Blind Weed, Bolsa del Pastor, Bolsa-de-Pastor, Bourse à Berger, Bourse-à-Pasteur, Bourse de Capucin, Boursette, Bursae Pastoris Herba, Capsella, Capselle, Capselle a Pasteur, Capselle Bourse-à-Pasteur, Capsella bursa-pastoris, Caseweed, Cocowort, Corne de Lion, Erva-Do-Bom-Pastor, Hirtentaschel, Lady's Purse, Molette de Berger, Mother's-Heart, Moutarde Sauvage, Naeng-i, Pepper-And-Salt, Pick-Pocket, Poor Man's Parmacettie, Rattle Pouches, Sanguinary, Shepherd's Heart, Shepherd's Scrip, Shepherd's Sprout, Shovelweed, St. James' Weed, Tabouret, Tabouret des Champs, Thlaspi, Thlaspi Bourse à Pasteur, Thlaspi bursa-pastoris, Toywort, Witches' Pouches, Zurron de Pastor.


Overview Information

Shepherd's purse is a common weed. It is thought to originate from the Middle East. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine.

Shepherd's purse is used for nosebleeds, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), abnormally heavy bleeding during menstrual periods (menorrhagia), and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How does it work?

Shepherd's purse might decrease bleeding, stimulate muscles, and increase uterine contractions.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Abnormally heavy bleeding during menstrual periods (menorrhagia). Taking shepherd's purse along with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent (NSAID) may slightly reduce bleeding during a woman's period more than taking an NSAID alone.
  • Complications after childbirth. Early research shows that taking shepherd's purse along with oxytocin after childbirth might reduce bleeding more than taking oxytocin alone.
  • Headache.
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • Irregular bleeding between menstrual periods (metrorrhagia).
  • Nosebleeds.
  • Bleeding from blood vessels (hemorrhage).
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the bladder (cystitis).
  • Burns.
  • Wound healing.
  • Bruising.
  • Varicose veins.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of shepherd's purse for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Shepherd's purse is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in small amounts, short-term. It may cause drowsiness, changes in blood pressure, or changes in thyroid function. Shepherd's purse is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts. It can cause heart palpitations.

When applied to the skin: Shepherd's purse is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy: Shepherd's purse is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth or applied to the skin during pregnancy. It might cause the uterus to contract or start menstruation, resulting in miscarriage.

Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if shepherd's purse is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Heart conditions: Shepherd's purse might interfere with treatment for heart conditions. It's best to avoid using shepherd's purse if you have a heart condition.

Kidney stones (nephrolithiasis): Shepherd's purse contains chemical compounds called oxalates, which can form kidney stones. If you have had kidney stones in the past, it's best to avoid using shepherd's purse.

Surgery: Shepherd's purse can affect the central nervous system. There is a concern that it might slow down the central nervous system's activity too much when combined with anesthesia and other medications used during and after surgery. Stop using shepherd's purse at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Thyroid conditions: Shepherd's purse might interfere with treatment for thyroid conditions. It's best to avoid using shepherd's purse if you have a thyroid condition.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with SHEPHERD'S PURSE

    Large amounts of shepherd's purse might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking shepherd's purse along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.
    Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.

  • Thyroid hormone interacts with SHEPHERD'S PURSE

    The body naturally produces thyroid hormone. Shepherd's purse might decrease how much thyroid hormone the body produces. Taking shepherd's purse along with thyroid hormone might decrease the effectiveness of thyroid hormone.



The appropriate dose of shepherd's purse depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for shepherd's purse. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Ceplitis, A., Su, Y., and Lascoux, M. Bayesian inference of evolutionary history from chloroplast microsatellites in the cosmopolitan weed Capsella bursa-pastoris (Brassicaceae). Mol.Ecol 2005;14(14):4221-4233. View abstract.
  • El Abyad, M. S., Morsi, N. M., Zaki, D. A., and Shaaban, M. T. Preliminary screening of some Egyptian weeds for antimicrobial activity. Microbios 1990;62(250):47-57. View abstract.
  • Hintz, M., Bartholmes, C., Nutt, P., Ziermann, J., Hameister, S., Neuffer, B., and Theissen, G. Catching a 'hopeful monster': shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) as a model system to study the evolution of flower development. J Exp Bot. 2006;57(13):3531-3542. View abstract.
  • Kuroda, K., Akao, M., Kanisawa, M., and Miyaki, K. Inhibitory effect of Capsella bursa-pastoris extract on growth of Ehrlich solid tumor in mice. Cancer Res. 1976;36(6):1900-1903. View abstract.
  • Ghalandari S, Kariman N, Sheikhan Z, et al. Effect of hydroalcoholic extract of Capsella bursa pastoris on early postpartum hemorrhage: A clinical trial study. J Altern Complement Med. 2017;23(10):794-799. View abstract.
  • Lee KE, Shin JA, Hong IS, Cho NP, Cho SD. Effect of methanol extracts of Cnidium officinale Makino and Capsella bursa-pastoris on the apoptosis of HSC-2 human oral cancer cells. Exp Ther Med. 2013;5(3):789-792. View abstract.
  • Naafe M, Kariman N, Keshavarz Z, et al. Effect of hydroalcoholic extracts of Capsella bursa-pastoris on heavy menstrual bleeding: A randomized clinical trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2018;24(7):694-700. View abstract.
  • Shipochliev T. Uterotonic action of extracts from a group of medicinal plants. Vet Med Nauki 1981;18:94-8. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
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