Therapeutic Potential of Young Green Barley Leaves in Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Diseases: An Overview

Am J Chin Med. 2015;43(7):1311-29. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X15500743. Epub 2015 Oct 18.


Medicinal plants have played a major role as a functional food and pharmacological source of active substances. Barley grass (BG) is young green barley leaves. It is the young grass of the common barley plant Hordeum vulgare L. of the family Poeaceae (Graminae). It is a type of green grasses, and the only vegetation on the earth that can supply sole nutritional support from birth to old age. It contains a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, as well as eight essential amino acids that we must get from our diets. BG possesses several pharmacological activities as anticancer activity, anti-oxidant activity and anti-inflammatory activity. It has been argued that BG helps blood flow, digestion and general detoxification of the body. The major pharmacologic interest of BG is its use in the treatment of chronic diseases. The beneficial effects observed in chronic disease may be related to bioactive compounds contained in BG such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and bioflavonoids (lutonarin and saponarin). Thus, this paper is focused on the various studies that emphasize the therapeutic potential of BG in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.

Keywords: Anti-Inflammatory; Anti-Oxidant Activity; Anticancer; Bioactive Compounds; Hordeum vulgare L..

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids, Essential / analysis
  • Amino Acids, Essential / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Chronic Disease / drug therapy*
  • Chronic Disease / prevention & control*
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Flavonoids / isolation & purification
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Hordeum / chemistry*
  • Minerals / analysis
  • Minerals / isolation & purification
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Superoxide Dismutase / analysis
  • Superoxide Dismutase / isolation & purification
  • Superoxide Dismutase / pharmacology
  • Vitamins / analysis
  • Vitamins / isolation & purification


  • Amino Acids, Essential
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Minerals
  • Plant Extracts
  • Vitamins
  • Superoxide Dismutase