Capsella bursa pastoris is an annual plant, part of the ruderal species, and the mustard (Brassicaceae) family. It grows in Anatolia and Eastern Europe, as well as many other parts of the world (like North America, North Africa and the Mediterranean), but in some places (mostly cooler regions) it’s considered just a common weed (boy what a mistake). The plant’s more known name is shepherds purse, but it also goes by the names: St. Anthony’s Fire, cocowort and a few other.
Structure of the shepherd’s purse plant
The plant reaches height of 40-50cm. The leaves in the stem’s base grow with a rosette form. The blooms of the herb are gathered in small, grape-like racemes. Normally, you can see this plant bloom from march to august. The fruits resemble tiny heart-shaped follicles which have long handles, and are full of many seeds.
This organic shepherd’s purse is for every herb admirer who wants to have another fantastic, and we can say more of a rare, herb to make tea of.
A photo of a shepherd’s purse plant
Image credit: livingafield.com
Health benefits of shepherd’s purse
First, let’s say that this herb is a host of numerous compounds such as: flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, histamine, phenols, organic acids, vitamins, salts and essential volatile oils.
Shepherd’s purse helps against different types of bleeding – from the nose, the stomach, the intestines, and vaginal bleedings. People with hematuria (blood in the urine) have also been shown to experience improvement from the herb.
Shepherd’s purse is an effective natural diuretic. It increases the urine flow. Furthermore, it has shown potential in treating bladder abscesses, as well as catarrhal conditions of the uterus and the bladder. Whenever you have a urinary tract problem caused by uric acid, carbonates, or insoluble phosphates, shepherd’s purse can help.
In cases of strong menstruation, 8-10 days before the period, women can drink 2 cups of shepherd’s purse tea on a daily basis. For 1 cup of tea, you should use 1 full teaspoon of the herb.
The plant is also used to arouse the appetite. Moreover, it stimulates the generating of digestive acids, and improves the digestibility. Because it has good digestive properties, shepherd’s purse can be used as a laxative herb in cases of light and moderate constipation.
Shepherd’s purse infusion is used for the treatment of earaches.
To boot, cocowort can be applied as a poultice to relieve inflammation in the joints and other body parts. If you make a shepherd’s purse ointment you can apply it on wounds too.
We can say that the plant’s gut-benefiting properties are pretty diverse, because though it can loosen you up if you’re constipated, you can also use shepherd’s purse to treat diarrhea, dysentery, and hemorrhoids.
Another useful quality of shepherd’s purse is its ability to control blood pressure. That’s why it’s considered a good natural remedy for dealing with hypertension and cardiovascular problems.
Shepherd’s purse possesses anti-stress and anti-anxiety properties too.
Bubble and gargle with cocowort brew if you have toothaches and sore throat.
To close the circle of this valuable herb’s benefits, we’ll note its usefulness in cases of muscle atrophy. If you have such a physical issue, you should massage the affected areas with the plant and drink 4 cups shepherd’s purse tea daily.
Shepherd’s purse should not be taken by pregnant women, because it increases uterine muscles twitching.