Fragrant grass – fragrant spikelet

legged (Roaceae), or Cereals (Gramineae); fragrant spike


Plants of this genus (and in Russia there are only two of them) contain coumarin, which gives them a pleasant aroma. Fragrant grass never grows in continuous thickets, but forms sods. Its stems are covered with leaves, bare, smooth. The leaves are linear, up to 5 mm wide, glabrous or hairy. Flowers in a spike-like inflorescence are 3-6 cm long, the apices of the upper spike scales reach a length of 10 mm. The plant blooms in May-June. It usually grows on meadows, forest clearings, grassy slopes – almost throughout the territory of Russia, but it occurs less often in the southeast.

In traditional medicine, the aerial part of the plant is used. The grass is harvested during the flowering period, in June, and dried in warm, ventilated rooms or outdoors in the shade.

Flowering plants contain about 1% coumarin.

In folk medicine, infusions and decoctions of the aerial part are used for suffocating (spastic) cough, as well as as a tonic, emollient and heart remedy. Infusions and decoctions of fragrant grass help with headaches, have a diuretic effect, and are used as a sedative for insomnia and tumors. In sensitive people, the plant can cause hay fever, but a tincture of fresh grass when taken internally or in the form of inhalation relieves attacks of this disease. In German folk medicine, the plant is considered an effective remedy for insomnia, nausea, headache and rheumatism.

Ever since tobacco smoking was known, many aromatic herbs have been used to flavor tobacco. Fragrant grass, as a source of coumarin, is used very often for this purpose.

Although the plant has a pleasant aroma, cattle eat it reluctantly.

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