THE barley used in medicine is the same with that of which bread is made, and which serves the brewer and distiller in their several capacities. It is known at sight from wheat, when growing, for it is not so tall, and the leaves are smaller and narrower. A long beard grows from each grain in the ear and the ear is composed of two rows of them.
We use this grain in two forms, the one called French bailey, and the other pearl barley. The French barley is skinned, and has the ends ground off: the pearl barley is reduced by a longer grinding to a little round white lump. The pearl barley makes the finer and more elegant barley water, but the French barley makes the best. It is excellent in heat of urine, and in all gravelly cases, and is a good drink in most acute diseases, where diluting is required: it is also in some degree nourishing.
The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.