Remedies for healing
In Europe the shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) can be found in meadows, fields, along roadsides and stream banks. The flowering herb can be collected from April to September, dried in the shade, cut into small pieces and stored in dark glasses. The ingredients are: choline, acetylcholine, tyramine and tannins. These substances have above all a vascular regulatory and haemostatic effect. Shepherd’s purse is used in nasal bleeding, stomach, intestine, kidney and wound bleeding.
The active substance tyramine has a contractive effect on the uterus. That is why the shepherd’s purse is used as blowing stimulant. Also the bowel movement and bowel function is activated so that it has a defecation-promoting effect. In addition, the shepherd’s purse is a medicinal plant which regulates the circulation. It is recommended both for low blood pressure as well as for high blood pressure with rapid pulse. Paracelsus wrote: “In the bursa-pastoris (shepherd’s purse) the power of haemostasis lies in dysentery and in menstruation. It also contains the power to activate the lienteric diarrhea, not to stop the bleeding, but often to provoke” (I, 444).
In folk medicine the shepherd’s purse is used for gout, jaundice and against internal and external bleeding. “The dried plant pounded to powder and sprinkled on fresh wounds will heal the wounds easily. In epistaxis the tea should be snuffed. According to traditional medicine, daily 2 to 3 cups of the shepherd’s purse should be drunk in the case of diabetes. As a preventive measure, when a too strong menses is to be expected, the women are advised to drink in sips 1 to 2 cups of the tea daily approximately 8 days before the menses starts. In case of an excessive menstruation one should take 1 tablespoon of it every hour” (Willfort, S. 201f).
Shepherd’s purse tea:
Take 1-2 teaspoons of dried shepherd’s purse and pour a cup of hot water over it. The tea is covered and allowed to stand for 10 minutes. One should drink 2 – 3 times daily one cup between the meals during a period of 1 to 2 weeks.