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Shepherd's Purse

     This plant was one of the first herbs to catch my fancy back when I first became interested in veterinary herbalogy. I was racing a small barn of horses at Aksarben and being plagued by bleeding. Modern veterinary treatments were not helping out much, i.e. lasix, etc. I run across an Herbal in a local Omaha thrift shop and my interest was stimulated.

Description..........Capsela bursa-pastoris L., is an annual with a short taproot.  Stem is erect with gray hairs and branched to heights of 4-23".  There is a rosette of basal leaves that reminds one of dandelion shaped leaves. The seed pods are heart shaped on the upper portions of the stem. The name comes from the seed pods which resembles the purse carried by old time shepherders. Flowers are tiny and white.

Parts used...............The aerial parts of the  plant. The fresh, green plant seems to be the most medicinally active.

 

Location..............Found within the entire confines of the USA in waste areas, pastures, lawns from March to December. It seems to be most prevalent in the spring months, soon giving way to other more dominant weeds through the summer .

Medicinal Uses............an astringent plant long used to limit bleeding and to relieve urinary tract irritations.  It acts as a mild diuretic which can't hurt when it comes to a bleeding racehorse.


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