Tag Archives: Alkaloid

Artemisia caruifolia

Botanical Name : Artemisia caruifolia
Family :
Asteraceae or Compositae
Subfamily:
Asteroideae
Tribe:
Anthemideae
Genus:
Artemisia
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Asterales

Habitat : Artemisia caruifolia is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Himalayas. It grows on moist river banks, floodlands, waysides, outer forest margins, canyons and coastal beaches from low elevations up to 4600 metres.
Description:
Herbs, annual or biennial, 30-150 cm, much branched, glabrous. Basal and lowermost stem leaves usually withering before anthesis. Middle stem leaves: petiole 5-10 mm; leaf blade oblong, oblong-ovate, or elliptic, 5-15 × 2-5.5 cm, abaxially green, 2- or 3-pinnatisect; segments 4-6 pairs, pectinate or lanceolate; lobules pectinate, acutely or acuminately serrate; rachis serrate. Uppermost leaves and leaflike bracts 1(or 2)-pinnatisect and pectinatisect. Synflorescence a moderately broad panicle. Capitula many; peduncle slender, 2-6 mm, nodding. Involucre hemispheric, 3.5-7 mm in diam.; phyllaries oblong, radiately spreading or not, scarious margin yellow. Marginal female florets 10-20; corolla ca. 1.5 mm. Disk florets 30-40, bisexual; corolla yellowish, ca. 1.8 mm. Achenes oblong or ellipsoid, ca. 1 mm. Fl. and fr. Jun-Sep….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
The plant can be easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in spring or autumn.

Edible Uses: …..Young plants – cooked in the spring. They are also used as a flavouring for tea

Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is depurative, febrifuge, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge. It contains abrotanine which is antiphlogistic and antifebrile. The plant is said to prevent malaria, or to drive away mosquitoes. It inhibits the maturation of malaria parasites in the body. It is also used in the treatment of low-grade fevers, tidal fever, summer heat stroke, chronic diarrhoea, phthisis, purulent scabies and intestinal troubles. A decction of the root is used in the treatment of asthma. This plant can be used interchangeably with Artemisia annua. The medicinal virtues of that plant are as follows:- Qing Ho, better known in the West as sweet wormwood, is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine. An aromatic anti-bacterial plant, recent research has shown that it destroys malarial parasites, lowers fevers and checks bleeding. It is often used in the Tropics as an affordable and effective anti-malarial. The leaves are antiperiodic, antiseptic, digestive, febrifuge. An infusion of the leaves is used internally to treat fevers, colds, diarrhoea etc. Externally, the leaves are poulticed onto nose bleeds, boils and abscesses. The leaves are harvested in the summer, before the plant comes into flower, and are dried for later use. The plant contains artemisinin, this substance has proved to be a dramatically effective anti-malarial. Clinical trials have shown it to be 90% effective and more successful than standard drugs. In a trial of 2000 patients, all were cured of the disease. The seeds are used in the treatment of flatulence, indigestion and night sweats.

Other Uses : The plant can be used as an insecticides.

Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+caruifolia
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=242420542

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_(genus)

 

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Artemisia absinthium

Botanical Name : Artemisia absinthium
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. absinthium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Absinthium officinale Brot. Artemisia pendula Salisb.. Artemisia rhaetica Brügger
Common Names: Absinthium, Absinthe wormwood, Wormwood, Common wormwood, Green ginger or Grand wormwood
Habitat :Artemisia absinthium is native to temperate regions of Eurasia and Northern Africa and widely naturalized in Canada and the northern United States. It grows naturally on uncultivated, arid ground, on rocky slopes, and at the edge of footpaths and fields.

Description:
Artemisia absinthium is a herbaceous, perennial plant with fibrous roots. The stems are straight, growing to 0.8–1.2 metres (2 ft 7 in–3 ft 11 in) (rarely 1.5 m, but, sometimes even larger) tall, grooved, branched, and silvery-green. The leaves are spirally arranged, greenish-grey above and white below, covered with silky silvery-white trichomes, and bearing minute oil-producing glands; the basal leaves are up to 25 cm long, bipinnate to tripinnate with long petioles, with the cauline leaves (those on the stem) smaller, 5–10 cm long, less divided, and with short petioles; the uppermost leaves can be both simple and sessile (without a petiole). Its flowers are pale yellow, tubular, and clustered in spherical bent-down heads (capitula), which are in turn clustered in leafy and branched panicles. Flowering is from early summer to early autumn; pollination is anemophilous. The fruit is a small achene; seed dispersal is by gravity.

CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Ground cover, Seashore. Succeeds in any soil but it is best in a poor dry one with a warm aspect. Established plants are very drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. Prefers a shady situation according to another report. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.8 to 8.2. Wormwood is occasionally grown in the herb garden, there are some named forms. The growing plant is said to inhibit the growth of fennel, sage, caraway, anise and most young plants, especially in wet years. Wormwood is a good companion for carrots, however, helping to protect them from root fly. This herb was at one time the principal flavouring in the liqueur ‘Absinthe’ but its use has now been banned in most countries since prolonged consumption can lead to chronic poisoning, epileptiform convulsions and degeneration of the central nervous system. The scent of the plant attracts dogs. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Naturalizing, Suitable for dried flowers.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates within 2 – 26 weeks at 15°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. They can be planted out in the summer, or kept in pots in a cold frame for the winter and then planted out in the spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in spring or autumn.

Edible Uses :
Leaves are occasionally used as a flavouring. Caution is advised, prolonged use is known to have a detrimental effect – see the notes above on toxicity.

It is an ingredient in the spirit absinthe, and is used for flavouring in some other spirits and wines, including bitters, vermouth and pelinkovac. In the Middle Ages, it was used to spice mead, and in Morocco it is used as tea. In 18th century England, wormwood was sometimes used instead of hops in beer.

Medicinal Uses:

Anthelmintic; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Appetizer; Carminative; Cholagogue; Emmenagogue; Febrifuge; Homeopathy; Hypnotic; Stimulant;
Stomachic; Tonic; Vermifuge.

Wormwood is a very bitter plant with a long history of use as a medicinal herb. It is valued especially for its tonic effect on the liver, gallbladder and digestive system, and for its vermicidal activity. It is an extremely useful medicine for those with weak and under-active digestion. It increases stomach acid and bile production, improving digestion and the absorption of nutrients. It also eases wind and bloating and, if taken regularly, helps the body return to full vitality after a prolonged illness. The leaves and flowering shoots are anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitumor, carminative, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hypnotic, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge. The plant is harvested as it is coming into flower and then dried for later use. Use with caution, the plant should be taken internally in small doses for short-term treatment only, preferably under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. It should not be prescribed for children or pregnant women. See also the notes above on toxicity. The extremely bitter leaves are chewed to stimulate the appetite. The bitter taste on the tongue sets off a reflex action, stimulating stomach and other digestive secretions. The leaves have been used with some success in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. The plant is applied externally to bruises and bites. A warm compress has been used to ease sprains and strained muscles. A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves. It is used to stimulate bile and gastric juice production and to treat disorders of the liver and gall bladder.

Wormwood leaves primary use is to stimulate the gallbladder, help prevent, and release stones, and to adjust resulting digestive problems.  Clinical studies with volunteers proved that wormwood does effectively increase bile.  It expels roundworms and threadworms, probably due to is sesquiterpene lactones.  It is also a muscle relaxer that is occasionally added to liniments, especially for rheumatism.  Members of the Bedouin African tribe place the antiseptic leaves inside their nostrils as a decongestant and drink it for coughs.  Wormwood is an extremely useful medicine for those with weak and underactive digestions.  It increases stomach acid and bile production and therefore improves digestion and the absorption of nutrients, making it helpful for many conditions including anemia.  It also eases gas and bloating, and if the tincture is taken regularly, it slowly strengthens the digestion and helps the body return to full vitality after a prolonged illness.

Other Uses:
Repellent; Strewing.
The fresh or dried shoots are said to repel insects and mice, they have been laid amongst clothing to repel moths and have also been used as a strewing herb. An infusion of the plant is said to discourage slugs and insects. The plant contains substances called sesquiterpene lactones, these are strongly insecticidal.

Known Hazards: Artemisia absinthium contains thujone, a GABAA receptor antagonist that can cause epileptic-like convulsions and kidney failure when ingested in large amounts. Even small quantities have been known to cause nervous disorders, convulsions, insomnia etc. Just the scent of the plant has been known to cause headaches and nervousness in some people. The plant contains thujone. In small quantities this acts as a brain stimulant but is toxic in excess. Avoid if prone to seizures. Avoid during pregnancy & breast feeding. Absinthism adverse effects include hallucinations, insomnia, loss of intellect, psychosis, tremor & seizures.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_absinthium
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+absinthium

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

Corkwood

Botanical Name :Duboisia myoporoides
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Duboisia
Species: D. myoporoides mmon Names:
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Synonym:  Duboisia.

