Scientific: Elymus repens [WikiPedia]
Composition: Active constituents found in couch grass include flavonoids such as tricin, agropyrene (volatile oil constituent, 95%), mucilage, thymol, menthol, iron, and other minerals.
Appearance: Couch grass is a perennial species of grass native to Europe, Asia and parts of Africa. It has been found in other climates as well but is mostly considered a weed in milder northern locales. Couch grass is noted for its creeping rootstalks, which make it a rather invasive species because it will grow quickly across grasslands. This grass is also noted for its usage as forage, with all sorts of grazing animals using it for food. Grassland birds, like finches, eat couch grass seeds and caterpillars also use it for food.
Parts Used: Rhizome, roots, stems, dried and cut.
Common Uses: Famous herbalist Nicholas Culpeper wrote that “although a gardener may be of another opinion, a physician holds that a 1/2 acre of dog grass to be worth 5 acres of carrots twice told over.” Dog grass is an invasive grass that grows well in regions with warm summers and cool or cold, damp winters. Its name is derived from the simple fact that dogs will eat the grass when they are sick to induce vomiting and cool the blood.
Couch grass it valued by herbalists for its mucilage rich rhizome. A tea made from the roots is useful for treating urinary infections because of the herb’s broad antibiotic, and diuretic properties. One of the chemical constituents, agropyrone, has been shown to have strong antibiotic properties. Couch grass tea will also soothe and coat an inflamed sore throat, and helps clear phlegm. The herb contains mucilage that helps to clear congestion while it coats the throat.
Alternatives and Adjuncts: Stones or any other cause of urinary track inflammation, combine with marshmallow, corn silk and plantain.
Topic Specific References:
- Couch Grass Uses and Benefits for Dogs (YourOldDog)
- Molecular cytogenetic characterisation of Elytrigia ×mucronata, a natural hybrid of E. intermedia and E. repens (Triticeae, Poaceae) [PubMED]
- Herbal remedies for urinary stones used in India and China: A review [PubMED]
PLEASE NOTE that herbal and other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.