The herb shepherd's purse is known to be among the best natural medication that prevents and/ or stops hemorrhages and has been used for a long time especially to cure profuse uterine hemorrhages. Although compared to ergot, the action of shepherd's purse is weak, this herb is less toxic in comparison to ergot and, hence, the body is able to tolerate it better. In fact, this herb can be used to prevent as well as stop all types of bleeding, ranging from nosebleeds to blood in urine and stool. Shepherd's purse possesses astringent properties and, hence, it is effective in disinfecting the urinary tract when one is enduring cystitis. For the same purpose, this herb is also used to treat diarrhea. In Chinese medicine, shepherd's purse is used to treat dysentery as well as eye problems. While shepherd's purse is rarely used in herbal medicine today, it is a frequently used home remedy, since it is highly useful in treating internal as well as external hemorrhages, besides treating cystitis and diarrhea as well as other disorders. An herbal tea prepared with the whole shepherd's purse plant is known to be astringent, anti-scorbutic (a medication that is effective against scurvy), diuretic, haemostatic (a medication that stops bleeding), emmenagogue (a medication that encourages menstrual discharge), oxytocic (a medication that promotes child birth), hypotensive (any agent that causes low blood pressure), vasoconstrictor, stimulant or tonic, vulnerary (a medicine that promotes healing of wounds) and vasodilator. Similarly, a tea prepared with the dehydrated shepherd's purse plant is believed to be an independent medication to prevent as well as stop all types of bleedings - including hemorrhages of the stomach, the uterus, the lungs and particularly the kidneys. Shepherd's purse, which grows and is harvested throughout the year, may be used fresh as well as dried. The plant is harvested in summer with the purpose of drying it out. It may be noted that the dried herb loses its remedial properties very quickly and, hence, it is advisable that you should not store this herb in excess of a year. Although shepherd's purse is extensively used as a home remedy to heal wounds, clinical experiments with the herb have not yes fully substantiated this use of the plant. It seems that the plant's effectiveness varies much from one batch to another, or maybe a white fungus that is frequently found on this plant encloses therapeutically active attributes. In China, shepherd's purse has been graded 7th among a total of 250 potential anti-fertility plants. The uterine constriction properties of this herb have been proved and, hence, it has been traditionally employed all through child birth. In addition, shepherd's purse is also a traditional medication for treating life threatening disease like cancer. In fact, the herb encloses fumaric acid and laboratory tests on animals have proved that it has remarkably lessened the growth as well as capability of Ehrlich tumour in mice. In addition to the above mentioned uses of shepherd's purse, it should be noted that the herb is also used to prepare a homeopathic remedy for urinary calculus (kidney stone) and nosebleeds.
It is believed that shepherd's purse is indigenous to Europe and Asia, but now it is found growing in almost all places having temperate climatic conditions. In fact, this plant grows copiously in the form of weeds in temperate regions. This herb is harvested all through the year. Shepherd's purse thrives well in almost all types of soils and this plant will even grow in very inferior type soil. However, when they are growing in inferior or very poor soil, the plants generally reach a height of just a few centimetres prior to blossoming and setting seed. Contrarily, when they are growing in fertile soils, shepherd's purse may grow up to a height of 60 centimetres. It may be noted that the shepherd's purse is an extremely ordinary garden weed that multiplies very rapidly and unrestricted when they grow on cultivated soil. More often than not, shepherd's purse blossoms as well as produce seeds throughout the year. In fact, this plant species is a major instance of the manner in which any plant can be considered to be a bothersome weed in a number of regions across the world, while in several other places it is cultivated with care for varying uses of the plant. Cultivation of shepherd's purse is widespread in a number of areas across the world in the form of spring greens that possess the flavour of cabbage. In fact, in Japan, shepherd's purse is among the indispensable elements of a traditional rice as well as barley gruel that are consumed on January 7 every year. When the plant is cultivated, the leaves grow somewhat larger compared to those growing in the wild. It is possible to harvest the leaves of shepherd's purse about a month from the date of the seeds being sown. In addition, soon after the leaves are harvested, shepherd's purse plants are once again able to grow as a crop. The plants grow quite rapidly again to produce seeds, particularly when grown in hot arid whether conditions or when grown in poor soil. Shepherd's purse belongs to the cabbage family and is considered to be a host plant for several ailments of Brassicas (plants belonging to the genus Brassica). The seeds of shepherd's purse are especially a favourite of the birds. Shepherd's purse is propagated by its seeds, which need to be sown in situ (in their permanent place) during the period between February and May. In addition, the seeds may also be sown much later, for instance in mid autumn. Shepherd's purse is an ordinary weed which grows in disturbed ground and, more often than not, this plant does not require any help for its survival.
People using or intending to use shepherd's purse should be aware of the side effects and precautions related to this herb. Shepherd's purse should never be preserved for over a year and also not be used by pregnant women. In addition, people having a history of kidney stones ought to use this herbal medication with precaution.
The fresh leaves of shepherd's purse herb may be used to prepare a refreshing spring salad. To prepare this salad you require the following ingredients in equal proportions.