Habitat: Corkwood is  native to high-rainfall areas on the margins of rainforest in eastern Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.

Common Name:Corkwood

Description:
Corkwood is a tall glabrous shrub or small tree, flowers, axillary clusters, white with two-lipped calyx; corolla, funnel-shaped; limb, five parted; five stamens within the corolla (two long and two short); one rudimentary ovary, two many-ovalled compartments and fruit berry-like; leaves, inodorous and bitter taste.

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It has a thick and corky bark.The leaves are obovate to elliptic in shape, 4–15 cm long and 1–4 cm wide. The small white flowers are produced in clusters. This is followed by globose purple-black berries (not edible).

Another species, Duboisia Hoopwoodii, contains an acrid liquid alkaloid, Piturine, which is said to be identical with nicotine; it is largely used by the natives of Central Australia rather in the same way that the Indians use Coca leaves. It is obtained from the leaves and twigs, which are collected while the flowers are in bloom in August; the natives smoke and chew it for its stimulating effect, which enables them to work at high pressure without food.

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: Leaves.

Chemical Constituents:Alkaloidal sulphates, mainly hyoscyamine and hyoscine.

Sedative, hypnotic and mydriatic (of variable strength), which augments the activity of the respiratory system. Its alkaloid, Sulphate of Duboisia, is sometimes used as a substitute for atropine. The homoeopaths use the tincture and the alkaloid for paralysis and eye affections; a red spot interfering with vision is an indication for its use. It is antidoted by coffee and lemon-juice.

The leaves are a commercial source of pharmaceutically useful alkaloids. The same alkaloids render all plant parts poisonous. The leaves contain a number of alkaloids, including hyoscine (scopolamine), used for treating motion sickness, stomach disorders, and the side effects of cancer therapy.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duboisia_myoporoides
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/corkw100.html

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Pausinystalia johimbe

Botanical Name :Pausinystalia johimbe
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Pausinystalia
Species: P. yohimbe
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Coryanthe yohimbe

Common Names:Yohimbe , johimbe, yumbina

Habitat :Pausinystalia johimbe is native to Africa specifically  west Africa.

Description:
Pausinystalia johimbe is an evergreen tree grows to a height of 30m, having fissured bark grey brown in colour and often spoted with lichen.The interior sides of the fissures are typically redder than the outer bark. The erect stems branch heavely with ovate or elliptical leaves roughly 10cm in length.The wiged seeds are delicate and paper thin.

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Chemical Constituents:Ajmaline, corynantheine, corynanthene, quebrachin, tannins, yohimbine

In addition to yohimbine, Yohimbe also contains 55 other alkaloids. Yohimbine accounts for 1-20% of its total alkaloid content. Among the others is corynanthine, an alpha-1 adrenergic receptor blocker. Hence, the use of yohimbe extract in sufficient dosages may provide concomitant alpha-1 and alpha-2 adrenoceptors blockade and thus may better enhance erections than yohimbine alone.

Medicinal Uses:
The bark of this West African tree may be used as best natural bet for reversing sexual dysfunction, though at the cost of several side effects. Until the advent of Viagra, the most commonly prescribed drug for erection problems was a pharmaceutical isolation of yohimbe’s’ active phytochemical, yohimbine. Called “herbal viagra” by the February 1999 edition of Environmental Nutrition, yohimbe’s power comes from a combination of alkaloids. Alkaloids are organic plant substances that have strong medicinal properties and are frequently used as drugs.

The terms yohimbine, yohimbine hydrochloride, and yohimbe bark extract are related but different. Yohimbe refers to the herb. Yohimbine refers to the active chemical found not only in yohimbe but also in Indian snakewood, periwinkle, quebracho, and niando. For a significant number of men who try it, yohimbe lives up to its reputation as a sexual performance enhancer.

While Yohimbe herb is often thought of for male erectile dysfunction support, most people don’t realize that yohimbe is also effective in women. This herb increases blood flow to the genitals of both males and females giving women an enhanced sensation and engorgement of genital organs. However, keep the dose low to prevent the yohimbe side effects.

Yohimbe is also sold as a muscle building natural version of anabolic steroids. However, it’s action is apparently unrelated to the body’s production of testosterone, which means it probably is of little value in building bigger muscles.

