Well-Being Elimination

4/5

Improves urinary tract health and has an 8-hour extended release formula to help reduce recurrent urinary discomfort.*...

$39.95

Well-Being Men

3/5

Well-Being Men : This biocompatible complex is comprised of a synergy of plants helping maintain men's form at all ages....

$39.95

Couch grass

What is Couch grass?

Scientific Name(s): Agropyron repens (L.) P. Beauv., Elymus repens , Graminis rhizoma , Triticum repens . Family: Gramineae (grasses)
 
Common Name(s): Couch-grass root , dog grass , quack grass , triticum , twitchgrass
 
Uses of Couch grass
 
Couch grass has been used to treat gout, rheumatic disorders, chronic skin conditions, and urinary tract, bladder, and kidney disorders. Various extracts have been used as a dietary component for diabetic patients. 
 
Botany
 
Couch grass ( A. repens ) is a weed that is widely distributed throughout the northern hemisphere. The grass grows up to 1.5 m tall with spikes up to 15 cm long containing many flowered spikelets. 1 The leaves alternate with sheaths, the blades are long and narrow, and the veins are parallel. 2 The grass also possesses shiny, pale yellow, hollow rhizomes and longitudinally grooved stems that are 2 to 3 mm thick. Thin roots and short fiber-like cataphylls are present at the unthickened nodes. Couch grass has an almost bland but slightly sweet taste. The rhizomes, roots, and stems are used to formulate the product. 1
 
History
 
In folk medicine, couch grass has been used as a diuretic in cases of bladder catarrh and bladder/kidney stones, and as a cough medicine to alleviate bronchial irritation. It has been used to treat gout, rheumatic disorders, and chronic skin disorders. The drug products are typically imported from Romania, Hungary, the Yugoslavian region, and Albania. 1
 
Chemistry
 
The major constituent of couch grass is triticin (3% to 8%), a polysaccharide related to inulin. Upon hydrolysis, triticin releases the following: fructose; mucilage (10%); saponins; sugar alcohols (mannitol, inositol, 2% to 3%); essential oil with polyacetylenes or carvone (0.01% to 0.05%); small amounts of vanilloside (vanillin monoglucoside), vanillin, and phenolcarboxylic acids; silicic acid; and silicates. 1 , 3 , 4 Extraction of silicon-containing compounds from couch grass has been studied. 5 Lectins found in the seedlings and leaves also may be present in the rhizome. 1 However, the lectin content of the leaves varies from season to season. 6 Other constituents found in couch grass include agropyrene (volatile oil constituent, 95%), mucilage, thymol, menthol, iron, and other minerals. 3 , 4 Albumin content in couch grass and other wheat related plants has been evaluated. 7 Breeding potential of couch grass also has been reported. 8
 
Couch grass Uses and Pharmacology
 
In addition to the folk uses of couch grass, it has been indicated for irrigation therapy in inflammatory disorders of the urinary tract, in the prevention of renal gravel, and to supplement treatment in catarrh of the upper respiratory tract. Couch grass is said to be useful as a diuretic. The essential oil has shown antimicrobial effects, and extracts of the drug are used as a dietary component for diabetic patients. Broad spectrum antibiotic activity has been documented for agropyrene and its oxidation product. Couch grass may have weak anti-inflammatory effects. Despite these indications, pharmacological and clinical studies are lacking.
 
Bibliography
 
1. Bisset NG, ed. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals . 2nd ed. Stuttgart, Germany: Medpharm Scientific Publishers; 2001.
2. Trease GE, Evans WC. Pharmacognosy . 12th ed. London, England: Bailliére Tindall; 1983.
3. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients . 2nd ed. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.; 1996.
4. Newell CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines . London, England: Pharmaceutical Press; 1996.
5. Paslawska S, Piekos R. Studies on the optimum conditions of extraction of silicon species from plants with water. IV. Agropyron repens . Planta Med . 1976;30:216-222.
6. Cammue B, Stinissen HM, Peumans WJ. A new type of cereal lectin from leaves of couch grass ( Agropyrum repens ). Eur J Biochem . 1985;148:315-322.
7. Konarev A, Gavriliuk IP. Identification of albumin 0.19 in wheat and other cereal proteins [in Russian]. Biokhimiia . 1978;43:28-33.
8. Fatih AM. Anaysis of the breeding potential of wheat-Agropyron and wheat-Elymus derivatives. Ι. Agronomic and quality characteristics. Hereditas . 1983;98:287-295.
9. Grases F, Ramis M, Costa-Bauza A, March JG. Effect of Herniaria hirsuta and Agropyron repens on calcium oxalate urolithiasis risk in rats. J Ethnopharmacol . 1995;45:211-214.
10. Christen AM, Seoane JR, Leroux GD. The nutritive value for sheep of quackgrass and timothy hays harvested at two stages of growth. J Anim Sci . 1990;68:3350-3359.
11. Gruenwald J, ed. PDR for Herbal Medicines . 2nd ed. Montvale, NJ: Thomson Healthcare Inc; 2000:772.
12. Mueller RS, Bettenay SV, Tideman L. Aero-allergans in canine atopic dermatitis in southeastern Australia based on 1000 intradermal skin tests. Aust Vet J . 2000;78:392-399.
13. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association Botanical Safety Handbook . Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1997.

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