Malt is barley which has been made to germinate by moisture and warmth, and has been afterwards dried, by which the vitality of the seed is destroyed. By this process, part of the proteine matter of the barley is converted into diastase. This, although it does not constitute more than 1/300th of the malt, serves to effect the conversion of about 40 per cent. of the starch of the seed into grape sugar and gum (dextrine). (Pereira.)

Med. Prop. and Action. Malt is nutritive, tonic, and anti-scorbutic, and in large doses laxative. It may be given in the form of decoction (oz. iij. and Aq. Oij.) to the extent of a quart daily, in divided doses. Carefully hulled and pulverised, it may be exhibited as a powder in baths, &c. An extract prepared from it may also be used.

573. Therapeutic Uses

In Affections of the Lungs, Malt has produced the best effects in the hands of M. Fremy.§ In Bronchitis, Bronchial Catarrh, and Incipient Phthisis, he employed the powder and the extract with remarkable success. In the incipient stage of simple Bronchitis, unattended with feverishness, but complicated with hoarseness of voice, he found Malt suddenly check the progress of the symptoms. Malt, he remarks, will be found especially useful at the end of those bronchial irritations which are apt to settle permanently on the chest, and often bring on severe dyspepsia in the aged. The Extract in such cases promptly restores the digestive powers, and cures the bronchitis. In Uncomplicated Dyspepsia, Malt liquor is beneficial when the appetite is absent, and the foul condition of the stomach has been removed. In Germryiy, it is a popular remedy for the Ancemia of Nurses. Macbride* long since recommended it in Scurvy, but it is apt to increase diarrha when any tendency to this exists.

* On Diseases of the Urinary Organs, 3rd Ed. p. 141. Cyc. Pract. Med., vol. iii. p. 164.

Dict. Pract. Med., vol. i. p. 624. § Gaz. Heb. de Med., Jan 8, 1862, and Ranking's Abstract, xxxv. p. 71.