This herb is to be found everywhere in meadows, ditches, fields and gardens and is looked upon as a troublesome weed. Hardly any earth is moved - especially when building a house - without Shepherd's Purse growing almost overnight. The irregular toothed lower leaves form a rosette - similar to Dandelion. The stems grow to a height of 40 cm. It flowers from spring through to autumn. The tiny, dirty-white flowers are borne in terminal clusters, the lower ones already succeeded by seed vessels, in the form of little heart-shaped pouches that feel leathery to the touch. Chickens have a special liking for these little pouches. As soon as the snow melts and nature is free from frost, the Shepherd's Purse grows fresh and green again.
Shepherd's Purse tea, 2 to 3 cups daily, is used with great success for all kinds of bleedings, as for example, nose, stomach, intestinal and uterine bleeding. A decoction of Shepherd's Purse is most effective for wounds which will not stop bleeding. 2 cups (1 heaped teaspoon per cup) are drunken daily, 8 to 10 days before the onset of menstruation, in cases of excessive menstrual flow. This tea also helps to regulate menstruation during puberty. During menopause every woman should drink 2 cups daily for 4 weeks, suspend the treatment for 3 weeks and then repeat the cycle.
For bleeding hemorrhoids, small enemas are given; washings and sitz baths with a luke warm decoction of Shepherd's Purse are taken.
Nursing mothers with swollen breasts should steam the fresh Shepherd's Purse in a sieve and apply warm between cloths.
2 cups daily, of equal proportions of Horsetail and Shepherd's Purse, are recommended as a tea for bleeding from the kidneys.
The Shepherd's Purse - similar to the Mistletoe - is a circulation equalizing herb, recommended for high as well as for low blood pressure. Contrary to Mistletoe which must be prepared cold, this tea is infused with boiling water. Two cups are taken daily and stopped when the circulation has become normal.
Like Mistletoe, Shepherd's Purse is good for uterine bleeding. The tea in this case is drunk only for some time.
For all external muscular disorders this valuable medicinal herb is an especially important aid.
It is interesting that nothing is found about it in almost all new herbals. A few years ago, an elderly man gave me a beautiful, old herbal with unique prints and drawings. As it goes, when the day is filled from morning to late evening, I was unable to look through it. One day towards midnight I suddenly awoke, as if I were being gently shaken by the shoulders. The thought came to me: "Now you have had the herbal for six months and have not read through it once." I arose wide awake, got the book and sat comfortably in the living room. I opened it and immediately a few lines jumped to my eyes: "For limb or muscular atrophy if nothing else helps take this: Shepherd's Purse, finely chopped, macerated in Rye spirits and kept in the sun or near the stove for 10 days, then rubbed well into the skin several times daily; 4 cups of Lady's Mantle tea are taken internally." As if it were intended I should read these few lines - in that moment I was not aware of it - I closed the book, put it in its place, went back to bed and was asleep in a short time. A few days later I received a telephone call from Vienna: "Could you help me. I am 52 years old, a nurse and for 2 years in early retirement. I am completely helpless with muscular atrophy." When I had given her the above recipe and when she came 3 weeks later in good health to see me. I learned that on the day that I was awoken at midnight, she had made a pilgrimage to San Damiano in Italy. On the way back in the bus, a man who saw her affliction referred her to me. A short lime later she was sufficiently strengthened to take up nursing again.
Another call, this time from Upper Austria: "I am 62 years old. Because of a weak anus muscle I had a prolapse of the rectum which was operated on. This autumn the same thing happened again. Day and night I suffered continuous pain from the navel to the hips. The doctors in the hospital declined a second operation, there was nothing more to do." I immediately thought of Shepherd's Purse and recommended 4 cups of Lady's Mantle tea daily which strengthens the internal muscle and externally, a Shepherd's Purse tincture, used as a rub or massage, and 10 drops of which are added 3 times a day to the tea. During the 10 days that are needed to prepare the tincture, I recommended the use of Swedish Bitters compresses. My surprise was unimaginable, when the woman rang me after a time to tell me all her complaints had gone. The prolapsed rectum was corrected, the anus muscle functioned normally and the terrible pain in the hips had already eased 2 days after the start of the treatment.
One can only say: How the medicinal herbs of God's Pharmacy help! Who makes such miracles happen? Only the grace of the Creator!
A woman from Lower Austria wrote: "During a lecture I asked you about hernia. While the Shepherd's Purse tincture was macerating, I applied compresses of Swedish Bitters. Then I started to massage with Shepherd's Purse tincture and drank 4 cups of Lady's Mantle tea daily. I did this for 6 weeks. Since, as a farmer's wife, I could not take it easy - it was harvest time - I wore a support. After 12 days of treatment there was no sign of the hernia, although I still felt pain. 2 months later, it too was gone."
The since deceased medical superintendent Dr. Erich Roehling of the sanatorium near Garmisch, Bavaria, who had visited me once, read this letter and was visibly impressed. He thought that from a medical point of view hernia could only be corrected by an operation.
Internally 4 cups of Lady's Mantle tea and Shepherd's Purse tincture used externally as a rub or massage are also effective for prolapse of the uterus (the massage is done from the genitals up to the abdomen).
I want to emphasize that the tincture has to be prepared from freshly picked Shepherd's Purse. For such serious muscular disorders only fresh herbs give swift and sure relief!
Infusion: 1 heaped teaspoon per 1/4 litre of boiling water, infused for a short time.
Sitz bath: See General Information "sitz bath".
Compress: 1 heaped double handful of Shepherd's Purse, if possible the fresh herb, is placed in a sieve over boiling water. The moist, warm herb is put between a cloth and applied.
Tincture: Freshly picked Shepherd's Purse, the leaves, stems, flowers and seed pods are finely cut and placed loosely into a bottle to the neck, 38% to 40% rye whisky is poured over it (the herbs have to be covered) and left in the sun or in a warm place for 10 days.