February Shepherd's Purse Valentines

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Austin, United States

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Shepherd’s Purse
Caseweed, Mother’s Heart, Shovelweed,
Capsella bursa-pastor, a member of the mustard family.

Not native to the US. Here’s what one website said: " A native of Europe, the plant has accompanied Europeans in all their migrations and established itself wherever they have settled to till the soil. In John Josselyn’s Herbal it is one of the plants named as unknown to the New World before the Pilgrim Fathers settled there. " This from the following link: http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/sheph...

Already, plants have decided it’s Spring. Shepherd’s Purse is greening up. I love these plants this time of year, because they form little hearts which are usually red right now. Nature’s valentines. These are the fruit pods of the plant. The weather has been warm enough that the fruit pods are already turning green. The ones that are still red look pretty worn from the winter. You can see in this photo that they spring up from the flowers.

Here is an interesting link describing its medicinal properties, but you might want to read the contraindications:
http://www.womens-health-club.com/herbs/shepher...

Herbal uses as talem from the above link: “Shepherd’s Purse is used to treat diarrhea, treat and prevent duodenal ulcers. Stops internal and external bleeding, treats urinary problems, and as a wound remedy.”

Pretty impressive. But you’d better read the side effects on the above page. Since it can cause respiratory problems and possible death, medical experts are recommending it not be used until further testing on humans is completed.

You might also enjoy this link:
http://www.ageless.co.za/herb-shepherds-purse.htm

All in all, a VERY interesting herb.

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