By Dr Renita D’Souza
Barley is a well known nutritional cereal included in diet. In Ayurveda, Barley is known by the name Yava and included under daily recommended diet.
It is widely known for its scarping action (Lekana Karma) and hence indicated in Obesity to remove extra fat. Barley is the best diet in diabetic patients. It instantly nourishes the body. Traditionally used in the treatment of obesity, diabetes, urinary tract infections, respiratory disorders, digestive problems etc.
Read – Effective Obesity Treatment, Remedies And Ayurveda Tips
Table of Contents
Ayurvedic home remedies
Traditional Remedies of Barley
- Barley is dry roasted and grinded to a fine flour. This is commonly called as Sattu in India. The sattu taken in the form of gruel is used to treat Indigestion.
- Decoction prepared with 2 grains of barley, stem of bark of Kutaja (Holarrhena antidysentrica) and black pepper is used to treat Malaria. It is given in the dose of 2 teaspoon twice a day for seven days. This remedy is used in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh.
- Flowers used orally and fruits intravaginally used by females for contraception.
- Dried fruit decoction is used to treat diabetes, diarrhea, respiratory infections and urinary tract infections.
- Externally the decoction of dried seed applied on hemorrhoids and infected ulcers act as emollient. Orally it used as remedy in diarrhea, hepatitis, scorbutism, nephritis, inflammation of urinary bladder, gout and Gout. It is used as diuretic and antipyretic.
- For internasal inflammation the decoction of dried seed is applied on nose.
- Boiled seeds compression used to relieve joint pain.
- Dried seed infusion is used to increase the breast milk production. It is also used as remedy in dysentery, diarrhea, abdominal colic and other gastrointestinal disorders.
- Hot water extract of entire dried barley plant is used orally to treat beriberi, cough, influenza, measles, syphilis, nephritis, jaundice, dysentery and hookworm infection of the small intestine. It acts as diuretic.
- In infants hot water extract of dried barley plant is used in fungal infection of mouth (thrush).
- Externally the extract of dried plant is used to treat prickly heat.
Read – Quality Of Foods – Astanga Hridaya Sutrasthana 6 – Annaswaroopa
Barley is dry roasted and grinded to a fine flour. This is commonly called as Sattu in India. The sattu taken in the form of gruel is used to treat Indigestion.
Sattu is good to lower cholesterol, lose weight
It is useful in diabetes, as its glycemic index is lower than rice.
Glycemic index of boiled Rice is 73 +/- 4
Glycemic index of barley is 28+/-2 (reference)
Barley Sattu is useful in controlling hunger, hence beneficial in weight loss treatment.
How to use Sattu?
Sattu is used for preparing Paratha, Chapati, pancake, laddu, upma, etc.
Botanical name – Hordeum vulgare
Family – Gramineae
Names in Different Languages
Sanskrit Name – Yava
English Name – Barley
Hindi Name – Java, Jo, Jau
Marathi Name – Java, Cevad, Jav, Satu
Kannada Name – Javegodhi
Tamil Name – Baali arisi, Barliyarishi
Telugu Name – Yava dhanya, Barlibiyam, Dhanyabhedam, Pachchayava, Yava
Bengali Name – Jaba, Jau, Jav
Gujarati Name – Cheno, Jau
Malayalam Name – Javegambu
Punjabi Name – Javo, Jawa, Nai
Medicinal Qualities of Yava
Taste – astringent (kashaya), sweet (madhura)
Vipaka (post digestion taste) – Pungent (katu)
Potency – cold
Guru – heavy for digestion
Lekhana – has scraping effect
Mrudu – soft
Ruksha – dry
Sara – increases the intestinal movement
Pichila – slimy
Medha vardhana – increases intelligence
Agni vardhana – improves digestive fire
Anabhishyandi – does not cause block
Swarya – improves voice
Balakaro – improves the physical strength
Bahuvatamalo – increases vata and excreta
Varna stairyakari – maintains the skin complexion
Vrishya – aphrodisiac
Stairyakaro – stabilizes the body
Read – Ayurveda Mahodadhi: Legumes Green Gram, Chickpea, Peas
Properties as per Bhojana Kutuhala
According to Bhojana Kutuhala third chapter, Barley is dry and cold in nature, heavy to digest and sweet in taste.It is laxative and increases bulk of the stool,aggravates vata, it is aphrodisiac, imparts firmness and relives diseases related to urinary disorders and medodathu and cures diseases caused by vitiation of pitta and kapha. It also cures running nose, dyspnoea, cough, stiffness of thighs, diseases of neck and skin.
