Barley Grass
Hordeum vulgare L

Young leaves of the plant before it produces grain, and before the stem has developed

Traditional Use

Barley is one of the world’s oldest crops, with records of its use dating way back to 8,500 BCE. Used by many ancient civilisations such as the Greeks, Egyptians and Babylonians, where in Babylonia barley was the standard currency.
In the early 20th century it was found that the shoots of the young plant provided an exceptional array of nutrients. Pre World War II pharmacists in the USA even sold tablets of dried Barley Grass as an early kind of vitamin supplement.

Parts used

Young leaves of the plant before it produces grain, and before the stem has developed


Barley grass contains significant amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, C and E. It also contains Folate which is sometimes known as vitamin B9.
The minerals barley grass contains in abundance are Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Phosperous, Manganese and Zinc.


Barley grass may sometimes be rich in vitamin k, which interferes with the action of anticoagulants such as Coumadin (the brand name for warfarin, a drug used to treat and prevent blood clots). Other than an allergic reaction, there are no known adverse effects attributed to barley grass. Hypersensitivity reactions to barley are well documented. These typically are attributed to the storage protein present in the seed of the plant and not to the green, aerial parts of the plant (see Barley monograph for further details). It may be prudent to restrict the use of barley grass in hypersensitive people, including those with celiac diseas


Digestive Health
A healthy digestive system is one of the cornerstones of good health; Barley Grass is a natural source of organic sodium which is needed by the lining of the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid (without which our food cannot be digested). Also rich in digestive enzymes, these substances can help to reduce toxic and indigestible materials in food.
This tender young grass is also extremely high in chlorophyll, a natural cleanser to the body which will help to counter the effects of eating processed foods and give an overall energy boost.
Immune Boosting
Barley Grass is naturally high in many key nutrients that help to support the immune system, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and enzymes.
It is extremely high in vitamin C which is crucial to the overall health of the body in its efforts to fight off infections – both bacterial and viral. White blood cells contain 20 times the amount of vitamin C than other cells and require constant replenishment to keep the immune system working to its optimum capacity.
Alongside other immune supporting vitamins and minerals, Barley Grass is high in the amino acid “arginine”. This is especially effective in helping the body heal from burns, injuries and wounds.
Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is linked to low levels of friendly bacteria in the gut and an accumulation of toxins in the bowel. Barley grass helps reverse this by stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria, which in turn helps reduce inflammation and improves symptoms. Barley grass helps combat this debilitating condition by lowering the amount of inflammatory chemicals in the bowel, including one called epithelial NF-k, and by balancing the water content of the bowels. Studies also show that barley grass increases the amount of friendly bacteria in the bowels.
Extremely alkalising and rich in essential vitamins and minerals, Barley Grass is an abundant source of chlorophyll – a compound that converts sunlight into energy within the plant. When chlorophyll is consumed it releases a flow of oxygen into the bloodstream, detoxing the body of harmful toxins and impurities, it has the ability to bind to and flush out toxic chemicals and heavy metals.
Barley Grass offers protection from radiation and cellular damage, regenerating damaged cells and tissues. It is such a powerful cleanser that it is recommended to start slowly to avoid detox symptoms such as headaches, rashes and nausea. This is normal and is generally triggered by the release of toxins from the cells and tissue, however should these symptoms persist it is advised you contact your health care professional.
Alkalises the Body
If you eat too many acid forming foods without counterbalancing with alkaline foods, the body struggles to maintain the blood’s Ph – normal blood Ph is tightly regulated between 7.35 – 7.45, the result of too many acid forming foods is catastrophic to the body in many ways. Firstly it will pull alkalising minerals out of your bones and teeth, such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. This can understandably lead to a whole host of disorders including osteoporosis. The body will also store excess acid in the muscles, one of the primary causes of fibromyalgia. If not kept in check, your body may go into a state of “acidosis”, this occurs when arterial Ph falls below 7.35 – chronic acidosis corrodes body tissue, and if left unchecked, will interrupt all cellular activities and functions.
Barley Grass is highly alkalising due to the amount of alkaline minerals it contains (calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium to name but a few). It has the powerful ability to restore a healthy acid-alkaline balance in the body whilst offering protection against the many health problems that can be caused by disharmony in the blood PH.


Barley in it’s fully grown grain form has served as a staple food source in many different cultures. The use of barley for food and medicinal purposes dates back thousands of years. Roman gladiators ate barley for strength and stamina. In the West the plant first came into popular use because of the barley grain it produces, and more recently it has begun being recognized for it’s superior nutrional value in grass form.

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