The herbal monograph selects and summarises scientific studies and textbooks regarding efficacy, dosage and safety to support the therapeutic uses of couch grass rhizome.
This herbal drug by definition consists of the whole or cut, washed and dried rhizomes of Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv. (Syn: Elymus repens (L.) Gould., Triticum repens L.)
Studies with its main characteristic constituents polysaccharides, principally a branched fructosan, triticin and flavonoids are included.
The therapeutic indications are irritable bladder and other urinary tract disorders.
Administration of couch grass rhizome addresses posology; its duration of use; contra-indications; special warnings; special precautions for use; interactions with other medicinal products; other forms of interaction; in pregnancy and lactation; its effects on ability to drive; undesirable effects; overdose.
In vitro experiments with an extract of couch grass rhizome showed antiadhesive activity towards bacteria. In vivo experiments with couch grass rhizome or its extracts in animals demonstrate diuretic, sedative, lipid-lowering and hypoglycaemic properties.
Open clinical studies in humans with couch grass rhizome extract demonstrated its use in patients with irritable bladder, cystitis, prostatitis and/or urethritis.
Preclinical safety data were assessed in toxicity studies and showed no mutagenic activity.
Safety data were assessed in two human studies and were well tolerated in 96% of the patients. One case with gastrointestinal symptoms was reported.
The selection of literature cited in the monograph is aimed at bringing together relevant information about the possible physiological roles of couch grass rhizome and its major constituents.

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