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Herbal Medicine Materia Medica
Agropyron repens


Names: Twitchgrass, Quickgrass, Doggrass.

Habitat: Grows in many parts of the world, and all too frequently ingardens.

Collection: The rhizome should be unearthed in spring or early autumn. Wash it, carefully dry in sun or shade.

Part Used: The rhizome.


  • Carbohydrates; triticin, a fructosan polysaccharide, inositol, mannitol & mucilage
  • Volatile oil, mainly of agropyrene
  • Miscellaneous; vanillin glycoside, vitamins A and some of the B complex, fixed oil, minerals including silica and iron.
Actions: Diuretic, demulcent, anti-microbial.

Indications: Couchgrass may be used in urinary infections such as cystitis, urethritis and prostatitis. Its demulcent properties soothe irritation and inflammation. It is of value in the treatment of enlarged prostate glands. It may also be used in kidney stones and gravel. As a tonic diuretic, Couchgrass has been used with other herbs inthe treatment of rheumatism.

Ellingwood says that "its action is solely upon the urinary apparatus. It exercises a soothing, diuretic influence, greatly increasing the flow of the watery portion of the urine without to the same extent influencing the actual renal secretion. It is bland, mild, unirritating, and is used whenever urine, having a high specific gravity, causes irritation of the kidneys or bladder, more especially of their mucous surfaces." He recommends it for the following conditions: pyelitis, catarrhal and purulent cystitis, gonorrhoea, lithaemia, dysuria, tenesmus, prostatitis, strangury and haematuria.

Combinations: For urinary tract infections it may be used with Buchu, Bearberry or Yarrow. It can be combined with Hydrangea for prostrate problems.

Preparations & Dosage: Decoction: put 2 teaspoonfuls of the cutrhizome in a cup of water, bring to boiling and let simmer for l0 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.

Tincture: take 2-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.

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 About The Author
Whilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it......moreDavid Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMH
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