Remedies for Bloating, Joint Pain, Diarrhea
Barley Home Remedies: Bloating, Joint Pain, Diarrhea – By Dr MS Krishnamurthy
Few of its simple and effective recipes are explained here below-
1. Fried barley gruel for indigestion and diarrhea:
Good variety of barley is taken and fried a little. This is cooked well and gruel is made (thin porridge).
In cases of severe diarrhea, the supernatant part of the gruel is administered by adding little salt. Or the whole gruel is given after macerating it. This serves as a nutrient and coolant.
2. Barley water for distention of abdomen and gastric regurgitation and bloating of abdomen:
De-husked barley is taken and cooked well with water. To this little salt or soda carb and lemon juice (or ginger powder) are added and mixed well. This is administered in the dose of 50-80 twice daily. This relieves gastric disturbances and distention of abdomen.
3. Buttermilk or curd cooked barley for repeated gastric disturbances and regurgitation:
A fist full of barley, 200 ml of buttermilk or 100 ml of curd and 200 ml of water are taken and cooked well.
Or cooked barley is added to the buttermilk or curd and boiled a little.
As per taste and need, salt or pepper powder can be added. This is served along with food.
4. Fine paste of barley for muscular pain and joint pain:
De-husked barley powder is taken and dough is made by mixing with lemon juice or sour buttermilk. This is warmed a little and applied over the area of the muscular pains (deep) and joints. This reduces the pain in 3-4 days.
Barley water is considered to be a common man’s cheap and delicious gruel. It gives strength and keeps him cool. Also, as it is easily digestible it is indicated in most of the ill-health conditions. There is a need to popularize such millets and grains with its appropriate health benefits. In future, organically cultivated barley will have big market worldwide.
Sanskrit Verses from Nighantu
Therapeutic Uses of Barley
Kanta aamaya – diseases related to throat
Diseases related to kapha and pitta doshas
Diseases related to Fat
Pinasa – running nose
Shwasa – asthma
Kasa – cough
Urusthambha – stiffness of thigh
Diseases related to blood
Trit – excess thirst
Prameha – diabetes
Sthula vilekhana – Scrapes the excess fat in obesity
Ruja – pain
Sodala Nighantu Shloka
Usage in diabetes
Barley uses In Diabetes (prameha)
Reference – Charaka Samhitha 6th chapter
- Ayurveda science considers Barley as a beneficial diet especially in Prameha (diabetes). Different recipes of barley are mentioned to treat Diabetes.
- Barley preparations – Barley Powder, Barley Jam (avaleha), Yavaudana (cooked barley), Vatya (barley porridge ), Yava Saktu (roasted barley powder), Apoopa (Pancakes), Dhana (fried barely)
- In diabetes of Kapha origin, Barley preparations is taken by mixing it with honey.
- Nourishing Diet – Barley soaked overnight in Triphala decoction is taken by mixing with honey. This is the nourishing diet can be taken regularly to overcome diabetes.
- Barley soaked separately with each of the decoctions prescribed for the treatment of Kaphaja Prameha and taken by the Patient in form of Saktu (Roasted flour), pancake, fried barely and other types of eatables along with jaggery.
- Barley previously eaten by asses, horse, cows, swans and deer is collected from their Dung and given to the patient suffering from Prameha.
- Persons habitually taking roasted barley, dry corn-flour, green gram, and Indian gooseberry do not suffer from Prameha, Leucoderma, drysuria and skin diseases caused by Kapha.
Charaka Samhita Shloka
Interaction with medicines, supplements
Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.
this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets,
Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.
Nutritional value, morphology
Nutritional Value of Barley
Carbohydrates 77.7 g, Sugars 0.8 g
Dietary fiber 15.6 g
Fat 1.2 g, Protein 9.9 g
Vitamin B1 0.2 mg (17%), Vitamin B2 0.1 mg (8%)
Vitamin B3 4.6 mg (31%) Vitamin B6 0.3 mg (23%)
Calcium 29.0 mg (3%), Iron 2.5 mg (19%)
Phosphorus 221 mg (32%), Zinc 2.1 mg
Morphology of Hordeum vulgare
Hordeum vulgare is an erect, annual grass growing up to 1 meter tall. Leaves are linear- lanceolate in shape, 15-25 cm long. Stem cylindrical, and smooth.
