley is the fourth important cereal crop in the world and sixth in India. It is very nutritious and an excellent body builder. Barley resembles wheat in composition although it is less palatable. The Barely grain, also called pearl barley, is prepared by removal of the outer husk.
Origin and Distribution of Barley
Barely was the first cereal to be domesticated in the Middle. East at least 9,000 years and was probably the most important of the early cereals. Hulled Barley was grown by the ancient Egyptians. It is now widely grown in Europe, arid regions near the Sahara and the high plateau of Tibet. The world’s largest producers are the Soviet Union, Germany, China and the United States.
Food Value of Barley
Barley is very nutritious and a rich source of protein and B complex vitamins. Its protein quality is superior to the protein of corn and beans.
Most of the world’s barley crop is converted into malt. It is most important grain used in the brewing of beer. Barley cannot be used for leavened bread because of low gluten content. It is much used in soups. Barley is also widely used as feed for live stock.
Minerals and Vitamins
|Moisture – 12.5%||Calcium – 26 mg|
|Protein – 11.5%||Phosphorus – 215 mg|
|Fat – 1.3%||Iron – 3 mg|
|Fibre – 1.2%||Vitamin C – 5 mg|
|Minerals – 3.9%||Small amount of Vitamin B Complex|
|Carbohydrates – 69.6%||Calorific Value – 336|
|* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion|
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Barley
Barley has many medicinal virtues. Pearled barley, which is the form the grain is largely eaten and consumed as a food by invalids. The malt prepared from barley is used in the preparation of malt extract for the incorporation in the diet of the infant and the invalid.
The partially germinated and dried grain is the source of malt extract which is more nutritious than the un malted barley. Malt extract consists chiefly of dextrin and malt sugar and contains the ferment diastase enzyme which is developed during the malting process. This ferment diastase possesses the power of converting starch into dextrin and sugar, thus assisting in the digestive of starchy or farinaceous foods.
1. Digestive System Disorders
The pearl barley has always been used by orient traditional physicians for the healing and the rejuvenation of the digestive system. A simple, yet effective folk remedy was to make a barley
brew and sip throughout the day, while restricting intake of other foods. This folk remedy has helped many people even to this day.
The barely brew is prepared by boiling one-quarter cup of all natural pearled barley in about 2.5 litres of water. When the water has boiled down to about 1.25 litres, it should be strained carefully. This all natural barley brew helps digestive rejuvenation in two ways. It has a demulcent or soothing response and relieves the burning digestive actions. It has also a mucilaginous response and introduces a natural oily substance which helps to protect the abraded mucous membrane of the digestive system. Once the digestive system is thus soothed and healed, it can promote better assimilation of foods.
Barley is also useful in fever and all inflammatory conditions on account of its soothing properties.
3. Urinary Disorders
Barley gruel with butter milk and lime juice is an excellent diuretic carbohydrate food. It is highly beneficial in the treatment of urinary disorders like nepthritis and cystitis.