Did you know…. Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) got its name from the Latin ‘capsella’ meaning purse, because the seed pouches resemble those worn on the belts of old-time shepherds (and others). It was known to be used by the Romans, however, its use for food and medicine predates recorded history.
The basal leaves are similar in appearance to dandelion. “They have a very sharp flavor and were eaten as a vegetable, hence the country name.. ’pepper & salt’.
It has been used for all kinds of internal hemorrhages; after childbirth, bleeding from lungs, stomach and profuse menstruation. Topically it has been helpful for wounds, nose bleeds and earaches.
“According to the Greek physician Dioscorides (first century A.D) and the Roman naturalist Pliny (23-79 AD), the seeds were an effective laxative. But in the 1500’s the Italian Pietro Mattioli, cited Shepherd’s Purse as helpful to stop excessive bleeding, and this use has remained. During WWI, British doctors used extracts to halt bleeding”.
It appears that the herb contains sulphur which helps to clot blood.
“Most herbalists use Shepherd’s Purse to treat heavy bleeding, from nose bleeds to menstruation & post partum periods. It has also been used for cystitis (common bladder infection). Nicholas Culpeper (17 Century astrologer-physician) prescribed an ointment of the fresh leaves for all wounds, while for nosebleeds, a cotton-wool ball was saturated with the juice and inserted into the nostril.”
It is one of the first herbs of spring, even when there is still traces of snow, and may produce 40,000 seeds.
Shepherd’s Purse is ruled by Saturn. “Spiritually… it invigorates the life force within and helps one to recognize their hidden talents. It carries with it Hope, Optimism, Opportunity and Acknowledging Inner Strengths.”
I don’t know about you… but I could use a whole yard full!! Oh, wait, I DO HAVE a YARD FULL !!
How Blessed am I….
This article is for informational purposes only.
Pam Getz @ Amber Myst Alternatives
Re: Modern Herbal Primer by Nancy Burke
Magic and Medicine of Herbs by Readers Digest