Couch Grass

Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Ackerquecke, Agropyron firmum, Agropyron repens, Chiendent, Chiendent Rampant, Common Couch, Coutch, Cutch Grass, Dog Grass, Dog-grass, Doggrass, Durfa Grass, Elymus repens, Elytrigia repens, Grama Canina, Graminis, Graminis Rhizoma, Kvickrot, Petit Chiendent, Quack Grass, Quackgrass, Quecke, Quick Grass, Quitch Grass, Scotch Quelch, Scutch, Triticum, Triticum firmum, Triticum repens, Twitch Grass, Twitchgrass, Wheatgrass, Witch Grass, Witchgrass.


Couch grass is a grass that is an invasive weed. The leaves and roots are used to make medicine.

Couch grass root is taken by mouth for constipation, cough, bladder swelling (inflammation), fever, high blood pressure, or kidney stones. It is also used for water retention.

Couch grass roots or leaves are applied to treat fevers.

How does it work?

Extracts of couch grass might contain chemicals that reduce swelling (inflammation).


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Constipation.
  • Cough.
  • Bladder swelling (inflammation).
  • Fever.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Kidney stones.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of couch grass for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

It isn't known if couch grass is safe or what the possible side effects might be. Couch grass might work like a water pill and increase the elimination of water from the body. But it's too soon to know if this causes side effects such as low potassium levels.


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of couch grass during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The appropriate dose of couch grass depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for couch grass. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors


Al-Douri NA, Al-Essa LY. A survey of plants used in Iraqi Traditional Medicine. Jordan J Pharm Sci 2010;3(2):100-108.

Ballabh B, Chaurasia OP, Ahmed Z, Singh SB. Traditional medicinal plants of cold desert Ladakh-used against kidney and urinary disorders. J Ethnopharmacol 2008 Jul 23;118(2):331-9. View abstract.

European Medicines Agency. Assessment report on Agropyron repens (L.) P. Beauv., rhizome. Available at:

Hagin RD. Isolation and identification of 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid and 5-hydroxytryptophan, major allelopathic aglycons in quackgrass (Agropyron repens L. Beauv.). J Agric Food Chem 1989;37(4):1143-1149.

Mascolo N, Autore G, Capassa F, et al. Biological screening of Italian medicinal plants for anti-inflammatory activity. Phytother Res 1987:28-31.

Mason-Gamer RJ. Allohexaploidy, introgression, and the complex phylogenetic history of Elymus repens (Poaceae). Mol Phylogenet Evol 2008;47(2):598-611. View abstract.

Petrova AP, Krasnov EA, Saprykina EV, Subbotina YA, Ermilova EV. Chemical composition of couch grass and studies of its antioxidant activity in allergic contact dermatitis. Pharma Chem J 2009;43(1):48-50.

Ringselle B, Bergkvist G, Aronsson H, Andersson L. Under-sown cover crops and post-harvest mowing as measures to control Elymus repens. Weed Res 2014;55:309-319.

Viegi L, Pieroni A, Guarrera PM, Vangelisti R. A review of plants used in folk veterinary medicine in Italy as basis for a databank. J Ethnopharm 2003;89(2-3):221-244. View abstract.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors