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Shepherd's Purse

Shepherd's Purse

(Capsella bursa-pastoris)

Used for chronic menorrhagia: too frequent, excessive, or too long-continued or constant menstrual bleeding

Used for inflammation of the bladder and urinary tract

For several millennia shepherd’s purse has been used in the West as both a medicinal remedy and a foodstuff. Its remarkable antihemorrhagic and urinary antiseptic healing actions have been confirmed by modern scientific research.

Classic British herbalist Mrs. M. Grieve provides an excellent summary of the therapeutic scope of this herb: "When dried and infused, it yields a tea which is still considered by herbalists one of the best specifics for stopping haemorrhages of all kinds - of the stomach, the lungs, or the uterus... It is a remedy of the first importance in catarrhal conditions of the bladder and ureters, also in ulcerated conditions and abscess of the bladder."

In the early part of the last century, the Eclectic physicians also advocated the use of shepherd’s purse to stop bleeding.

The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, a normative reference text in herbal medicine, lists menorrhagia and acute catarrhal cystitis among its indications for shepherd’s purse.

In a similar vein, Commission E, Germany’s foremost herbal authority, has approved shepherd’s purse for the "symptomatic treatment of mild menorrhagia and metrorrhagia (abnormal uterine bleeding)."

"The alcoholic extract of fresh shepherd’s purse," notes prominent herbalist Michael Tierra, "is quite effective for stopping bloody fluxes and hemorrhages. It is specific for chronic menorrhagia and endometriosis with frequent and prolonged menstruation or when the discharge is practically constant and colorless... Finally, it is effective as a treatment for urinary inflammations such as cystitis."

Similarly herbalist Simon Mills lists shepherd’s purse among the herbs he uses for menstrual disorders as well as urinary infections like cystitis.

Herbal researcher Kerry Bone points out that, "Ex vivo tests indicated shepherd’s purse extracts accelerated coagulation of blood... In vivo studies indicate diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and antiulcer activities for shepherd’s purse extracts."

Health writer Michael Castleman adds further that: "Shepherd’s purse contains substances that hasten the coagulation (clotting) of blood, according to an article in the British scientific journal Nature."

Administration:

30-60 drops (1-2ml), three times daily, in a mouthful of water, on an empty stomach

Contraindications and Cautions:

Do not use if you are pregnant. Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you have a history of kidney stones or if you intend to use this product for prolonged heavy menstruation.