Read – Rice Combinations With Pulses, Vegetables, Grains, Soups
Barley types, Yavakshara
Yavakshara – It is the alkali preparation made with Barley plant. Used to treat urinary diseases, abdominal pain, bloating, etc
Read – Yavakshara Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Ingredients, Reference
Varieties of Yava
Anuyava (small sized barley) is inferior in qualities to that of Yava. Venuyava (seeds of bamboo) is non- unctuous and hot in potency.
Research, chemistry, category
Barley as Nutritional Diet – A review article on Barley has concluded that barley can be included in main diet due to its high nutritional value and can be good substitute of carbohydrate, protein, fibres and minerals in diet.
Barley In Diabetes (Prameha) – A review article about barley the diseases specific diet in Prameha have concluded that consumption of barley preparations in diabetes lowers the blood glucose level.
Anti obesity – A research done to evaluate the anti-obesity activity of barley grass juice in high fat diet induced model have proved that barley grass juice is effective in management of obesity.
Chemical constituents of Barley Plant
It contains p- coumaroylagmatine, hordenine and its derivative, pyrrolidine, luteolin glycoside, flavones glycosides- orientoside and orientin, cynoglucosides-3- beta- D – glucopyranosyloxy- 2- methylpropene, 4 – beta – D – glucopyranosyloxy – 3- hydroxyl – 3- hydroxymethy- butyrobitrile.
Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Dhanya Varga
Raja Nighantu – Shalyadi Varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu – Suvarnaadi Varga
Shodala Nighantu – Shukadhanya Varga
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Dhanya varga
Ayurvedic Medicines containing Yava as Ingredient
Prasoothika Kashayam – It is an ideal Ayurvedic tonic to restore strength in postpartum period.
Sarivadi Vati – Used in ear diseases, diabetes, bleeding diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, chronic fever, infertility treatment, epilepsy, alcoholism, and cardiac diseases.
Ajamamsa Rasayanam – Used in vata disorders like loss of strength, hemiplegia etc.
Agnitundi Vati – Used in indigestion and fever.
Dhanwantaram capsule – Used in vataroga, Neuro-muscular disorders, Hemiplegia, Paraplegia, Quadriplegia, Wasting disorders including phthisis etc.
Kolakulathadi Choornam – Used for dry powder massage (Udvartana) to reduce fat. Also used to balance Vata – to relieve pain and inflammation, in cases of paralysis, facial paralysis, rheumatoid arthritis etc
Agastya haritaki rasayana – Mainly used in asthma and other respiratory disease
Sarvamayanthaka Ghritam – Used in the treatment of gout, Parkinson’s disease, neck stiffness, locked jaw, paralysis, thigh cramps, muscle cramps, liver diseases etc
Haritakyadi rasayanam – Used in asthma and consumption, hiccup, chronic fever, abdominal tumor, bloating, malabsorption syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, piles, constipation, cardiopathy etc.
Cervilon Oil – Used in the treatment of numbness of the hands, giddiness, cervical spondylosis.
Gandharvahasthadi Thailam – Used in the treatment of bloating, abdominal pain, etc.
Zeotone Plus Soft Gel Capsule – Improves the functioning of joints by strengthening the bones and cartilages, prevents degeneration of cartilages, reduces inflammation etc
Coolmelon Syrup – reduces the body heat and burning sensation.
Dhanvantaram Ghrita – Used in snehakarma for the treatment of edema, abscess, hemorrhoids, anemia, toxic conditions, diabetes etc
Spineact Capsule – Used in the treatment of Law back pain and Lumbago diseases
Proskin Capsule – used in the treatment of acne vulgaris and urticara.
Diucap Capsule – Increases urine output without any strain on the kidneys.
Dhanwantharam Thailam – Used in rheumatoid arthritis, osteo arthritis, spondylosis, headache and neuro-muscular conditions.
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Oats and barley
Now–a-days oats is also sold in the name of Jau. Oat and barley both belong to Poaceae family. Because both are used for weight loss, low calorie diet, probably, the names are used interchangeably.
Oats calorie – 389.1 cal/100 grams
Barley calorie – 354 cal/100 grams
But between the two, barley is medicinally superior.