Shepherd’s purse is little used in herbalism, though it is a commonly used domestic remedy, being especially efficacious in the treatment of both internal and external bleeding, diarrhea, for better circulation, It increases the volume and flow of urine which help to clean the urinary system, for healthy bones and joints.

Shepherd’s purse contains saponins, flavonoids, mustard oil, choline and acetylcholine among its main chemical components. As regards its medicinal properties, the herb is astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue and febrifuge in nature. It has several medical applications but is mostly used to stem bleeding and by women following child birth.

The use of shepherd’s purse is certainly not a new thing. In fact, its use can be traced all the way back to the Ancient Greeks and Roman Empire where it was typically used as a natural laxative. During the 17th century, it was discovered that the plant could help stem excessive bleeding which saw a rise in its popularity. The early pilgrims brought shepherd’s purse to the colonies where they allowed it to grow and made use of its medicinal qualities.

Common Names: Lady’s purse, shepherd’s bag, mother’s heart, shovelweed, caseweed, borsa de pastor (Spanish), bouse de pasteur (French), Hirtentäschelkraut (German), hjartarfi (Icelandic), hyrdetaske (Danish).

Preparation / Dosage

Put a teaspoon of hawthorn leaf and flower into a 200ml cup of boiled water. Cover it and let it brew for 30 minutes. Strain and drink a cup three times before meals.


Shepherd’s Purse is a source of Vitamin C for curing or preventing scurvy. It is quite beneficial for gastrointestinal conditions such as chronic diarrhea, colic, dysentery and promotes bowel movements through intestinal contraction.


Shepherd’s purse is a folk remedy for cancer. It consists of fumaric acid which has markedly reduced growth and viability of Ehrlich tumor in mice.


It helps to excites or quickens the functional activity of the tissues by giving more energy and is thus occasionally recommended as a general tonic.

Vasoconstrictor and cardiovascular

Shepherd’s Purse is a circulation equalizing herb which helps to normalizes circulation regulates heart action and may help to correct high or low blood pressure.


Externally Shepherd’s Purse is applied to bruises and limbs suffering from muscular atrophy or external muscular disorders, strains and rheumatic joints.


It increases the volume and flow of urine which help to clean the urinary system. It can be used in the treatment of abscesses and ulcerated conditions of the bladder and ureters, irritation of the urinary tract caused by uric acid or insoluble phosphates or carbonates, urine with white mucous discharge, kidney complaints and bed wetting in children.

Mosquito repellent

Seed consists of gummy substance (mucilage) and when wet, traps insects. It is reported to be toxic to mosquito larvae and, when put in the water, may possibly help to control mosquitoes. It is said that 500g of seed can kill about 10 million larvae.


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