Elytrigia repens

Elytrigia repens

The gramigna, also known as the canine tooth (Elytrigia repens (L.) Desv. Ex Nevski, 1933) is an herbaceous species belonging to the Poaceae family. The term Agropyron repens (L.) P. Beauv. and (Elymus repens (L.) Gould subsp. Repens) are synonyms.

Systematics –
From the systematic point of view it belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, Kingdom Plantae, Spermatophyta Superdivision, Magnoliophyta Division, Liliopsida Class, Poales Order, Poaceae Family, Pooideae Subfamily, Triticeae Tribe and therefore to the Elytrigous Genus and to the E. repens.

Etymology –
The term Elytrigia derives from the Greek ἔλυτρον elytron, ie sheath, scabbard. The specific epithet repens is the participle of répo crawling: creeping.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Elytrigia repens is a very common species in most of Italy, Europe, Africa and Asia. It is a species of the cold and temperate-cold areas of Europe, Asia and North America.

Description –
The Elytrigia repens is a perennial herbaceous species and rhizomatous broadleaf that grows rapidly throughout the pasture or vegetable garden thanks to the ground wire. The stems or culms grow 40-150 cm in height; it has linear leaves of 15-40 cm of length and 3-10 mm of width at the base of the plant, with higher leaves on the stems 2-8.5 mm of width. The spike is on average 10-30 cm of length, with spikelets of 1-2 cm in length; this is 5-7 mm wide and 3 mm thick with 3-8 ornaments. The glumes measure 7-12 mm. The flowers are gathered together to form spikes. The fruit is a 5 mm-long ellipsoidal cariosside, smooth, not furrowed with linear halo and embryo measuring 9/10 and 2/10 respectively of the caryopsis itself.

Cultivation –
Elytrigia repens is a naturalized species in most of the globe and, under certain agricultural conditions, is often referred to as weed. Once settled, it is a sort of difficult removal, both for the wrong nitrogen fertilization and for the use of rotating working organs. Among the methods used to eradicate it there is to dig deep into the soil so as to eliminate the amount of roots possible, in fact the rhizomes, they dry out and die if left on the surface and in the sun like any other weed. More appropriate fertilization methods, crop rotations and crops using mulches and consociations can reduce their presence.

Uses and Traditions –
Elytrigia repens, also known as a canine tooth, is a medicinal and medicinal herb. Due to its therapeutic properties it is also known as the graminea of ​​doctors; in fact it is a plant known and used also in phytotherapy since ancient Greece. Some animals, including dogs, in particular moments of physiological need, unearth their roots to nourish them.
In medieval herbal medicine it was used to treat inflammatory states of the lower urinary tract and to reduce water retention.
Even today it is used as a diuretic, anti-inflammatory and especially in the case of cystitis. For this purpose and for other therapeutic applications, stolons are used to make infusions or as dry extract.
The gramineae, in general, are attributed diuretic, purifying and anti-inflammatory properties. More precisely, these activities are ascribable to saponins, polyphenols, essential oil and triticin contained within the plant itself.
In any case, before taking any kind of preparation containing graminea for therapeutic purposes, it is advisable to contact your doctor beforehand.

Preparation Mode –
In addition to therapeutic uses, gramigna is used in various dishes and dishes, many of which are linked to particular local traditions.
The sprouts of gramigna can be prepared in salted water and, once boiled, chopping the vegetables and frying them for a few minutes with onion, extra virgin olive oil and butter. To this preparation you can add the egg, mixing and seasoning with grated cheeses and salt.
The decoction of gramigna, however, is prepared with a tablespoon of dried roots that will let you boil for the first time for at least a minute. Add the cooking water, squeeze the root and boil again in the same amount of water (one cup) for another 5 minutes.

Guido Bissanti

Sources
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Pharmacy of the Lord, Advice and experience with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Publisher
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.

Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only and do not in any way represent a medical prescription; there is therefore no liability for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.

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