As far as ancient is concerned, there are several ancient people like Greeks who used to consume barley with medicinal value beyond reasonable doubt. Greeks and Egyptians where one of the major consumers back then who used to focus on barley mostly on the medicinal side and the fact that it used to produce wine and beer.
Hippocrates (known as the father of medicine) use barley in his medicine practice. Barley have been mention by the Christian Bible 35 or 37 times depends on the type of book. Barley has mentioned a number of Muslim articles.
Arabic name of barley is “Shaeir”. Try to search in google.
Barley was used by ancient gladiators, roman soldiers and Chinese warriors.
The immense importance of the said crop in the olden times is irrefutable. A Vedic writing in the Indus Valley mentioned barley and rice as “two immortal sons of heaven”. Emperor Shen Nung of China declared barley as one of the five sacred plants in his country dated 2, 800 B.C. Rice, wheat, millet and soybeans are the other sacred plants that he cited.
The proper scientific name of Barley grass is “Hordeum vulgare”.
Barley is also much selected by the Athletes as the Greeks regard to it as the most strengthening grain. The gladiators of Rome are often named Hordearii or Barley Men since their diet relied on Barley.
In no time, the production of barley became scarce. Barley then was deemed as the grain of the poor and the wheat for the rich. At the moment, barley is regarded as the fourth most important crop in the world. While barley still gets into dinner tables such scenario in fact already seldom take place.