Couch Grass. Dog's Grass. Nat. Ord. Gramineae. Linn. Syst. Triandria Digynia. Hub. Europe.
Med. Prop. and Action. The underground stem or "root" is demulcent, diuretic, and alterative, and has been thought by some continental writers to partake of the properties of Sarsaparilla. ltisgiveniniulusion (oz. j. of the dried and cut stem to Boiling Water Oj.), to the extent of fl. oz xij. - fl. oz. xvj. daily, in divided doses. The taste of this infusion is rather agreeable than otherwise, and it produces no nausea nor derangement of the stomach. Though long employed in a variety of affections requiring demulcents, by the people of Europe generally, especially in France, it was first brought prominently forward in England by Mr. H. Thompson* in 1861. To be effectual, he believes that the plant should be gathered in the spring, shortly before the leaves appear; he directs the stem to be then slowly dried, without artificial heat, and cut in short lengths for use. The infusion obtained from this is superior to that made from plants gathered indiscriminately at any time, and also to that obtained from herbalists.
* Brit. and For. Med.-Chir. Rev., Jan. 1851.
On Beri-beri, p. 296.
Mr. Thompson: - "In Vesical Irritability produced by Inflammation of the Prostate and Neck of the Bladder, in severe Gonorrha when the Inflammation extends backward, in the Pain and Spasm caused by Calculus, and by Aggravated Stricture of the Urethra, as well as in some cases of Obscure Disease of the Bladder, the good effects of the Infusion have been very marked, and it has proved more efficacious than Buchu. In cases of Prostatic Enlargement in elderly patients, it has been of service, but less frequently so than in the conditions above named. It has also afforded great relief in Renal Calculus. In short, wherever micturition is very frequent or painful, depending on hyper-sensibility of any part of the urinary passages from acute or sub-acute inflammation, with the signs of its presence in the urine itself, the symptoms are most materially relieved and the urine becomes clearer under the use of this remedy. If improvement is produced at all, it is generally very soon after commencing the medicine; and if none can be observed in four or five days, it is not worth while continuing to employ it."
Turpeth, or Turbith Mineral. See Hydrargyri Subsulphas.