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Shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

Shepherd's purse


Hemostatic, astringent, stool-promoting

Areas of application:

Abdominal bleeding, colicky abdominal pain, excessive menstrual bleeding, blood urine, blood vomiting, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, premature ejaculation, tired intestines, hemorrhoids, in disorders of the female abdominal organs such as tumors, inflammation, malformations, prolapse; Sores, ear ulcers, earache, fever, tightens loose teeth

Plant parts used:

the whole herb

Collection time:

May to August

To find:

Found in fields, rubble sites, gardens, meadows, grassy areas or wasteland.


Tannins, histamines, flavonoids, peptide, potassium salts, choline, acetylcholine, essential oil, saponins, bursa acid


☕ Tea: 2 tablespoons of shepherd's purse herb are poured with 1/4 liter of boiling water and steeped for 10 minutes. Drink 2 cups daily.

For various disorders of the female abdominal organs, a tea made from equal parts of shepherd's purse, cinquefoil, lady's mantle, mugwort and St. Jacob's wort is traditionally given. Use this tea only as a cure.

The shepherd's purse is a one- to two-year-old plant and reaches a height of 10 to 50 cm. Their roots can extend up to 90 cm into the ground. A plant usually only has one stem, which is upright and has simple or protruding branches. The basal leaves at the base are narrow, elongated and toothed to pinnately fissured. The stem leaves are entire or toothed and irregularly lobed. The racemose inflorescence contains numerous flowers. The upright, protruding sepals are egg-shaped and have white skin edges. The white petals are white, upside down ovate and narrowed into a short nail. The flowering period is all year round. The protruding, stalked pods are heart-shaped and contain up to 12 seeds in each compartment.

🛑 Signs of poisoning include sedation, enlarged pupils and difficulty breathing. The plant should be avoided when taking medication for high blood pressure. Likewise, shepherd's purse should be avoided if you have thyroid disease or heart disease. Possible addictive sedative effects with other depressants (e.g. alcohol). This plant should be avoided during pregnancy.

In my clever books there is something about love oracles and that shepherd's purse was used for it. The pods are picked for the love oracle "I love you with all my heart, with pain, a little, almost not at all..." After researching online, I came across Theodor Fontane's quote. "I love you...what is it called when you break off a branch and tear off the leaves?...from the heart with pain beyond measure." It's kind of the same, right?

Shepherd's purse gets your circulation going, so eat a leaf often. The taste is similar to cabbage. The seed is a pepper substitute.

Hildegard von Bingen: If the herb is boiled and gargled often, it heals many types of throat ulcers. Crush the herb and strain the juice from it, then put the juice into the festering ears and it will get better.

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