The only Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medicine for impotence is yohimbine – an alkaloid isolated from the bark of the yohimbe tree (Pausinystalia yohimbe) native to tropical West Africa. Yohimbine hydrochloride increases libido, but its primary action is to increase blood flow to erectile tissue. Contrary to a popular misconception, yohimbine has no effects on testosterone levels.  When used alone, yohimbine is successful in 34-43 percent of cases.

Side Effects::
Not recommended if one has severe kidney or liver disease. Not to be taken if any one is currently on blood thinning medication, and it is not recommended to be taken for extended periods of time. Side effects can include anxiety, dizziness, rapid heart rate, insomnia, and nausea. Extremely high doses can cause hallucinations and cause muscular dysfunction – do not exceed recommend dosage by doctor. The herb contains compounds capable of elevating and also lowering blood pressure to a possibly dangerous level.

A recent study examined recreational erectile dysfunction medication use among young men. Since its introduction to the consumer market in 1998, Viagra and other oral erectile dysfunction medications (EDMs), with their promise of four-hour long erections, have become an increasingly popular drug of abuse. Viagra and other oral EDMs are unfortunately associated with increased sexual risk behaviors in young men, yet they may also negatively impact sexual function. By affecting confidence, a healthy young man may lose belief in his ability to attain an erection without pharmacological aid.

The researchers worked with a sample population comprised of 1,207 sexually active men recruited from undergraduate institutions within the U.S. Participants completed an online survey assessing frequency of EDM use, as well as levels of sexual function and levels of confidence in ability to gain and maintain erection. Recreational users reported lower erectile confidence and lower overall satisfaction compared with nonusers. Researchers believe their results underscore the possibility that recreational use of EDMs among healthy young men may lead to dysfunction.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pausinystalia_yohimbe
http://www.globinmed.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=83409:pausinystal/
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail295.php

http://www.medicaldaily.com/discover-male-enhancement-through-4-natural-libido-boosters-246699

.http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

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Barley (Hordeum vulgare L)

Botanical Name : Hordeum vulgare L
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Pooideae
Tribe: Triticeae
Genus: Hordeum

German botanical illustration of barley

German botanical illustration of barley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Species: H. vulgare
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Synonyms:
Hordeum vulgare L.

HOAE Hordeum aegiceras Nees ex Royle
HODI2 Hordeum distichon L.
HOHE6 Hordeum hexastichon L.
HOHE3 Hordeum hexastichum L., orth. var.
HOIR Hordeum irregulare Aberg & Wiebe
HOSA4 Hordeum sativum Pers.
HOVUH Hordeum vulgare L. ssp. hexastichon (L.) Bonnier & Layens
HOVUT Hordeum vulgare L. var. trifurcatum (Schltdl.) Alef.

Common Name:  Two-Rowed Barley

Barley  (The Old English word for ‘barley’ was bære, which traces back to Proto-Indo-European and is cognate to the Latin word farina “flour”. The direct ancestor of modern English “barley” in Old English was the derived adjective bærlic, meaning “of barley”. The first citation of the form bærlic in the Oxford English Dictionary dates to around 966 AD, in the compound word bærlic-croft.   The underived word bære survives in the north of Scotland as bere, and refers to a specific strain of six-row barley grown there. The word barn, which originally meant “barley-house”, is also rooted in these words)

Habitat : Probably barley is native to Middle East, from Afghanistan to northern India; now widely cultivated in all temperate regions from Arctic Circle to high mountains in the tropics. The earliest remains so far discovered are from Iran (ca 7900 BC), but we still do not know that it originated there or in Egypt, Etiopia, the Near East or Tibet (Foster, 1981).

Description:
Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), a member of the grass family.It is an annual herb with stems erect, stout, tufted, 60–120 cm tall; leaves few, alternate, linear-lanceolate, the upper one close to the spike, blades up to 25 cm long, about 1.5 cm broad; sheath smooth, striate; ligules short, membranous; spikes terminal, linear-oblong, compressed, up to 20 cm long, densely flowered; spikelets sessile, arranged in threes on two sides of a flattened rachis, all fertile (6-rowed types), or lateral ones barren and occasionally rudimentary (2-rowed types); glumes 2, narrow, small, short-awned, enclosing 3 spikelets; lemma lanceolate, 5-ribbed, tapering into a long straight or recurved awn; palea slightly smaller than the lemma with margins inflexed; stamens 3; caryopsis ellipsoid, about 0.9 cm long, short-pointed, grooved on inner face, smooth, free or adherent to palea, or both lemma and palea. Seeds 30,870/kg (Reed, 1976).

