- Created: 20 August 2014
Herb Name - Couch Grass
Other names—Couchgrass, Twitchgrass, quckgrass, Doggrass, Cutch, Scutch, Durfa grass, Quackgrass
Botanical Name - Elytrygia repens formerly Agropyron repens
Family - Graminaceae—same family as wheat, rye, millet and sugar cane.
Parts Used - Rhizome that can be harvested all year round, though commonly harvested in early spring or late summer and early autumn.
This herb is grows in many parts of the world and because of this there is some uncertainly as to where is originates from. Some say it comes from Europe and some say it comes from both North and South America. It has been known to have been used since Roman times as a diuretic and to expel gravel from the bladder.
Couch grass is a creeping invasive weed, found in Australia Europe, northern Asia and America. It grows to 3 feet high and resembles rye grass. It has long leaves that are flat and rough on the upper surface.
Easily takes over any garden, therefore very easy to strike from rhizome cuttings.
Carbohydrates; triticin, a fructosan polysaccharide, saponins, glycoside and agropyrene, inositol, mannitol & mucilage. Volatile oil, mainly of agropyrene. Vanillin glycoside, vitamins A and some of the B complex, fixed oil, minerals including silica, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and iron. Flavonoids tricin, fructose, pectin, glucose, inositol and mannitol. It is these that makes it a good feed for animals.
It has been known to been used for bronchitis, laryngitis, cough, cystitis, arthritis, prostatitis, jaundice, rheumatism and eczemama.
It has been approved by the German Commission E for urinary tract infections, being known for its use to soothe an inflamed urinary tract and promote the flow of urine. Taken in tea infusion or decoction form is the best way for the diuretic action to occur. For a decoction take25 to 50g of fresh root and boil in 800ml of water and simmer until it has been reduced to half.
The fresh rhizome can be juiced and then diluted in water and drunk. To do this the recommended dose if 1/2 tsp of juice to 2 tsp of water. It this way it is used as a mild laxative.
It is the glycolic acid that acts as a good diuretic and the agropyrene that acts as an antibiotic. One study showed it to have a sedative action when given to rodents.
It is reported as being effective in the use of Benign Prostrate Hypertrophy, as well as for gout and for rheumatism. It can be decocted and applied externally where there are swellings. Other external uses are to act as a moisturizer for the skin and to help to make rough skin smoother.
The decoction was also used as a cure for worms.
The root can be used as a coffee substitute and the young shoots can be eaten raw in spring or even ground to make a meal which is a substitute for wheat flour.
Buchu, Bearberry or Yarrow. It can be combined with Hydrangea for prostrate problems.
Decoction: put 2 teaspoonfuls of the cut rhizome in a cup of water, bring to boiling and let simmer for l0 minutes. Tds
Tincture: 1:5 (40%) 5-15 ml tds
Fluid Ext. (25%) 4-8 ml tds
Not to be let loose in the garden as digging it out could bugger your back Culpepper stated that the decoction was not for those weak of stomach, so it may be used carefully with children. He believed it was a remedy for all disease and worth five acres of carrots twice told over.
Try juicing it!