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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.



COUCH GRASS
GRAMINAE
a.k.a. Cutch, Dog Grass, Durfa Grass, Quack Grass, Quick Grass, Scutch, Triticum, Twitch Grass, Witchgrass
(Triticum repens syn Agropyron repens syn Elymus repens)
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CONTRAINDICATED Irrigation therapy NOT TO BE APPLIED when EDEMA exists due to cardiac or renal insufficiency! (When irrigation therapy is used, it must be accompanied by ingestion of large quantities of fluids.)

FYI A rampant weed of lawns and gardens growing 1 to 3 feet high and native to Europe, but naturalized in the United States. STEMS are hollow except at nodes. LEAVES completely sheath the stem. At the top of each STEM at the junction with the leaf, thre is small stiff appendage called the 'ligule' which is hairy and quite stiff, being about 1/16th of an inch long. ROOTS are an extensive system of creeping, jointed white to pale yellow rhizomes which if broken into pieces can produce another plant. FLOWERS are yellow to purple-brown and appear in spikes July to August.

Dogs and cats are often seen eating this grass when they feel unwell.

Astrologically ruled by Saturn §

CONTAINS: Essential oil, mannitol, silica, mucilage, glycocide, saponins, triticine, vanilloside, mineral salts, silicic acid, potassium, inositol, iron.

PROPAGATION This is one plant not to be encouraged in the backyard garden. Not only will it take over, but robs the soil of nutrients. Spreads itself by underground runners.
NEEDS To grow at home, grow in containers and do not allow to seed.
PART USED Dried rhizome/rootstock
HARVEST: Rhizome in early spring or late summer/early autumn.
FORM Tea, infusion, decoction, liquid extract, tincture.
SOLVENT Water
USES
MEDICINAL
Sweet, cool, aperient, antimicrobial, anodyne (reduces pain in urinary system), osmotic diuretic, demulcent, emollient, anti-inflammatory, blood cleanser, tonic, vulnerary (silica content); oil is antimicrobial; affects urinary system, lung, heart, and small intestine.
Has been used to lower cholesterol levels, for respiratory infections, coughs, fevers, sore throat, bronchitis, and laryngitis..
Infusion has been used for tendency to infection, bladder infections, urethritis, urinary tract infection, prostatitis (often combined with Hydrangea aborescens), enlarged prostate, cystitis, pyelitis, urinary stones, gravel, gall stones, jaundice, nephritis, and kidney stones . Has been combined with Buchu, Bearberry, or Juniper for UTI and cystitis. To help pass kidney stones and/or gravel a maximum of 40 to 60 drops of tincture in hot water has been used. A tea of the rootstock has been used to prevent the formation of kidney stones and gravel.
JUICE of the rhizome has been used for dropsy and jaundice.
Has been used for liver disease.
Has been used for rheumatic problems, bursitis, and gout.
Once used as a spring tonic and for the treatment of gonorrhea.

DOSE: TRADITIONAL DOSAGES FOR PROFESSIONAL NOTE ONLY
!All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully!
GRAINS = 60 to 120
TEA = 2 tsp dried rootstock steeped for 5 minutes in 1 cup of boiling water
INFUSION = 1 tsp dried rootstock to 1 cup of boiling water; steep 15 minutes; taken in mouthful doses, a total of 1 to 2 cups daily.
DECOCTION = 1 oz dried rootstock to 1 pint of water; simmer 10 to 15 minutes (till volume is 3/4 pint); allow to sit for a few minutes, then strain; taken a mouthful at a time, 1 cup daily, or 10 to 20 drops in water 2 or 3 times daily.
COLD EXTRACT = 1 tsp dried rootstock to 1 cup cold water; allow to stand for 10 hours.
JUICE = 1 tbsp taken 3 times daily
TINCTURE = 10 to 20 drops (3 to 6 ml) in water, 3 times daily.

HOMEOPATHIC:
Used for irritated bladder, dysuria, incontinence, urinary tract infection.

VETERINARY:
Used for edema and bladder/kidney problems in dogs and livestock.
Used as a vermifuge in livestock.
Dose for livestock = 6 handfuls of well chopped rootstock given morning or night, or, 6 roots to 2 pints of water simmered for 30 miutes, then steeped 3 to 4 hours, when 1/2 cup of raisins and 2 tbsp molasses is added; 1 cup taken morning an night along with several handfuls of the leaves twice daily.

OTHER:
A thick extract obtained from the rootstock has been used as a tablet binder.



©2001 & 2006 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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