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Capsella bursa pastoris

Capsella bursa pastoris (Cruciferae)

SHEPHERD'S PURSE, MOTHER'S HEART, STRANGURY

 

A traditional medicine for stopping bleeding, shepherd's purse is still given by herbalists for many forms of bleeding, both internal and external, as well as for urinary tract problems. Its pale-green hairy leaves are used to make an infusion or tincture.

 

The distinctive heart-shaped fruit of C. bursa pastoris resemble the purses that people in medieval Europe used to hang from their belts, hence the common name of shepherd's purse. Native to Europe, it has spread to all temperate parts of the world, and has long been popular in traditional medicine for stopping bleeding. It is a low-growing annual herb with irregular, pale green, hairy leaves, and inconspicuous white flowers throughout the year.

 

PARTS USED

Leaves.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Flavonoids; polypeptides; fumaric and bursic acids; tryamine, choline and acetylcholine; glucosinolates.

 

ACTIONS

Prevents haemorrhage; a urinary antiseptic; mildly increases urine production.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Given for many forms of bleeding, from nose bleeds and internal bleeding to excessive menstrual loss. Also used in urinary tract infections and for kidney stones.

 

PREPARATIONS

Infusion, tincture.  

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