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Couch Grass Su BIf you’re a gardener, you probably think that Couch Grass (Agropyron repens) is just a nightmare.

But think again; those creeping rhizomes that just keep on growing, even from the smallest fragment left in the ground, have a special virtue in the herb world. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory for the urinary tract. In conditions like cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis and benign prostatic hypertrophy, it will soothe inflammation and reduce swelling.

Over time, it can help to ‘recondition’ the tissues if you have had repeated infections or chronic inflammation, and bring things back to normality.

Couch Grass is slightly antiseptic too, but it works best for infections when combined with herbs like Buchu (Barosma betulina) or Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). For prostatic enlargement, use it with Sarsaparilla (Smilax ornata) or Sabal (Serenoa repens).

It will help as a background remedy for kidney problems too.

You can make a tea from the rhizomes, or even add them to food. They don’t taste of much, unlike some herbal remedies which are definitely for medicinal use only.

So while you’re doing the weeding this spring, maybe think twice before burning them.

EDITOR: Su has an excellent Herb Handbook available to buy directly from her website or from Amazon.

Meet The Author...
Su Bristow
Who Am I?
I studied at the School of Herbal Medicine for four years, and qualified in 1989, becoming a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists ( The road to herbal medicine led from my early interest in organic gardening and healthy eating, through the study of social and physical anthropology at Cambridge, where I specialised in medical anthropology. What fascinated me was how people deal with their health problems when they have only the natural resources around them, and their own ingenuity. I went on to learn massage and reflexology, and worked at a residential naturopathic clinic, where I learned about the use of diet and other natural ways of healing. After qualifying as a herbalist, I set up practice in mid-Devon. Since then I have continued to expand my expertise, with counselling skills, first aid, and knowledge of the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems of herbal medicine. Besides one-to-one consultation, I have also taught evening classes, students of the Westcountry Massage Association, and various private courses.
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