Botanical: Elytrigia repens (also known as Elymus repens and Agropyron repens)
Family: Graminaceae/Poaceae (haygrass)
Other common names: Dog Grass, Quackgrass, Twitch Grass, Witch Grass
Couch Grass bears a root with a high mucilage content that is said to be extremely soothing and helpful for problems in the urinary system. It not only helps to ease painful urination, but it is also used to relieve most urinary tract problems, including prostatitis, urethritis, cystitis, enlarged prostate, gravel in the bladder and kidney stones.
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Couch Grass is a perennial that may be found in fields and waste places of the Americas, northern Asia, Australia and Europe, and it is similar to (and sometimes mistaken for) Johnson Grass. This extremely vigorous grass thrives in most loose soils, such as light sandy soil, in sun or shade and generally grows to a height of three feet with long, creeping roots, slender leaves and erect flower spikes that bear green flowers. The roots and seeds of Couch Grass have occupied a very important place in herbal medicine since ancient times, but the plant is not a friend to the farmer, because once established, it becomes an almost uncontrollable, invasive weed. The Grass family may perhaps be one of the most important plants to mankind, with its grains providing breads, cereals and food staples of all kinds, and the mucilaginous roots possessing distinctive medicinal virtues. The English name, Couch Grass, is believed to be a derivation from the Anglo- Saxon word, civice, which means "vivacious," referring to the plant's tenacity of life, and one of its botanical genus names, Agropyron, is derived from a combination of Greek words meaning "wheat grasses" and "wheat fields." Interestingly, one of the carbohydrates found in Couch Grass is termed triticin, which is derived from the Latin word, triticum, which means "wheat." Since ancient times, the Romans utilized Couch Grass medicinally in the treatment of urinary problems and kidney stones. The esteemed English herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, also greatly praised Couch Grass as a treatment for diseases of the kidneys, and the herb was officially entered into the "Indian and Colonial Addendum" of the British Pharmacopœia. In North America, the Cherokee and Iroquois tribes used the plant to expel gravel and worms, and it was also used historically for a sore back, painful urination, gravel, and discharge of mucus. Some of the chemical constituents included in Couch Grass are carbohydrates (triticin), sugar, inosite, fiber, mannitol, acid malates, proteins, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, saponins, selenium, silica, salicylic acid, sodium, vitamins A and B and an exceptionally high content of mucilage.
Couch Grass is considered an excellent support for the urinary system. It is both a diuretic and demulcent and thereby not only promotes the flow of urine, but it also helps to soothe inflamed mucous membranes and irritation of the urinary passages. The demulcent quality is said to soften and alleviate damaged or inflamed surfaces, such as the mucous membranes, and it is said that the herb will lessen the frequency and pain in cases of excessive bladder irritation from any cause. It is said to treat catarrhal diseases of the bladder and ease difficult and painful urination.
Reaffirming its soothing diuretic properties, Couch Grass is used to gently improve excretion from the kidneys (and bowels) and is said to give relief in cases of kidney stones and to help pass gravel from the bladder. Because the herb soothes the gastric mucous membranes, it is thought to be a very gentle, well-tolerated remedy with no side effects.
Further helping the urinary tract, Couch Grass is thought to be extremely effective in relieving an enlarged prostate, cystitis, urethritis and prostatitis (especially when combined with Hydrangea). Moreover, the herb is also believed to alleviate rheumatism and gout.
Couch Grass is considered an effective herbal antibiotic that clears infection and is said to be effective against a variety of bacteria and molds.
As a rich source of healing mucilage, Couch Grass soothes and relieves inflamed sore throats and alleviates the pain of bronchitis by providing mucilage to coat the inflamed surface. It is said to be excellent in easing laryngitis, caused by accumulation of phlegm, by making the phlegm more slippery and easier to expectorate, but less effective if the laryngitis is caused by too much shouting or talking.
Currently, there are no known warnings or contraindications with the use of Couch Grass Herbal Supplement; however, because it is an effective diuretic, prolonged use may cause low potassium levels in the body.