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Shepherd's Purse

Shepherd's Purse

Shepherd's purse if one of the most common and widely spread flowering plants in the world. Shepherd's purse gets its unique name from the shape of the seed pod that resembles the silhouette of the purse shepherds used to carry.

Shepherd's purse is a folk remedy for treating diarrhea, bleeding, and to stimulate uterine contractions.  The herb is useful as a general uterine tonic that has been used by midwives and herbalists in the treatment of uterine bleeding in the form of menorrhagia, excessive bleeding accompanying menopause, and with bleeding that may occur postpartum.

The German Commission E, Germany's scientific advisory board, has approved shepherd's purse in the treatment of nosebleeds and excessive uterine bleeding.

Beyond its hemostatic properties, shepherd's purse contains a particular peptide that has been proven to have oxytocic activity that stimulates uterine contractions and may be useful in the facilitation of childbirth as well as to help prevent post-birth hemorrhaging.

Unless childbirth is trying to be stimulated, shepherd's purse should be avoided during pregnancy!

Shepherd's purse also stimulates the contraction of other muscles in the body such as the heart.  The herb has positive inotropic and chronotropic activity meaning that it has the ability to affect cardiac tone and rhythm, as well as blood pressure.


Latin nameCapsella bursa-pastoris

Family: Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Parts Used: Above ground parts

Energetics: sweet, warm, dry

Actions: Alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hemostatic, hypotensive, oxytocic, styptic, urinary antiseptic, vasoconstrictor, vulnerary


  • Nose bleeds
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive menses
  • Dysentery

Preparation & Dosage:

Tincture : 5-10 drops at a time, best if made from fresh plant



  • Do not take during pregnancy
  • This herb should be avoided in the presence of cardiovascular disease or in the case of any other heart conditions.
  • Due to its ability to cause low or high blood pressure caution should be taken with patients already taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that act to raise or lower blood pressure.
  • Do not take in cases of kidney disease
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