Barley (lat. Hórdeum) is a genus of plants, one of the oldest crops cultivated by man. Currently, the barley grain is widely used in the brewing industry, the production of barley and barley grains. Widespread cultivation of ordinary barley (Hordeum vulgare L., other species are cultivated or occasionally grow wild.

The barley grain is widely used for food, fodder and technical goals. Barley belongs to the most valuable concentrated feed for animals, as it contains complete protein, rich in starch.

Representatives of the genus Barley - annual, biennial or perennial herbs. The leaves in the Bud minimized. Tongue short. Spikelets odnozvetnaya collected bunches on 3-2 in a long apical complex spike. Spikelet scales thin, bristly, sitting crosswise with the snow flakes. The Lemma scale usually with twisted awn at apex. Film cesaitiene or oblong. The ovary is at the top hairy; kernels often fused with sheathing scales, she with a wide groove.

Barley belongs to the most ancient of cultivated plants. First place in this respect should be given to it or wheat. It is found in the most ancient Egyptian tombs and remains of lacustrine pile dwellings (that is, in the stone and bronze ages). Many historical monuments can judge about the wide spread of barley in a distant time.

In all likelihood, the culture of barley began in the Asian steppes, then moved into Mesopotamia and spread everywhere from here, although it is possible that barley was first cultivated in the different areas independently. In Central Europe the culture of barley already in the Middle ages became universal.

Pot barley is crushed barley kernels are released from shells. The advantage of barley grains that unlike barley it is not subject to grinding, so it has more fiber. Pearl barley is the whole barley grain, refined and polished. Its name barley got because of color and form is not so resembles pearls.

In folk medicine, a decoction of barley and barley cereals used for inflammatory diseases of the stomach and intestines, as a restorative after operations on the abdominal organs and relieving cough.

Feature barley flour is a large amount of polysaccharide b glucan having cholesterol-lowering effect, a good ratio of protein and starch, rich in provitamin a, vitamins and minerals: calcium, phosphorus, iodine, especially many of silicic acid.