Barley grass appears on the ingredients list of many natural supplements and multivitamins, and it may provide a variety of health benefits. The grass is one of the oldest cultivated sweet grasses, with origins dating back to 3000 BC among Swiss lake dwelling cultures. The grass has long been thought to provide uniquely potent nutrients and is commonly used to relieve symptoms of various bodily issues.
Barley grass is linked to health claims pertaining to asthma, obesity, heart problems, blood pressure, and even skin issues. These health claims arise from the grass’s high phytochemical content. While not considered an essential nutrient, these chemicals can be beneficial to one’s overall health and include two main compounds: chlorophyll and carotenoids.
These chemicals work with the essential nutrients in barley grass, such as Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and K in order to provide the body with powerful antioxidants and enhance the immune system. Further, barley grass also contains high levels of the electrolytes magnesium and potassium which further aid in bolstering your immune system and digestive functions.
Given the high levels of antioxidant properties, barley grass has been linked to improved immune function and a reduction of UV damage to cells. This is in part due to the chlorophyll content, which helps the body produce new blood cells and may provide resistance to some radioactivity.
There is limited evidence suggesting that barley grass is helpful to people living in highly polluted urban areas where radioactivity is prevalent and that drinking the grass in juice form may improve the side effects accompanying radiation treatments for cancer.
Further, there is some evidence that the supplement may improve symptoms of fibromyalgia including flexibility and pain management.
As with most natural supplements, the research into barley grass is based on small sample sizes and presents inconclusive results. However, anecdotal evidence seems to be promising. The grass may provide basic antioxidant benefits and adding chlorophyll to one’s diet can putatively improve symptoms of common ailments and skincare concerns in particular.
Adding barley grass to your supplement routine may be worth exploring if you’re seeking an easy antioxidant boost, but as always you should consult your doctor before beginning any new supplements and be aware of the potential hazards of mixing natural supplement ingredients with any current prescription medications.
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