Barley
Barley

Background

Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is a common grain that is high in fiber. It's consumed in foods and used to brew alcoholic beverages worldwide.

The fiber in barley might lower cholesterol, blood sugar, and insulin levels. It also seems to slow stomach emptying which could keep blood sugar stable and help to control appetite.

People use barley for heart disease and high cholesterol. It is also used for colon cancer, diabetes, diarrhea, high blood pressure, obesity, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
When taken by mouth: Barley is commonly consumed in foods. But there isn't enough reliable information to know if it is safe to use in larger amounts as medicine. Side effects might include gas, bloating, and an unpleasant taste. Some people might also be allergic to barley.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if barley is safe. Allergic skin reactions are possible.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy: Barley is commonly consumed in foods. But there isn't enough reliable information to know if it is safe to use in larger amounts as medicine while pregnant. Barley sprouts are possibly unsafe and should not be eaten in high amounts during pregnancy.

Breast-feeding: Barley is commonly consumed in foods. But there isn't enough reliable information to know if it is safe to use in larger amounts as medicine while breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity: The gluten in barley can make celiac disease worse. Avoid using barley.

Allergies to cereal grains: Consuming barley might cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to other cereal grains, including rye, wheat, oat, corn and rice. An allergic reaction is also possible in people allergic to grass.

Effectiveness

NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
  • Heart disease. Eating 3.6 grams of barley daily as a source of dietary fiber seems to reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • High cholesterol. Eating 3-12 grams of barley daily seems to reduce total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol in adults with high cholesterol.
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
  • Colon cancer, rectal cancer. Eating more barley as a source of fiber doesn't seem to lower the risk of developing colon or rectal cancer.
There is interest in using barley for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

Barley is commonly consumed in foods. As medicine, there isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of barley might be. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Triclabendazole (Egaten)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Barley seems to reduce the amount of triclabendazole that the body can absorb and use. But it's not clear if this is a big concern. Until more is known, people taking triclabendazole should use barley with caution.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 29/06/2023 10:00:00 and last updated on 20/10/2020 01:03:51. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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