Barley: Introduction ,History, Importance, & nutritive value: Baliram Yadav

Author: Baliram Yadav
BSc.Ag. Scholar
IAAS Pakhlihawa


Barley (Hordeum vulgare L) is an important cereal crop in many temperate countries, the Mediterranean Europe and West Asia. It is a staple food of the people in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. In European countries it is used only as breakfast food. The main barley producing areas are found in U.S.A., Canada, Argentina, Middle east and North Africa, and parts of China, Mongolia, U.K., Australia, India, Nepal etc.

It is used as grain feed to livestock and poultry, as malt for manufacture of beer and other liquors like whisky, brandy, candies, breakfast cereals, medicines and in textile industries. Malt sprouts and by-products of brewing are used for as a feed for dairy cattle. As flour barley flour is used in preparing ‘Chapaties’ by mixing with wheat or gram flour. The roasted grain is grounded and used as ‘Satu’ and the broken and roughly ground grains are used as pearl in soup.

Origin and history


Barley was one of the first domesticated grains in the Fertile Crescent, an area of relatively abundant water in Western Asia, and near the Nile river of northeast Africa. The grain appeared in the same time as einkorn and  emmer wheat. … spontaneum) ranges from North Africa and Crete in the west, to Tibet in the east.

All the cultivated forms of barley are thought to have been developed from a wild species Hordeum spontaneum a species very similar to the present two-rowed barley. Archaeology also supports the two-rowed species as progenitor of six-rowed species.


Aberg and Wiebe (1946) classified all the cultivated barley varieties into three distinct species .based on the number of rows of grains and their arrangement.

  1. a) Hordeum vulgare – Six row barley
  2. b) H. distichon – Two row barley
  3. c) H. irregulare – Two row barley
  4. Hordeum vulgare : In this species all the three spikelets at each node of the spike are fertile. The spikelets are in six distinct rows and arranged at a uniform distance around the tough rachis. This species is cultivated in India and Nepal.
  5. Hordeum distinchon :In this species only the medium spikelets are fertile and set grain. Although the lateral spikelets are infertile, they possess all the floral organs. This species is also cultivated in Nepal.
  6. Hordeum irregulare : In this species central florets are fertile, where as the lateral florets are reduced to rachilla.

Importance and nutritive value

Barley is a very healthy grain. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals and other 2 plant compounds. It’s also high in fiber, which is responsible for most of its health benefits, ranging from a better digestion to reduced hunger and  weight loss.

1. Healthy Whole Grain

Hulled barley is considered a whole grain, as only the inedible outer shell has been removed during processing. In a large study in over 360,000 people, those with the highest consumption of whole grains, such as barley, had a 17% lower risk of death from all causes, including cancer and diabetes, compared to those with the lowest whole-grain intake.

2. A Good Source of Nutrients

  • One-half cup (100 grams) of uncooked, hulled barley contains the following nutrients (6):
  • Calories: 354
  • Carbs: 73.5 grams
  • Fiber: 17.3 grams
  • Protein: 12.5 grams
  • Fat: 2.3 grams
  • Thiamine: 43% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Riboflavin: 17% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 16% of the RDI
  • Folate: 5% of the RDI
  • Iron: 20% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 33% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 26% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 13% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 18% of the RDI
  • Copper: 25% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 97% of the RDI
  • Selenium: 54% of the RDI
  1. It helps to control blood sugar.
  2. It helps to improve digestion
  3. It helps to weight loss
  4. It helps to lower the cholesterol level in our body
  5. It is rich in vitamins and antioxidants
  6. It reduces the risks of cancer
  7. It helps to improve immune system of our body
  8. It is important constitutes for beverages industries.
  1. It is used in religious functions.
  2. It is used as grain feed to livestock and poultry.
  3. The roasted grain is used as ‘satu’ and broken and roughly grounded grains are used as soup.
  4. It helps in production of malt and by-products of brewing are used as feed for dairy cattle.
barley water


Hence, we should involved in promotion and protection of our ancient crop. Having such a great nutritive quality and importance for human life. It can increase the income level to if we used to involve in commercial cultivation of it. It has many roles in religious performance and rituals. It also one of the quality food having role in prevention of our body from different diseases and helps to control them.

हाम्रो मोबाइल एप डाउनलोड गर्नुभयो ? अब सबै खाले कृषि मापक, अर्गानिक कृषि, नवीनतम कृषि, व्यावसायिक पशुपालन, खेती प्रविधि, बाली रोग तथा किरा व्यवस्थापन सहित सम्पूर्ण कृषि प्रविधिसम्बन्धि जानकारीको लागि हाम्रो एप डाउनलोड गर्न तलको फोटोमा Click गर्नुहोला |

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