Rhizome, seeds, root.
Rhizomes of couch grass possess several medicinal properties and are especially used to treat problems of the urinary tract, kidney, gallbladder and prostate glands. In addition, medications prepared with the slender tubular roots of the plant are also used to heal gout and rheumatism. As the couch grass possesses mild, but effectual diuretic (increasing the flow of urine) and demulcent (mollifying or soothing) properties, it is extensively used to treat different types of urinary tract contagions, including cystitis and urethritis (inflammation of the urethra). Using couch grass in such conditions has a double impact - first, it guards the urinary tubules against several types of contagions and annoyances, and, second, it augments the flow of urine. In addition, couch grass may also be used in combination with other herbs for a variety of remedial processes - treating kidney stones, alleviating inflammation as well as cut wounds or laceration. It is believed that couch grass is highly effective in dissolving kidney stones to a great extent and, in any case, does not allow further extension of the stones. Taking a decoction prepared with couch grass over a period of time has been found to be effective in healing expanded prostate glands as well as prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland). In earlier days, herbalists also recommended couch grass for treating gout and rheumatism. German herbal medicine practitioners externally apply a hot and wet pack of heated seeds of couch grass on the abdomen to alleviate peptic ulcers (an ulcer of the upper digestive tract, frequently in the stomach or duodenum). In addition, the juice extracted from the couch grass roots has been traditionally used to heal jaundice and additional disorders of the liver. Couch grass is especially effective in alleviating the occurrence as well as the soreness of urination - an effectual medication for dysuria (difficult and painful urination) and strangury (a condition marked by slow, painful urination, caused by muscular spasms of the urethra and bladder). This herb may be given to patients when they are enduring any kind of urinary tract inflammation and even in condition wherein too much of pus, mucus or blood passed in the urine. In an indirect manner, couch grass works as a substitute by sweeping away disintegrated substances through the renal organs. The gelatinous substances present in couch grass helps the herb to soothe the mucus membranes and its mollifying properties aid in alleviating annoyance and soreness. As discussed earlier, the herb is believed to be effective in healing swollen prostate glands and also may be administered to dissolve kidney stones and gravel. Since coach grass possesses diuretic properties (stimulating the flow of urine), it may be used in combination with additional herbs to treat rheumatism (rheumatoid arthritis). In addition, herbalists also recommend the use of couch grass to heal gout. To treat infections of the urinary tract, couch grass is usually used in combination with other herbs like yarrow, uva ursi (bearberry) and buchu. On the other hand, couch grass is used concurrently with hydrangea to treat prostate problems. The herb is used extensively to treat cystitis and also as a remedy for catarrhal disease of the gallbladder. In addition, the herb provides relief from exasperation of the urinary passage and also alleviates soreness in patients having kidney gravel. Herbal medicine practitioners also recommend the use of couch grass to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The diuretic properties of couch grass is attributed to the sugar content of the herb and for best results it is given in the form of infusion. Add one ounce of couch grass root to a pint of simmering water to prepare the infusion and is taken in doses of a wineglassful. Couch grass may also be given in the form of a decoction prepared by adding two to four ounces of the roots of the plant in a quart of water. Boil the substance in water till the amount of the solution reduces to one pint. On the other hand, the liquid extracted from couch grass is added with water and given in dosages of half to two teaspoonfuls for treating gout and rheumatism. It is important to note that though the use of couch grass as a herbal remedy has declined over the years, it is official in the Indian and Colonial Addendum of the British Pharmacopoeia for the use of the herb for remedial purposes under Britain's possession - Australasia, Northern and Eastern American colonies. People in these regions used the herb extensively to treat various conditions.
Earlier known as Triticum repens and now rechristened Agropyron, couch grass is native to North America, but is also found growing in the wild in both the American continents, Europe, the northern regions of Asia and even in Australia. Couch grass may be found growing aggressively in fields, roadsides, waste lands and along the railroads. In fact, this species of plant is extensively spread out growing almost everywhere. Although the farmers consider the plant to be a nuisance, it is harvested all the year round for fodder for livestock.
Basically, two medical formulations can be prepared with the rhizomes of couch grass - decoction and tincture. Tincture: Tincture prepared by steeping the slender tubular roots of couch grass should be taken in dosage of 3 ml to 6 ml thrice daily. Decoction: Decoction may be prepared with couch grass rhizomes by adding two teaspoonfuls of the finely sliced tubular roots of the herb in a cup of water and boiling the substance for approximately 10 minutes. This decoction ought to be taken thrice daily.