You may click to see the picture  :—->…...(01)....…..(1)—->(2)—->(3)

Cultivation:
Seed sown broadcast or in shallow furrows about 22 cm apart, dropped through a drill. Depth of sowing 1.3–4.5 cm. Seeding rates vary from 67 to 101 kg/ha. Crop requires very little interculture or weeding. In dry areas 2–3 waterings are required after sowing. In India, seed sown in Oct.–Nov., and harvested by late March or early April. In Punjab, sowing as late as early Jan. Crop may be raised under both rainfall and irrigated conditions. Crop grown pure, or in mixtures with gram, pea, lentil, berseem, rape, mustard, or linseed. Sometimes grown with wheat. Irrigation increases yields, irrigated crops containing less nitrogen. A light harrowing after first irrigation when crop is about 20 cm tall, gives up to 10% higher yields. Barley is usually grown without any Special manuring. However, an application of fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus, or potash, in various combinations, influence yield and quality of grain. Additional nitrogen increases yield of straw and grain, but in larger doses, nitrogen increases the protein content and affects its brewing quality. Phosphate fertilizers lower the protein content considerably and influence formation and ripening of grain. Lodging, when it occurs, causes loss in quality and yield of crop, and may be due to poor root system, disease infection, weak straw, or storm damage.

Harvesting:
Dry warm weather is favorable for grain ripening. Barley is ready for harvest in about 4 months after sowing; some varieties in 60 days. Plants are either pulled out or cut with sickles and sheaves stacked for about a week or more. Grain is threshed out by beating with sticks or trampled by oxen (India). Barley plants are fed green or as hay to livestock. In some areas, stalks are cut 2 or 3 times without marked injury to grain yield. For hay, plants are cut while still green after heads are well formed. Dry stalks and leaves obtained during threshing are also useful as cattle feed. Barley, like wheat, is stored in bulk or in bags or in underground pits in bulk. Straw is used as roughage for livestock and bedding, for making hats and packing and for manufacture of cellulose pulp. Barley fed to stock alone or mixed with other grains, usually crushed or ground to meal and mixed with other foodstuffs, particularly useful for pigs and horses, less so for cattle.

Uses:
Barley is the fourth most important cereal in the United States, but ca 50% is used for livestock fodder, 37% for the brewing industry (80% for beer, 14% distilled alcohol, 6% malt syrup). Beer is no johnny-come-lately; Clay documents at least 8000 years old have depicted barley beer making. Until the sixteenth century, barley flour was used instead of wheat to make bread (Bukantis and Goodman, 1980). Winter barley furnishes nutritive pasturage without seriously reducing yields.It is used as a component of various health foods. It is used in soups and stews, and in barley bread of various cultures. Barley grains are commonly made into malt in a traditional and ancient method of preparation. In India, a cooling drink called sattu is made from barley. Barley flour is produced by milling the grains or as a by-product in pearl barley manufacturing. Flour of good quality obtained by milling pearl barley. Barley flour unsuitable for use alone in bread-making; used with 10–25% wheat flour for various purposes. Ashes of leaves used in Patna (India) in preparation of cooling sherbets. High protein barleys are generally valued for food and feeding, and starchy barley for malting. Two-rowed barley contains more starch than six-rowed types (Reed, 1976).

You may click to see Purity Indian Barley

Barley was one of the first domesticated grains in the Fertile Crescent, an area of relatively abundant water in Western Asia and near the Nile river of northeast Africa. The grain appeared in the same time as einkorn and emmer wheat. Wild barley (H. vulgare ssp. spontaneum) ranges from North Africa and Crete in the west, to Tibet in the east. The earliest evidence of wild barley in an archaeological context comes from the Epipaleolithic at Ohalo II at the southern end of the Sea of Galilee. The remains were dated to about 8500 BC. The earliest domesticated barley occurs at Aceramic Neolithic sites, in the Near East such as the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B layers of Tell Abu Hureyra, in Syria. Barley has been grown in the Korean Peninsula since the Early Mumun Pottery Period (circa 1500–850 BC) along with other crops such as millet, wheat, and legumes.

In the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond argues that the availability of barley, along with other domesticable crops and animals, in southwestern Eurasia significantly contributed to the broad historical patterns that human history has followed over approximately the last 13,000 years; i.e., why Eurasian civilizations, as a whole, have survived and conquered others.

