Hordeum vulgare L.
Botanical Name: Hordeum vulgare L.
Species: H. vulgare
Local Name: Jaw
Sindhi Name: Jaw
English Name: Barley /Malt
Parts Used: Seeds, and Fruit
H. vulgare is an annual herb. Stem is erect. Leaves are few, alternate, and linear-lanceolate. Flowers are usually bisexual, sometimes unisexual, small and inconspicuous. Fruit is mostly a caryopsis with thin pericarp adnate to the seed.1
H. vulgare is widely distributed throughout the world, including the Middle East, North Africa and northern and eastern Europe (mainly Iran, Morocco, Ethiopia, Finland, England, Germany, Denmark, Russia and Poland) and in Asia (Japan, India, Tibet and Korea).2
Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases
Acne and Pyoderma
Ground seeds of H. vulgare are mixed with cold water. This paste is applied on the affected areas for the treatment of acne and pyoderma in District Kashmore (Sindh).
H. vulgare is mixed with karwa oil to make a paste. This paste is applied on the affected areas for the treatment of scabies in District Kashmore (Sindh).
H. vulgare contains histidine, lysine, tyrosine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, cystine, methionine, threonine, leucine, isoleucine, valine, and glycine. It also contains some enzymes: catalase, cellobiase, cytaste, diastase, lichenase, mannase, mannobiase, oxidase, peroxidase, and phytase. The grains also contain choline, folic acid, vitamin E, vitamin D, and pantothenic acid.2,3
Medicinal Uses and Pharmacological/Scientific Studies
A decoction of dried seeds of H. vulgare is used for the treatment of cough, hemorrhoid, enema, and bladder inflammation.4 It is reported that seeds possessed digestive, emollient, nutritive, febrifuge and stomachic properties and is used for the treatment of dyspepsia. The plant is also used as a poultice for the treatment of burns and wounds. 5 Decoction of the dried fruit is used for treatment of urinary tract infection and respiratory tract infection.2 It is reported that plant possessed anti-inflammatory, antilactagogue, diuretic, antioxidant, aphrodisiac, antiviral, antiprotozoal, astringent, demulcent, expectorant, febrifuge, antimutagenic, hypocholesterolemic, emollient, refrigerant, sedative, and tonic properties.6
2. Marwat, S., Hashimi, M., and Khan, K. (2012). “Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) A Prophetic Food Mentioned In Ahadith And Its Ethnobotanical Importance”. American-Eurasian J Agric Environ Sci, 12(7). p: 835-41.
4. Jebor, A. M., Al-Saadi, A., Behjet, R. H., Al-Terehi, M., Zaidan, H. K., and Mohammed, A. K. (2013). “Characterization And Antimicrobial Activity of Barley Grain (Hordeum vulgare) Extract”. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences, 2(8). p: 41-48.
6. Sinha, A., Meena, A. K., Panda, P., Srivastava, B., Gupta, M. D., and Padhi, M. M. (2012). “Phytochemical, Pharmacological and Therapeutic Potential of Hordeum vulgare Linn.-A Review”. Asian Journal of Research In Chemistry, 5(10). p: 1303-1308.