Couch grass is traditionally used to help support inflammations of the respiratory tract and the urinary tract, and also to help avoid kidney gravel. It is thought to be useful in supporting cystitis, urethritis, prostate problems and to a lesser extent, gout and joint pain.
Description: Couchgrass is a weedy perennial with slender culms growing from creeping rhizomes. The inconspicuous flowers are arranged in two rows to form long thin spikes. This grass is better known as Agropyron repens and will be found under this name in most plant books.
Origin: Asia, Europe, North and South America. The plant is a cosmopolitan weed and is wild-harvested.
Parts Used: Dried rhizomes and roots (Agropyrirepentis rhizoma; = Graminis rhizoma).
Therapeutic Category: Diuretic.
Active Ingredients: The rhizome contains mucilage and polysaccharides (3-10% fructans). Triticin is reported to be one of the main polyfructosans. Also present are small amounts of sugar alcohols, and essential oil (containing mainly carvacrol, thymol, and carvone).
Health Effects: Herbal medicine containing polysaccharides such as inulin are traditionally used as diuretics but there is no clear scientific evidence for the efficacy of couchgrass. The mucilage forms a protective layer over inflamed mucous membranes. The essential oil has antimicrobial activity and might contribute to diuretic properties.
Notes: Grass flowers (Graminis flos) are a folk supportive for chilblains, lumbago, neurasthenia and especially rheumatic pains (500 g of dried flowers soaked in boiling water are added to a hot bath). It may also be used as an inhalant in case of throat and nasal congestion (5-10 g in 1 litre of boiling water). The active ingredients or effects are not known. Another grass of medicinal importance is the common corn or maize.
Status: Traditional health; Pharm.; Comm. E+.
Preparation and Dosage: The grass is added to galenicals and is taken in the form of tablets or extracts. Decoctions of the dry rhizome (4 - 9 g per day) may be taken.
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Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 tea bag for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea).
Iced tea brewing method (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 tea bags into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the bags. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water].
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End of More Photographs - Couch Grass (Dog Grass) Tea
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