Barley beer was probably the first drink developed by Neolithic humans.Barley later on was used as currency. Alongside emmer wheat, barley was a staple cereal of ancient Egypt, where it was used to make bread and beer. The general name for barley is jt (hypothetically pronounced “eat”); šma (hypothetically pronounced “SHE-ma”) refers to Upper Egyptian barley and is a symbol of Upper Egypt. The Sumerian term is akiti. According to Deuteronomy 8:8, barley is one of the “Seven Species” of crops that characterize the fertility of the Promised Land of Canaan, and it has a prominent role in the Israelite sacrifices described in the Pentateuch (see e.g. Numbers 5:15). A religious importance extended into the Middle Ages in Europe, and saw barley’s use in justice, via alphitomancy and the corsned.

In ancient Greece, the ritual significance of barley possibly dates back to the earliest stages of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The preparatory kykeon or mixed drink of the initiates, prepared from barley and herbs, referred in the Homeric hymn to Demeter, whose name some scholars believe meant “Barley-mother”. The practice was to dry the barley groats and roast them before preparing the porridge, according to Pliny the Elder’s Natural History (xviii.72). This produces malt that soon ferments and becomes slightly alcoholic.

Pliny also noted barley was a special food of gladiators known as hordearii, “barley-eaters”. However, by Roman times, he added that wheat had replaced barley as a staple.

Tibetan barley has been a staple food in Tibet since the fifth century AD. This grain, along with a cool climate that permitted storage, produced a civilization that was able to raise great armies. It is made into a flour product called tsampa that is still a staple in Tibet.  The flour is roasted and mixed with butter and butter tea to form a stiff dough that is eaten in small balls.

In medieval Europe, bread made from barley and rye was peasant food, while wheat products were consumed by the upper classes.  Potatoes largely replaced barley in Eastern Europe in the 19th century

Constituents: vitamins, minerals, and amino acids: beta-carotene, betaine, biotin, boron, copper, iron, lutein, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine. alpha-linoleic acid, oryzanol, potassium, selenium, zinc, and the tocopherols that make up vitamin e

Medicinal Uses:
Folk Medicine :
According to Hartwell (1967–1971), barley is used in folk remedies for cancer (esp. of stomach and uterus), and tumors (of the abdomen). The seed meal is a folk remedy for cancer of the uterus, inflammatory and sclerotic tumors and gatherings, and parotid gland tumors. The seed flour is used for condylomata of the anus, tumors behind the ears, scirrhus of the testicles and spleen, and whitlows. Cataplasms derived from the seed are also believed to help breast cancers (Hartwell, 1967–1971). Reported to be antilactagogue, demulcent, digestive, diuretic, ecbolic, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, and stomachic, barley is a folk remedy for bronchitis, burns, cancer, catarrh, chest, chilblains, cholecystosis, cholera, cough, debility, diarrhea, dyspepsia, fever, inflammation, measles, phthisis, puerperium, sores, and urogenital ailments (Duke and Wain, 1981). Other folk medicinal details are presented in Medicinal Plants of the Bible (Duke, 1983a). Barley grain is demulcent and easily assimilable, and used in dietary of invalids and convalescents. Pearl barley is form commonly used. Powdered parched grains used in form of a gruel for painful and atonic dyspepsia. Barley water with honey prescribed for bronchial coughs, and with gum arabic used for soothing irritations of the bladder and urinary passage. Iranians have a saying, “What has disease to do with men who live upon barley-bread and buttermilk?”

Barley grain is an excellent food for convalescence, either in the form of porridge or as a decoction of the seed. It is soothing to the throat and provides easily assimilated nutrients. It can also be taken to clear catarrh. Its demulcent properties soothes inflammation of the gut and urinary tract. It is commonly given to children suffering minor infections or diarrhoea and is particularly recommended as a treatment for feverish states and in catarrhal affections of the respiratory and urinary organs. Made into a poultice, the seed is an effective remedy for soothing and reducing inflammation in sores and swellings. Modern 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.
Other Uses: The stems, after the seed has been harvested, have many uses. They are a source of fibres for making paper, a biomass for fuel etc, they can be shredded and used as a mulch

Known Hazards:
Science 205 (Aug. 24, 1979, p. 768) reported that 70% of 158 European beers analyzed contain 1–68 ppb NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine), dark beer containing more than light beer. American beer testing (some foreign, some domestic) showed only 0.7–7 ppb. Both concluded that the NDMA may be an artifact produced in drying or kilning the barley malt. Other chemical details can be found in two fine source books, the Wealth of India (C.S.I.R., 1948–1976) and Hager’s Handbook (List and Horhammer, 1969–1979).

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barley
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=HOVU
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Hordeum_vulgare.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hordeum+distichon

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