Health benefits of Couch Grass

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Health benefits of Couch Grass

Couch Grass Quick Facts
Name: Couch Grass
Scientific Name: Elymus repens
Origin Europe and Western Asia
Taste Slightly sweet taste
Health benefits Fights against Poisonous Toxins and beneficial for Menstrual problems
Couch grass scientifically known as Elymus repens is a diuretic herb that is native to Europe, Asia as well as Northwest Africa. It is a perennial grass and the common names are Witch grass, Wheat grass, Couchgrass, Durfa grass, Quack grass, Dog grass, Quick grass, Scutch grass as well as Twitch grass. It belongs to the Hordae genera of the Poaceae or grass family. The genus name Agropyron is derived from the Greek terms ‘agros’ meaning field and ‘puros’ denoting wheat. The main parts used as herbal medicine are the root, rhizome and seeds. The farmers usually consider the couch grass to be a nuisance as it not only invades their agricultural fields, but also produces a chemical substance that slows down the development of other plants. Although, it is considered to be a bothersome weed in North America, in many regions of Europe and Asia, the couch grass hay is used as a fodder for livestock and its tubular root is sometimes consumed by people when there is an acute scarcity of food.

Plant Description

Couch grass is a cool-season; exotic, perennial, rhizomatous graminoid grass that grows about 1.5 m tall with spikes up to 15 cm long. The plant is found growing in scrubby barrens, pastures, abandoned fields, weedy meadows, edges of yards and gardens, areas along roadsides and railroads, mined land, and waste areas. It prefers fertile soils, rich in nitrogen and with a good water supply, and is less successful on very acid or very dry, shallow soils. Rhizomes are pale yellow or straw-colored with internodes from 2-8 cm in length and about 3 (1.5-4) mm in diameter. Stem is erect, decumbent, and may reach heights of 1 to 3 feet (0.3-1 m) but more commonly grow to 0.25 to 1 inch (0.5-2 cm) high.

Leaves

Leaves are alternate with sheaths, the blades are long and narrow, and the veins are parallel. Leaf blades are soft and relatively flat, 3-10 mm wide, dull and mostly dark green, sometimes glaucous. On the lower leaves, sheaths are often strongly hairy, on upper leaves smooth or slightly soft-hairy.

Flower 

Inflorescence is a dense to rather lax spike, like a wheat spike but more slender, mostly 5-10 cm long. Spikelet is compressed, 5-15 mm long, usually with four to six flowers. Glumes are 5-15 mm long, lanceolate and mostly awn-pointed, lemma 6-11 mm with an awn from less than 1 mm up to about 10 mm. Flowering normally take place from June to August.

Health benefits of couch grass

Couch grass has been used for thousands of years now to treat inflamed bladder, water retention, uterine infection, urination that is painful to pass. It is also a natural remedy for kidney stones conditions as well as kidney infection. Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of using couch grass

1. Fights against Poisonous Toxins

When someone has poisonous toxins entered into the body due to insects bites, or poisonous chemicals. Then immediately take this juice which can be acting as a detoxification agent. Take 100 gm. of Couch grass and 100 gm. of Paidi Patti leaves. Take juice of both and mix it with an equal amount of buttermilk. They need to take it twice to clear all the toxins from the body.

2. For Urinary tract infections

Take 10 gm. of grass and 10 gm. of Amla should be soaked in curd at night time and should be eaten in the morning. If you take this regularly for 15 days the results might surprise you for sure.  Its anti-diuretic properties act as a clearing agent of infections that are in the urinary tract and are paining you always from a long time.

3. For Menopause Menstrual problems

Take 15 gm. of couch grass and 15 gm. of Pomegranate leaves, take the juice of both. Take the juices and boil in 2 cups of water. Boil it in low flame. Take this soup for at least 2 to 3 times a day so that it might reduce most of the problems related to menopause, like over bleeding, over white discharge and irritation in the vaginal parts.

4. Acts as Energy booster

Take 200 gm. of couch grass and take the juice of it. Mix it with Ragi flour and Suji Flour and prepare like Chappatis/ Rotis, serve with hot sauce. This actually serves as an energy booster.

5. For Piles Problems

Take 15 gm. of couch grass and make juice of it. Mix this juice in 1 full glass of Milk. Taking it regularly for 15 days might lessen the pain at the affected place and also does show best results in reducing the complaints related to it.

6. Skin diseases

Take a 50 gm. of couch grass and 10 gm of Turmeric, and mix it with cow urine and apply it on the places where there are skin diseases like Psoriasis, eczema, burns, itching.  After applying at affected places, leave it for 30 minutes and take a bath with neem leaves put in hot water. By doing like this you can get the better results to be seen if used frequently until you see better results on skin.

