BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS.—Creeping; root-stocks slender, numerous. Spikelets 4- to 8-flowered, glabrous; glumes 3- to 7-nerved; rachis glabrous; leaves flat.
HABITAT.—Europe; naturalized and grows abundantly in North America.
DESCRIPTION OF DRUG.—Short, hollow sections from 3 to 6 mm. (⅛ to ¼ in.) long, and about the thickness and color of a straw; odorless; taste sweetish.
CONSTITUENTS.—No active constituent has been discovered in couchgrass; it contains glucose, mucilage, malates, triticin (a gummy substance resembling inulin), and inosit. Ash not to exceed 3 per cent.
Preparation of Triticin.—Obtained by exhausting powdered drug with water; neutralize with baryta; concentrate and precipitate with lead subacetate; remove lead; purify with charcoal; neutralize, concentrate, and precipitate with alcohol. It is an amorphous, white powder, inodorous, tasteless, deliquescent, and with HNO3 is oxidized into oxalic acid.
ACTION AND USES.—Diuretic, demulcent. Dose: ½ to 3 dr. (2 to 12 Gm.).
- OFFICIAL PREPARATION.
- Fluidextractum Tritici, Dose: 1 to 4 fl. dr. (4 to 15 mils)