There are lots of wonderful wild edible greens that grow all over the world. And Shepherd’s Purse is another great tasting green that’s full of nutrition that most people think of as a terrible weed. But when we look a little deeper this edible weed is very tasty… and its very healing for the body.
Where Does it Grow – Shepherd’s purse grows all over the world from California, Asia, South America, Central America, China, India, Korea, Japan, UK, Canada, and Europe… and one single plant creates thousands of seeds that become more plants. In fact shepherd’s purse is use often in Chinese cooking and commonly used in vegetable Dim Sum. Shepherd’s purse enjoys lots of light, but will grow in partial shade and needs some water but not much. Remember it’s a weed so it grows like a weed. The leaves look a lot like dandelion leaves but don’t have the white sap like dandelion leaves.
Edible Parts and Taste – All the leaves, stems, and seeds are edible. The leaves can be used raw— the stems and seeds need to be cooked just like any other green. Shepherd’s purse has a little bit of a radish flavor but not much. The younger the leaves the less pungent they are and they also taste a little like mustard greens, and some feel it tastes like broccoli. Shepherd’s purse does contain some alkaloids so it should not be eaten raw daily.
Contains – Shepherd’s purse contains lots of great B-Vitamins for good mood and for vitality. Plus vitamin C a powerful antioxidant great for keeping away colds and flues. Vitamin A which is another powerful antioxidant that helps to prevent cardiovascular disease, strokes, and cancer. Also iron for anemia, potassium for water regulation and cardiovascular health. Phosphorus and calcium for strong bones, and it also contains rutin which is one of the most powerful antioxidants around.
Vasoconstrictor – Shepherd’s purse is a good vasoconstrictor (It contains a special protein that helps to constrict smooth muscle) and works well to stop internal bleeding, nose bleeds, and other bleeding problems… and it also helps to stop urinary tract bleeding.
Prevents Starvation – There are many great stories past down from one family to another about shepherd’s purse preventing starvation during very hard times. And in China poor families call shepherd’s purse the “Protecting Life Plant” because it helps to keep everyone healthy and provides nutrition when there’s no other food around.
Skin – Shepherd’s purse helps stop bleeding of cuts and abrasions, and it also works well for treating rashes and eczema.
Menstrual Bleeding – And shepherd’s purse also works well to slow excessive menstrual bleeding.
Antibacterial – Shepherd’s purse also kills some types of bacteria.
GI Tract – Many well know herbalist believe shepherd’s purse should be regular part of a good diet, because it’s a powerful tonic for the GI tract and improves digestion. Research with rats shows that shepherd’s purse also works well for healing stress induced bleeding ulcers.
Fibroids – And shepherd’s purse can be used for treating bleeding fibroid tumors.
Natural Styptic Pencil – Taking a little bit of the sap from shepherd’s purse and placing it on small cuts and abrasions will stop the bleeding.
Anti-inflammatory – Shepherd’s purses is a good anti-inflammatory agent making great for treating arthritis, joint pain, swelling, redness, and other inflammatory challenges.
Birds Love It – Birds love shepherd’s purse and will devour the whole plant and chickens love it, plus their eggs yolks become dark yellow when eating shepherd’s purse.
Using as Food – The greens, stems, and seed pods can all be sautéed with a little onion and garlic thus making a wonderful dish. And it can be used in soups, stews, casseroles and other great dishes… and the young raw leaves are great in salad.
Dose as an Herb – As a powder take 1 to 4 grams daily, as a tincture take 30-60 drops daily. As a tea take 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried herb to one cup of hot water and steep for 10 to 15 minutes and then drink two cups a day. Also the entire plant can be cut up in small pieces and placed in a glass jar and filled with vodka. Then let it sit in the frig for 5 or 6 weeks and that will make a nice tincture.
Used Safely for Hundreds of Years – Shepherd’s purse has been used safely as an herb and also as a green veggie for hundreds of years. But as with all things it should not be used by those who are nursing, pregnant, or small babies.
Enjoy Shepherd’s Purse!
Dr. Paul Haider – Master Herbalist
Feel Free to Share – This information is meant to get you started… so you can do more research on your own… dig a little deeper and find what works for you. This article is for educational purposes only, I strongly recommend that you seek advice from your own GP, private doctor, or medical specialist for any ailment, illness, or medical condition.. this article not meant to be a scientific analysis in any way, shape, or form.
Dr. Paul Haider – Master Herbalist and Spiritual Teacher for over 25 years, helping people to recover and feel healthy. You can also find Dr. Haider on FB under Dr. Paul Haider, Healing Herbs, and at www.paulhaider.com – feel free to connect with him any time.
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