Agropyrum, I.C.A. Couch Grass.
Couch grass (Triticum, U.S.P.) consists of the dried rhizome of Agropyrum repens, Beauvois (N.O. Gramineae), formerly known as Triticum repens, Linn., a weed abundant in Europe, N. Asia, Australasia, and America. Couch grass is official for use in the Australasian, Eastern, and North American Colonies. The rhizome should be gathered in the spring, deprived of its roots and dried. As met with in commerce it occurs in short, straight pieces, which are hollow, except at the nodes, about 3 to 6 millimetres long, and 2 to 2.5 millimetres broad, straw-coloured, and strongly furrowed longitudinally. The rhizome should be free from leaves and roots. It is devoid of odour, but has a faint, sweetish taste.
Constituents.—The constituents of the rhizome are triticin (a carbohydrate resembling irisin), glucose, mucilage, mannite, and inosite. No starch is present and no definite active constituent has yet been discovered. Triticin yields laevulose on hydrolysis.
Action and Uses.—Couch grass is a demulcent diuretic, and is ,employed in the treatment of catarrhal diseases of the genito-urinary tract. It is given in the form of a decoction and a liquid extract.
- Decoctum Agropyri, I.C.A.—DECOCTION OF COUCH GRASS. Syn.—Decoctum Tritici; Decoction of Triticum.
- Couch grass, cut small, 5; distilled water, sufficient to produce 100. Decoction of couch grass is demulcent, and a suitable vehicle for bladder sedatives and antiseptics. It is official in the Australasian Colonies, the Eastern Colonies, and the North American Colonies. Dose.—15 to 60 mils (½ to 2 fluid ounces).
- Extractum Agropyri Liquidum, I.C.A.—LIQUID EXTRACT OF COUCH GRASS. Syn.—Extractum Tritici Liquidum; Liquid Extract of Triticum.
- Couch grass, cut small, 100; distilled water, boiling, a sufficient quantity alcohol, 25, or sufficient to produce 100. This preparation is official in the Australasian Colonies, the Eastern Colonies, and the North American Colonies, where the proportion of alcohol may he increased to one-fourth by weight of the finished product, in order to prevent fermentation. Dose.—4 to 8 mils (1 to 2 fluid drachms).
- Fluidextractum Tritici, U.S.P.—Similar to Extractum Agropyri Liquidum, I.C.A.