Shepherds Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

Shepherds Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

Shepherds Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

Identify:
• The Flowers are small, white, in a long, loose raceme, followed by triangular and notched (somewhat heart-shaped) pods, the valves boat-shaped and keeled.
• Leaves Form a rosette at the base a few pointed, arrow-shaped leaves

When to collect:
• Leaves are available all year round
• Harvested about a month after sowing

What to eat:
• Leaves, oil and seed

Medicinal:
• Used to stop heavy bleeding and hemorrhaging
• Used in traditional Chinese medicine formulas for blurred vision, and spots before the eyes
• One of the important herbs to stop bleeding an effect due to the tramline and other amines it contains.
• Used for heart and circulatory problems including mild heart failure, low blood pressure, and nervous heart complaints.
• When taken internally, shepherd’s purse can reduce heavy menstrual periods, menstrual cramps, and it has been used to treat postpartum hemorrhage.
• The herb is both a vasodilator, and also hastens coagulation and constrict blood vessels.
• Considered most effective for the treatment of chronic uterine bleeding disorders, including uterine bleeding due to the presence of a fibroid tumor
• Used internally to treat cases of blood in the urine and bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract, such as with bleeding ulcers
• Thought to cause the uterine muscle to contract
• Use the herb topically for eczema and rashes of the skin

Nutrition:
• Contains a protein that acts in the same way in the body as the hormone oxytocin, constricting the smooth muscles that support and surround blood vessels, especially those in the uterus.
• It contains fumaric acid which has markedly reduced growth and viability of Ehrlich tumor in mice
• Leaves contain about 2.9% protein, 0.2% fat, 3.4% carbohydrate, 1% ash
• Rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C
• Seed contains 35% of a fatty oil
• Calcium: 1763mg; Phosphorus: 729mg; Iron: 40.7mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 3939mg (per 100g of food)
• A: 21949mg; Thiamine (B1): 2.12mg; Riboflavin (B2): 1.44mg; Niacin: 3.4mg; B6: 0mg; C: 305mg (per 100g of food)

Other:
• The seed, when placed in water, attracts mosquitoes. It has a gummy substance that binds the insects mouth to the seed [201]. The seed also releases a substance toxic to the larvae. ½ kilo of seed is said to be able to kill 10 million larvae [172]. Plants can be grown on salty or marshy land in order to reclaim it by absorbing the salt and ‘sweetening’ the soil
• When poultry have fed freely on the green plant in the early spring, it has been noticed that the egg yolks become dark in color, a greenish brown or olive color, and stronger in flavor.

Doses:
• Tincture in moderate doses of 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon at a time — up to 1 teaspoonful — three or four times a day before the menstrual period is due and during the period to reduce heavy bleeding.
• Limit use to a month or two, then take a weeklong break, resuming if necessary.
• If used for excessive menstrual bleeding, use for a few days to a week before the period and during the menstrual period — not throughout the month.
• Since shepherd’s purse constricts the blood vessels, it is not recommended for those with high blood pressure.
• Pregnant and nursing women should avoid shepherd’s purse.
• Signs of toxicity are sedation, pupil enlargement and breathing difficulty. Avoid if on treatments for high blood pressure. Avoid with thyroid gland disorders or heart disease.
• Possible addictive sedative effects with other depressants (e.g. Alcohol). Avoid during pregnancy

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-51-SHEPHERD’S%20PURSE.aspx?activeIngredientId=51&activeIngredientName=SHEPHERD’S%20PURSE
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/shepherds-purse-herbal-remedies.htm
http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/shephe47.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Stellaria+media

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