Shepherd’s Purse

Common Names – Shepherd’s Purse , Pickpurse, Casewort, Lady’s Purse

Botanical Name – Capsella bursa-pastoris


What a curious name for a plant.  It was probably called this because of the resemblance of the flat seed pouches of the plant to an old fashioned leather purse.

From Europe this little plant found its way around the globe, and has become a common weed growing along roads, in ditches, along fences, and in sidewalk cracks.  It’s often overlooked, but it deserves a closer look.  Shepherd’s Purse has very useful healing qualities.

Benefits and Uses

Internal Bleeding

  • bleeding after child birth
  • when there is blood present in urine, stool, and vomit
  • heavy or prolonged bleeding, Menorrhagia
  • nose bleeds

External Bleeding

  • hemorrhoids
  • minor wounds, cuts and scrapes
  • varicose veins

Other Uses:

  • diuretic
  • Vitamin C
  • tonic for overall health
  • normalizes circulation
  • anti-inflammatory for joints

How to use Shepherd’s Purse

Make a tea by adding 1 cup of freshly boiled water to 1-2 teaspoons of Shepherd’s Purse dried herb.  Cover and steep for 10 minutes, and drink a cup 1 – 3 times daily until bleeding stops for internal use.

For external use, make the tea as above, but soak a cotton ball or swab.  Wash the wound with the cotton ball or swab, and apply more fresh tea.  You may cover the wound if you wish to keep it clean.

Shepherd’s Purse Side Effects

Not recommended during pregnancy, the herb can cause uterine contractions. Not for those with liver or kidney disease.

Despite its purported benefits, shepherd’s purse may cause significant side effects and interact with certain drugs, including thyroid medications.

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