Shepherd’s Purse Wisdom

Making plant remedies is a great opportunity to connect in deeper with the spirit of a plant and learn from it, whether it be a tincture, a flower essence, a tea, salve or homeopathic.  In turn, this gives more potency to whatever you are making. Anyone can chop a herb and pour alcohol on it and get a tincture. But what happens when you do this physical process in co-creation with the spirit of the plant ie. by listening and being open to guidance on how to complete the process, by opening and listening for its wisdom…., in doing this we gain a medicine that is a thousand times more potent. We gain a medicine that will not only work on the physical body, but will work in the spiritual, emotional and mental realms, because you have touched and communicated with these in the process.  Through this process we grow in ourselves being led through the specific energies that plant is already an expert at.

Acknowledging the spirit world is a step toward acknowledging our own power. It is a step toward opening up to the magic and beauty surrounding us. Anyone can connect deeply with nature, but it requires time, it requires deep listening, and the willingness to follow what your mind may not have planned!

Next time you go out and pick some Aloe for a burn, take the extra thirty seconds to ask permission and for which leaf to pick, and then ask the spirit of the Aloe to help you in healing this burn. Watch and learn. Consciousness enhances everything.


I include a journey of making a tincture of Shepherd’s Purse below.  We begin with the distilled essence, but continue on with the journey as it transpired.  As the process goes on, the information and insights received slowly unfold and return on itself, so like a spiral. I have tried to keep these insights in this order and have included information from herbal books in green in relevant places.

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Shepherd’s Purse wisdom:

Lighten up, open yourself up to the beauty and joy of life. Open your arms to receive the gifts from above, to all the joyful feelings available to you.

Follow your heart. Everything that makes your heart blossom and expand, follow that. Then bring it in, take this down to your womb, your inner creative space, and here bring it into form, let it seed. Allow these feelings to coagulate into seeds, seeds that will then birth out into the world, energy contracted into form, contracted into being.

Everything else, let it go, let it fall away. If it’s not essential, if it’s not worthy of seeding, let it go.

Enjoy your life. Bring down heaven’s energies and create but don’t give your life force away in the process – that’s not creating. Open up and receive but don’t give away the essentials, carry them in your purse!

Keep following your heart, it will take your blossoming heart to heaven.


After writing the rest of this article, I discovered that Shepherd’s Purse is a soil reclaimer. It can turn barren sandy soils into fertile ground again. It also processes heavy metal pollution and in some countries is used as a barometer for pollution levels.

Evidence! Shepherd’s Purse offers us its wisdom on how to do this which we can learn from and do for ourselves.  Lets reclaim our own soil, process our own toxins and return our land, our body to health! 

 

A Herbal Journey with Shepherds Purse  (Capsella bursa pastoris or Thlaspi bursa pastoris)

Shepherd’s Purse is in the Cruciferae, the same family as Horseradish and it has a slightly similar hot smell. The flowers can be eaten. The leaves at the base can also be eaten before the plant flowers (otherwise they become tough and peppery). The seeds too can be used as a seasoning (one of its other names is Pepper and Salt). The root can be used as a ginger substitute. Birds love the seeds, and they are often fed to chickens which makes their yolks go a deeper yellow.  It has a very high yield of seeds. 

It is a “protocarnivorous” plant – the seeds when they get moist from soil go slightly mucilaginous and entrap insects which they then use to feed the seedling! The seeds are effective against mosquitoes – put in water with mosquito larvae attracts and eats them.

Components:  High in Vitamin C, A, B complex and Vitamin K. Contains rutin, diosmin, hesperitin; amino acids (proline, tyramine, ornithine), and is high in iron and calcium. Volatile oil is camphor, and also contains vanillic and fumaric acid. Also histamine, choline and acetylcholine.

Medicinally: It is important to use fresh plant for the tincture, the potency is lost if made from the dried herb (many commercial tincture companies are made from the dried plant so check this).

Shepherd's Purse

The first thing that strikes me about the little Shepherd’s Purse plant is the way it grows. A floret of leaves grows low to the ground somewhat like dandelion, and then a little blossoming head pokes out from the middle and the stem shoots up with the tiny flowers on the end. And from each tiny flower comes a little heart shaped seed pod that becomes like a stairway to heaven as the flowers grow higher.

