Shepherd’s purse is a flowering plant from the mustard family. It has the scientific name of Capsella bursa-pastoris and is popularly known as pitaka ng pastol, supot ng pastol, shepherd’s heart, bindweed or blind weed, pepper and salt, rattle pouches, Chinese Cress, Nazuna, and peppergrass. Its flowers, leaves, and seeds are all edible. In fact, its leaves can be eaten raw or cooked and are very good to add to soups, sauce, salads, and stews.
Adding this herb into our diet can make a big difference in our health. It has been used as a herbal medicine for various illnesses, particularly those that involve excessive bleeding.
Nutrition Facts About Shepherd’s Purse
Shepherd’s purse contains numerous alkaloids in its volatile oil. It also has significant amounts of vitamin B1 (thiamin), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin C, choline, and fumaric acid as well as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. Also present in this herb are low amounts of vitamin A (Beta carotene), vitamin K, niacin, iron, and glycoside rutin.
Aside from these, other nutrients present in the herb are as follows:
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Vitamin B9 (Folate)
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
What Are The Benefits We Can Obtain From Shepherd’s Purse?
Stops Excessive Bleeding
Studies have found that Shepherd’s purse can address nose bleeding, internal hemorrhaging, bleeding after giving birth, and bleeding that is present in stool, vomits, or urine.
For the purpose of lessening blood flow after giving birth, simply drink 1 liter of shepherd’s purse tea during the day, in divided amounts. To stop nose bleeds, take two to three teaspoons of the powdered herb and mix it in boiling water. Dip a cotton ball into the concoction and insert the said cotton ball into your nostril to stem blood flow.
Prevents Menstrual Cramps
The plant has anti-bleeding properties that are beneficial for those experiencing heavy bleeding, have long menstrual cycles, and bleeding between cycles. Some women reported that it can help reduce menstrual cramps and menstrual bleeding during cycles.
Improve Digestive Health
Aside from being a natural appetite stimulant, consumption of Shepherd’s purse can help protect our stomach from constipation, ulcers, diarrhea, and indigestion.
Shepherd’s purse may have the ability to boost fertility. In an animal study conducted in 1955, it was found that consumption of Shepherd’s purse in small quantity can improve levels of ovulation and fertility in female mice. However, consumption of large amounts was found to have negative effects on fertility.
Helps Fight Inflammation And Infection
Sulforaphane, a compound present in Shepherd’s purse, was found to be responsible for the plant’s healing properties. According to studies, sulforaphane has anti-inflammatory properties and can possibly be effective against multidrug-resistant bacteria.
Treatment For Minor Wounds, Bites, And Burns
Shepherd’s purse has been useful in treating wounds and injuries. This is mainly due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Its leaves can be used as a poultice which involves bundling the leaves in a warm, moist cloth and applying it directly to a wound to help it heal.
Improves Eye Health
Shepherd’s purse has vitamin C and potassium content that helps fight free radicals that cause damages not only to our retinas but also to our overall health. Bilberry and ginkgo Biloba are other herbs that can help protect our eyes.
Has Anti-Cancer Properties
Results of a 2013 study have found that Shepherd’s purse has anti-cancer fighting properties that can help slow down the growth of oral cancer cells in humans.
How To Use Shepherd’s Purse
Prepare Shepherd’s purse tea by using 1-2 teaspoons of the herb in a cup of hot water and draw for 10-15 minutes. Drink the tea 2-4 times a day.
Put the minced Shepherd’s purse plant in a glass bottle and pour it with alcohol (38-40%). Place the bottle in a light place and leave for 2 weeks. This tincture is best used for massages in case of muscle pain.
Put fresh shepherd’s purse in a metal sieve over a vessel with boiling hot water. Once heated due to steam, place the plant on a clean cloth. Apply it as a compress on the affected area.