Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is among the oldest cereal grains that was grown in Mesopotamia as far back as 8000 B.C. Today it is used as animal feed but also as food for people, as well as in the brewing industry. As well, the grains of this plant are used to make medicines, thanks to the health benefits that barley grains provide for the body.
Barley is used to lower blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as a food that causes weight loss. It's also good for taking if suffering from digestive problems such as diarrhea, stomach pains and inflammatory conditions.
Some people use the grain product to boost the power and endurance of their body. Other uses include the prevention of stomach cancer, as well as lung problems - bronchitis and others.
Barley is also applied directly to the skin against hair follicle inflammation (boils) and others.
Thanks to the fiber found in its composition, barley has the ability to lower the levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure as a result. It slows stomach emptying, allowing for a feeling of satiety and for maintaining stable blood sugar levels. This makes it very suitable for diabetics, who have a need of lowering blood sugar and insulin levels.
Studies also show that consuming barley lowers total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein, also known as "bad" or LDL cholesterol. Additionally it has a positive effect on triglyceride levels and increases high-density lipoprotein values - "good" or HDL cholesterol.
It's also mentioned that the beneficial effect depends on the amount of the grain cereal taken. The Food and Drug Administration adds that consumption of barley for its low content of saturated fats and cholesterol reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Due to the gluten found in barley, it is not recommended for people who are gluten intolerant (celiac disease).