Over veiw: Shepherds purse is a european anual or bianual plant that has naturalised itself in many other countries. It gets its name from its small heart shape purse seed pods and the arial parts can be harvested throughout the year. Self seeding it spreads prolifcly through cultivated or wasteland gaining its reputation as a weed. However it has centuries of history as food and medicine and is used by many cultures including India for Ayurvedic and China for Traditional chinese medicine. It was also used in World war 2 as an antihemorahgic to help wounded soldiers. Known mainly for its anti-hemorhgic actions is also known to be a urinary antiseptic as well as antipyretic used to calm a fever.
Another use for Shepherds purse is for its use as a bio-monitor for heay metal polution particularly short term changes and thus care must be taken when wild harvesting this plant to ensure purity and safety.
Traditional medicinal use:
Used on both inward and outward wounds including haemoptysis; haemorrhoids; uterine camps and bleeding; irritation and catarrh of urinary tract as well as infection. Can be used as a poultice for external inflammations including for rhematic joint pain as well as bruising. Put on a cotton bud and inserted into the nose to stop a bleed or cotton pad for external wounds. The juice has been used for earaches and infection. A remedy also for weepy eyes due to its astrigent qualities for this reason also used as a remedy for dysentry. May also be good for glaucoma due to its high antioxidant levels.
Flavanoids: luteolin and quercitin as well as diosmin.
Acids: Furmic and bursic
Bases: choline, acetylcholine, histamine, tyramine and alkaloids.
Vitamins A, C and K.
Minerals: Calcium, iron, significant amounts of potassium, sodium, sulphur and zinc.
High in Antioxidants.
Safety and conrtraindication considerations:
Considered safe for long term use.
Do not use during pregnancy
Recipe using shepherds purse to stop excessive menstral bleeding.
35ml Shepherds purse
15ml Raspberry leaf
15ml Chaste tree
Take 1.5ml every 15-30minutes in a small amount of water (30ml) for heavy bleeding or 2.5ml every hour for moderately heavy bleeding.