Couch Grass Rhizome As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book


Couch grass (also known as elymus repens, common couch, Chinese: Bai Mao, 白茅), is a widely found perennial species of grass native to most of Europe, Asia, the Arctic biome as well as northwest Africa. The mucilage rich rhizome of couch grass is used in traditional Chinese medicine with heat-clearing and blood-cooling effects.

Odour & Nature:

Sweet, cold-natured,


Couch grass rhizome functions by influencing the lung, stomach and bladder.

Indications & Formulas:

A decoction of couch grass rhizome is taken to treat hematemesis (spitting blood) as well as blood in urine (hematuria).

Juice of couch grass rhizome is taken orally to heal blood-heat related epistaxis (nosebleeds).

Powdered couch grass rhizome is taken orally with rice washing water to cope with chronic nosebleed.

A decoction of radix bupleuri, licorice root and couch grass rhizome is taken orally to cope with jaundice due to internal damp-heat.

A decoction of cynanchum paniculatum, couch grass rhizome, akebia stem, chingma abutilon seed, soapstone, betel nut, dianthus superbus and sodium sulfate can be used to treat difficulty with urination.

A decoction of couch grass rhizome and reed rhizome is taken to treat nausea and vomiting.

A decoction of couch grass rhizome, goldenrod, lagenaria siceraria peel and wine is taken orally to treat nephritis.

Cooked couch grass rhizome with red bean can be taken to cope with abdominal dropsy (waterbelly).

The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.

The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.

Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.

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