The higher the flower gets, the more seeds of heart wisdom it has behind it. Like a living symbol of life’s pathway from earth to spirit. As we grow older, as we grow up, we have more lessons in our medicine bags, more gems of wisdom, more experience in our shepherd’s purse, our handbag.

It is known as Shepherds Purse as the seedpods resemble the leather bags or pouches that shepherds used to carry. Also known as Mothers’ hearts; Witch’s pouches, Lady’s purse, Rattle pouches, Shepherd’s Bag, Case weed, Sanguinary, Clappedepouch, Pickpurse, Pepper and Salt.

The roots, fine and white are small in comparison to the rest of the plant. It lets the earth go easily, is not deeply or strongly rooted, but happy to let go of the earth in its last ultimate reach to the heavens, to the spirit world.

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Following the heart takes the blossom to heaven.

Each choice we make to follow the heart, forms a step on the way to the heavens, to ultimate bliss. When we follow what makes our heart sing, blossom with joy, we are stepping our way up the stairway to heaven/ecstasy.

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So what is Shepherd’s Purse’s medicine?

Seeds. Seeds. Seeds are very prominent and I keep being brought back to them. There can be over 4500 seeds on one tiny plant.  Seeds carry the essence, the essentials, just like the shepherd’s knapsack, or our handbag. Seeds carry the essence of the whole plant in a contracted, condensed form.

Whatever seeds you focus on they will grow, so focus on the feelings of joy around you, focus on the beauty, the abundance that is surrounding us and create from this space. Let everything else go.

As a plant under the dominion of Saturn, it guides us to balance the energies of opening and contracting.  Saturn is the planet of challenge, of heaviness and boundaries, of contraction and fear, and symbolized by the metal of Lead. But it is also the planet that offers the greatest growth. No crystal forms without intense pressure and challenge. If we can become an alchemist in our life, Saturn is the base material of lead which can be transmuted into gold. Transmuting the challenges in our lives into brilliant lessons that help us become better forms of ourselves is the ultimate gift of Saturn.  Saturn is cold, contracting and drying as are the properties of Shepherd’s Purse.

This plant is a remarkable instance of the truth of an observation which there is too frequently room to make, namely, that Providence has made the most useful things most common, and for that reason we neglect them: few plants possess greater virtues than this, and yet it is utterly disregarded.” Culpeper, 1826.

Shepherd’s Purse is a very common weed all over the world.

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Brings you back in.

Its medicine is contracting, brings you back to earth, back in. For those too willing to let go their roots and surrender to the heavens, give up and die (haemorrhage). Will rebalance contraction energies.

On the other hand for those that are too contracted, need to open up, relax and warm the bones.

Bleeding

Another of its common names is Sanguinary.  Its main use has been for haemorrhaging. It was used during WWI when Ergot and Golden seal were unavailable, to staunch wounds and stop bleeding. Can be used on all wounds both big and small (styptic on the skin for small wounds) and especially for head wounds, uterine and internal bleeding. It has been widely used for uterine haemorrhaging. The juice on a cotton ball can also be placed in the nose to stop nose bleeding.

A peptide (proline) may be responsible for Shepherds Purse’s use in bleeding.

It is also high in Vitamin K (necessary for blood coagulation).

Shepherds Purse is a blood coagulator and vasoconstrictor.

Also good for anaemia as it is high in iron.

Has the power to concentrate energies. Wide open and receiving the energies from heaven, from the sky, then bringing them down and concentrating them into form (seed).

Astringent and diuretic. Can be useful in diarrhea and urinary tract infections.

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Follow your heart.

She doesn’t have time for busyness and lack of focus, she wants stillness and focus on what matters.

It is heart medicine, medicine for the spiritual heart.

While on one hand it will bring you back in to focus and concentrate energies, it will also help rebalance those that are too contracted, who need to open up, relax and warm the bones.

There is some relationship with time. Constriction and contraction of blood vessels makes heart beat faster, faster, faster. The more fearful (Saturn) we get, the more we contract, and time speeds up, adrenalin flows, the heart beats faster and we race closer to death.

Shepherd’s Purse taken when we are fearful, contracted and cramped, can slow us down, bring balance, open us up again. Helps balance our Saturn energies. Saturn in Libra. Balanced contraction.

On the other hand, if we are too relaxed and open, bleeding ourselves to death, then need Shepherd’s Purse to constrict and contract.

