Information on Shepherd's Purse

Latin NameCapsella bursa-pastoris
Part UsedHerb
Herb FormsTincture, capsule, bulk herb.
AffectsBlood, Cardiovascular system
CautionsAvoid during pregnancy or if you have a history of kidney stones.
Botanical InfoAn annual or perennial in the Mustard family with lanceolate, sometimes toothed leaves, mostly clustered at the base of the stem, and white flowers and small purse-shaped fruits.
DescriptionShepherd's purse is an effective diuretic and astringent used for nosebleed, water retention, and diarrhea. It is famous for checking excessive menstrual flow or postpartum bleeding. When used as a hemostatic, the fresh tincture should be taken every hour or two. The herb loses its potency rapidly, and a good-quality "fresh-plant" tincture should be stored in a cool place out of the direct sunlight. It will retain its potency for 6-9 months.
In Europe, shepherd's purse tincture is recommended for lowering mild high blood pressure.
The tincture is the most effective way to take this herb. For average use, 1-3 dropperfuls 2-3 x daily is sufficient. To stop postpartum bleeding, heavy menstrual flows, or hemorrhage, take 1/2 or even 1 tsp of the tincture every 1/2 hour. Watch for heart palpitations, and reduce the dose if these occur.

Shepherd's Purse has a taste of PUNGENT, SWEET and a temperature of NEUTRAL.

Dosages

TypeDosage
Infusion1-2 cups 2-3 x daily
Tincture1-3 droppersful 2-3 x daily

Ailments Treated by Shepherd's Purse

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Bleeding, internalanti-hemorrhagicfresh plant tincture
Blood pressure, highhypotensivetincture, capsules, tea
Hemorrhagehemostaticfresh plant tincture internally
Menorrhagiaantihemorrhagicfresh plant tincture
Menstruation, excessastringentfresh plant tincture
Metrorrhagiauterine astringentfresh plant tincture

References

Newall, C. et al.. 1996. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press.
McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Felter, H.W. and J.U. Lloyd. 1983. (1898). King's Dispensatory. Portland, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications.
Weiss, R. 1988. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, England: Beaconsfield Publishers.
Wren, R.C. 1988. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs. Essex: C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd.
Madaus, G. 1976. Lehrbuch der Biologischen Heilmittel. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag.
Merck & Co. 1907. Merck's 1907 Index. Rahway, N.J.:Merck & Co.