Traditional uses and benefits of Couch grass

  • Roots are very useful in the treatment of a wide range of kidney, liver and urinary disorders.
  • This plant is also a favorite medicine of domestic cats and dogs, who will often eat quite large quantities of the leaves.
  • Roots are anti-phlogistic, aperient, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, lithontripic and tonic.
  • Tea made from the roots is used in cases of urinary incompetence and as a worm expellant.
  • It is also an effective treatment for urinary tract infections such as cystitis and urethritis.
  • It both protects the urinary tubules against infections and irritants, and increases the volume of urine thus diluting it.
  • Externally it is applied as a wash to swollen limbs.
  • Couch grass has been used to treat gout, rheumatic disorders, chronic skin conditions, and urinary tract, bladder, and kidney disorders.
  • It is also suggested in gout and rheumatism.
  • It may melt kidney stones.
  • Couch grass tea will soothe and coat an inflamed sore throat, and helps clear phlegm.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Herbalists recommended couch grass for treating gout and rheumatism in earlier days.
  • German herbal medicine practitioners externally apply a hot and wet pack of heated seeds of couch grass on the abdomen to alleviate peptic ulcers.
  • Juice extracted from the couch grass roots has been traditionally used to heal jaundice and additional disorders of the liver.
  • It is effective in easing the occurrence as well as the soreness of urination – an effectual medication for dysuria and strangury.
  • It 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.
  • To treat infections of the urinary tract, couch grass is usually used in combination with other herbs like yarrow, uva ursi (bearberry) and buchu.
  • Couch grass is used concurrently with hydrangea to treat prostate problems.
  • Herb is used extensively to treat cystitis and also as a remedy for catarrhal disease of the gallbladder.

Ayurvedic Health benefits of Couch Grass

  • Liver Problems: Drink half glass couch grass juice daily. It is very beneficial for liver diseases.
  • Water Retention: Boil Dandelion leaves, couch grass leaves and yarrow flower for 5 minutes. Take it twice a day.
  • Urinary Tract Infection: Add 2 tsp of Couch grass, Buchu and corn silk in a cup of water. Slowly bring to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Take 2-3 times a day.
  • Pericarditis: Take 100 grams of dried Morus Alba and 50 gram of dried couch grass. Crush them. Soak 20 gram of crushed combination in a liter of water at night. In morning, boil the soaked material. Strain and use it whole day as drinking water.

 Culinary Uses

  • They can be dried and ground into a powder, then used with wheat when making bread.
  • When boiled for a long time to break down the leathery membrane, syrup can be made from the roots and this is sometimes brewed into a beer.
  • Roasted root is used as a coffee substitute.
  • Young leaves and shoots can be eaten raw in spring salads.
  • Juice from these shoots is sometimes used as a spring tonic.
  • Cereal mash can be made from them.
  • Seed is very small and there is a large husk surrounding it, so that effectively it is more like eating fiber than cereal.

Other Uses

  • An infusion of the whole plant is a good liquid plant feed.
  • Plant has a long creeping root system and so it has been planted in sand dunes near the coast to bind the soil together.
  • Grey dye is obtained from the roots.
  • Plant is grown all over the world except Africa.
  • Dried rhizomes of couch grass were broken up and used as incense in medieval northern Europe where other resin-based types of incense were unavailable.
  • Elymus repens rhizomes have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine against fever, internally as a tea, syrup, or cold maceration in water, or externally applied as a crude drug.
  • It is harvested all the year round for fodder for livestock.

Dosage

  • Dried root: 4 to 8 gm. or in decoction .Take three times in a day.
  • Liquid extract: 1:1 in 25% alcohols, 4 to 8 ml. Take three times in a day.
  • Tincture: 1:5 in 40% alcohols, 5 to 15 ml. Take three times in a day.

Precaution

  • Prolonged use may lead to loss of potassium due to its diuretic action.
  • It may cause diarrhea, stomach cramps
  • Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to any constituent of couch grass, or to other members of the Poaceae/Gramineae family.
  • Caution is advised in patients who have edema (swelling) caused by heart or kidney disease.
  • Couch grass is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to lack of available scientific evidence.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=512839#null

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/31928/

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Elytrigia+repens

http://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/3726

http://www.floracatalana.net/elymus-repens-l-gould

https://www.drugs.com/npp/couch-grass.html

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/grasse34.html#cou

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=454279

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/kew-411505

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ELRE4

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elymus_repens

https://acta.mendelu.cz/media/pdf/actaun_2013061051399.pdf

http://www.health-care-tips.org/herbal-medicines/couch-grass.htm

http://www.purplesage.org.uk/profiles/couchgrass.htm

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