Sunday, 12 July 2009

Ancestors Speak – Quack Grass As A Remedy



Picture of quack grass from

A. on the side shows a non flowering plant, while B. shows the leaf base


When I was a child, part of our summer routine was to weed the garden and to pull out all the quack grass and other weeds from the plants that would provide food for us over the winter.  Quack grass is very tricky to pull out because it has long, winding roots that spread for great distances under the surface of the Earth.  It was a frustrating thing to pull this root out of the Earth for kids.

I now have a new perspective on quack grass – also called couch grass, after reading an old book on herbal remedies for different ailments.  The book says that the dried quack grass rhizome (another name for root) contains a polysaccharide or carbohydrate that may be used as a dietary food for diabetics. Remember that insulin was not discovered by Canadians Banting and Best until 1921.  Prior to that year, a herbal remedy was used or a tonic was used to keep diabetics going.  The book also said that the grass roots were used to treat gout and to treat skin problems.  The rhizomes are brewed as a tea, and either sipped as a tea, or used warm as a wash for the skin including the face. 

To make tea:  Pull up quack grass roots in the spring before it starts to form new stems.  You might need to see some green shoots peeking through the ground to know where the grass is located.  Wash the roots thoroughly, and let the moisture evaporate.  Then, dry them in the oven at 55 degrees Celsius or 131 degrees Fahrenheit. Store in a dark jar to preserve from dampness.  The dried roots should store well for several years.    Crush the dried roots and boil them in water to make a strong tea, about a one-half teaspoon of herb per two cups of tea.  Or, boil the water and add 1/4 teaspoon of herb for two cups of tea.  Let steep for ten minutes.

May you now look at quack grass in a different light!     See Roger’s book on line at 

The Story of Light: Path To Enlightenment (Paperback)  by S. Roger Joyeux (Author)  image

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