Vijay Danapur, Madhushree MV Rao, Haleshi C
Barley has been cultivated since long in northern India. The important producers of barley are U.S.S.R., China, U.S.A., Canada, India and countries bordering the Mediterranean, Which together contribute more than 50% of the total world production. In India it is found in Uttar pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Punjab and Madhya pradesh, West Bengal, Himalchal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir. The shoots are diuretic. The seed sprouts are demulcent, expectorant, galactofuge, lenitive and stomachic. The seed is digestive, emollient, nutritive, febrifuge and stomachic. It is taken internally as a nutritious food or as barley water (an infusion of the germinated seed in water) and is of special use for babies and invalids. Its use is said to reduce excessive lactation. Barley is also used as a poultice for burns and wounds. Resent research has shown that barley may be of aid in the treatment of hepatitis, whilst other trials have shown that it may help to control diabetes. Barley bran may have the effect of lowering blood cholesterol levels and preventing bowel cancer. Hence an attempt is made to study its detailed pharmacognosy.
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