Barley





Hordeum Vulgare--common Barley--is chiefly used in Great Britain

for brewing and distilling; but, it has dietetic and medicinal

virtues which entitle it to be considered among serviceable

simples. Roman gladiators who depended for their strength and

prowess chiefly on Barley, were called Hordearii. Nevertheless,

this cereal is less nourishing than wheat, and when prepared as

food is apt to purge; therefore it is not made into bread, except

when wheat is scarce and dear, though in Scotland poor people eat

Barley bread. In India Barley meal is made into balls of dough for

the oxen and camels. Pearl Barley is prepared in Holland and

Germany by first shelling the grain, and then grinding it into round

white granules. The ancients fed their horses upon Barley, and we

fatten swine on this grain made into meal. Among the Greeks beer

was known as barley wine, which was brewed without hops, these

dating only from the fourteenth century.



A decoction of barley with gum arabic, one ounce of the gum

dissolved in a pint of the hot decoction, is a very useful drink to

soothe irritation of the bladder, [45] and of the urinary passages.

The chemical constituents of Barley are starch, gluten, albumen,

oil, and hordeic acid. From the earliest times it has been employed

to prepare drinks for the sick, especially in feverish disorders, and

for sore lining membranes of the chest. Honey may be added

beneficially to the decoction of barley for bronchial coughs. The

French make Orgeat of barley boiled in successive waters, and

sweetened at length as a cooling drink: though this name is now

applied in France to a liqueur concocted from almonds.





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