- Botanical: Agropyron repens
- Family: Poaceae
- Hits: 622
Known asElymus repens, twitch, quick grass, quitch grass, dog grass, quackgrass, scutch grass, and witchgrass, Kriech-Quecke, Gemeine Quecke, Gewöhnliche Quecke, einfach Quecke
Medicinalcystitis, dropsy, rheumatism
Muscle & Jointsrheumatism
Stomach & Intestinalurination, urinary infections
Propertiesantirheumatic, anti inflammatory, diuretic
Couch grass ( A. repens ) is a weed that is widely distributed throughout the northern hemisphere. The grass grows up to 1.5 m tall with spikes up to 15 cm long containing many flowered spikelets. The leaves alternate with sheaths, the blades are long and narrow, and the veins are parallel. The grass also possesses shiny, pale yellow, hollow rhizomes and longitudinally grooved stems that are 2 to 3 mm thick. Thin roots and short fiber-like cataphylls are present at the unthickened nodes. Couch grass has an almost bland but slightly sweet taste. The rhizomes, roots, and stems are used to formulate the product.
Properties & Uses
Couch grass has been used to treat gout, rheumatic disorders, chronic skin conditions, and urinary tract, bladder, and kidney disorders. Various extracts have been used as a dietary component for diabetic patients. There is a lack of clinical studies to support these uses.
May be used in urinary infections such as cystitis, urethritis and prostatitis. As a broadly applicable and safe diuretic it can be used in most conditions where this action is needed. Its demulcent properties soothe irritation and inflammation. It is of value in the treatment of enlarged prostate glands. It can also be used for easing or removing kidneys stones. As a tonic diuretic, couch grass has been used in the treatment in rheumatism.
Couch grass is a weedy species of Eurasian grass that has naturalized almost everywhere in North America except for the Gulf states of Florida and Texas. It is the bane of farmers, invading fields and pastures, producing chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants, while growing itself at a rate of up to 3 meters per year. It is most commonly found in disturbed sites, along roadsides, abandoned areas, beaches, farms, gardens and lawns. Couchgrass is an important habitat for small rodents, birds and waterfowl. It is often crossed with other Agropryon spp. to create hybrids for grazing. Recently these hybrids have been used to revegetate mine tailings in Nova Scotia.
Couch grass has a variety of interesting constituents, some of which can be identified when tasting its sweet, licorice-tasting rhizome. The carbohydrates include simple sugars like fructose and glucose, as well as inositol, mannitol, pectin, and most importantly a mucilage that comprises upwards of 10% of the plant. The characteristic taste is most likely due to its volatile oils, which are stated to be either agropyrene (95%), or a mixture of monoterpenes including carvacrol, anethole, carvone, thymol, menthol, and menthone, as well as cymene and three sesquiterpenes. Couch grass also contains a variety of glycosides including flavonoids (e.g. tricin), saponins, cyanogenetic glycosides and the phenolic glycoside vanillin. Couch grass is high in minerals such as calcium, potassium and phosphorus. The aerial parts are stated to be high in protein, on par with alfalfa