Mai Ya – Sprouted Barley – Fructus Hordei Germinatus

Mai Ya

English Name: sprouted barley

Pharmaceutical Name: Fructus Hordei Germinatus

Medica Category: Digestive Herbs

Properties: Mai Ya enters the Liver, Spleen, and Stomach channels; it is sweet in nature and neutral in temperature.

What is Mai Ya?:

The Chinese Herb Mai Ya is sprouted barley kernels (Hordeum vulgare L.).

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Mai Ya:

Mai Ya strengthens the Spleen and Stomach to aid digestion when there is food stagnation; it is especially effective in helping digest starches such as rice, noodles, wheat, yams, and potatoes.

Mai Ya, used singly and in high doses (30-60g/day) inhibits lactation (n.b. that small doses may actually promote lactation).

Mai Ya enters the Liver channel to regulate qi/relieve Liver qi stagnation. It is appropriate for cases of Liver attacking Spleen that is causing abdominal/epigastric pain and bloating, belching, and loss of appetite.

Note for students and practitioners: Mai Ya and Gu Ya are very similar in their actions, the main difference being that Gu Ya nourishes the Stomach and is therefore the better choice for dealing with food stagnation in persons with pre-existing Spleen and Stomach deficiencies.