It contains acetylcholine, tyramine, and choline which help stop bleeding and lower blood pressure.

Shepherd’s Purse effects blood pressure. Regulates blood pressure.

Used for circulatory problems such as varicosities, haemorrhoids, arteriosclerosis, hypertension.

It is a vasoconstrictor.

It effects thyroid hormones, may decrease thyroid hormone levels.

Chinese medicine it was used to ‘brighten the eyes’.

The seed pods are heart shaped, a signature for the womb (often known as the second heart).

The womb is the centre of creativity. It receives the energies of a new spirit being and concentrates this into physical form. This coagulating contracting process continues until with the final contraction, a babe is birthed into the world. Creativity goes through the same process – when we are open, we receive ideas and visions that come through us and if we hold and work on them, we bring them forth into the world.

 Everything that makes your heart blossom – take it down to the womb – bring it into form – form the seed to bring that creation into the world, to birth it, to contract it into being.

Shepherd’s Purse contains a polypeptide that acts like oxytocin – contracts the uterus, constricts smooth muscle. Not to be taken in large doses if you are not ready to birth yet!

Regulates menstruation. Used for menorrhagia – excessively heavy periods, balances this out. Will also bring on suppressed menses (amenorrhea).

Helps menstrual pain.

Big remedy for post partum haemorrhage, bleeding after birth, a dropperful of fresh Shepherd’s Purse tincture has been well used and documented over the years as highly successful.

Lighten up, open yourself up to the beauty and joy of life. Open your arms to receive the gifts from above, from the heavens, all the joyful feelings available to you. Everything else, let it go, let it fall away. If it’s not essential, if it’s not worthy of seeding, let it go.

Receiving from heaven and letting all the unessential fall away, letting go the baggage, the material stuff that’s not essential. Letting go the unessential…Shepherd’s purse for letting go what is no longer needed, just as women do each month at menstruation.

Shepherd’s Purse encourages the uterus to drain. Reduces menstrual pain, excessive menstruation and all bleeding.

Useful remedy for diarrhea, dysentery.

Shepherd’s Purse absorbs heavy metal pollution in the environment. Helps the earth to process toxins.

Enjoy your life. Bring down heaven’s energies and create but don’t give your life force away in the process – that’s not creating. Open up and receive but don’t give away the essentials, carry them in your purse!

Bleeding is letting life force fall away too easily. Shepherd’s Purse helps balance this out – for those too willing to give their life up.

In the Language of Flowers, Shepherd’s Purse = I offer you my all.

Shepherd’s Purse has been used for haemoptysis, nosebleed, blood in urine, fever and jaundice.

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In my final journey with Shepherd’s Purse, I am brought back to the heart. I feel my beating heart. I have an awareness of the speed of the heart, hypertension, that the heart becomes fast when we are excited, when we have an urge to share or do something in the world. If this doesn’t move down and out into expression and creation, it can become pathological. In a healthy situation, the heart’s urge (urgency) slowly contracts down through the belly, it feels like an hourglass sort of movement of energy downwards. Eventually it comes to the creatrix of the womb. And from here comes the final push into form, into being, into the world. As the womb contracts or tenses up, I experience relaxation in the rest of my body. The tension is released. This is a giant energetic movement that cannot be purely related to specific organs but does centre around them, it is an energetic motion and release through our entire being, from top to bottom, from heart down to womb.

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 Next course in plant medicine making will be starting in August…

more details here

https://wildflowerwalker.wordpress.com/sacred-medicine/


Lighten up, open yourself up to the beauty and joy of life. Open your arms to receive the gifts from above, to all the joyful feelings available to you.

Follow your heart. Everything that makes your heart blossom and expand, follow that. Then bring it in, take this down to your womb, your inner creative space, and here bring it into form, let it seed. Allow these feelings to coagulate into seeds, seeds that will then birth out into the world, energy contracted into form, contracted into being.

Everything else, let it go, let it fall away. If it’s not essential, if it’s not worthy of seeding, let it go.

Enjoy your life. Bring down heaven’s energies and create but don’t give your life force away in the process – that’s not creating. Open up and receive but don’t give away the essentials, carry them in your purse!

Keep following your heart, it will take your blossoming heart to heaven.

Shepherd’s Purse Deva

 

 

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