Capsela bursa pastoris

Familie: Brassicaceae - Kruisbloemigen.

Materia Medica
Bursae pastoris herba
De bovengrondse bloeiende plant, kan de hele zomer geplukt worden, liefst de pas bloeiende plant met weinig zaaddoosjes.

** Aminen: acetylcholine, tyramine
** Choline 1 % stimuleert parasympaticus
* Looistoffen (bloedstelpend)
* Flavonoïden
* Veel kalium

** Bloedstelpend (vooral op baarmoeder)
** Baarmoedertonicum t.v.g met Moederkoren en Hydrastis?
** Licht bloeddrukverlagend (regulerend)

Uterus (Baarmoeder)
** Metrorragie (baarmoederbloedingen)
* Menstruatieklachten, vooral sterke bloedingen zie ook hormonaalkruiden

* Hoge en lage bloeddruk zie Crataegus

Nota: Neusbloedingen vers sap of hele plant in neus zie looistofplanten


Infuus: Hb. 30-40 g/1 l, 10', dos. 3-4 kopjes daags
Sap: Tot 30 g/daags
Tinctuur: Oertinctuur gelijke gewichtsdelen verse kruid en alc. 90° (HAB)


AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY Volume 60, #7, July, 1888
Capsella Bursa-pastoris, Moench, is known as shepherd's purse, and has established itself in most countries as a weed in fields and in waste and grassy places. For a long time it was employed, boiled in red wine, as a styptic in hemorrhages of various kinds, a use which has recently been revived in Europe. Formerly it also enjoyed some reputation as a remedy for gonorrhea and for intermittent fever.
Among itsconstituents are a little volatile oil, identical with that of black mustard, a little bitterextractive, some resinous matter, and bursic acid, the latter having been recentlyprepared by Bombelon as an amorphous mass, which appears to be a glucoside. An interesting paper by Prof. Dr. Husemann, giving the medical history of this plant, has been published in Pharmaceutische Zeitung, 1888, p. 151.

European tradition
Steinmetz (1954) mentions that an infusion of Capsella is cooling, diuretic and astringent and therefore beneficial in all kinds of blood and bladder problem s (diarrhea with sharp and bloody stools, piles, profuse menses, dropsy, diseases of bladder, spitting of blood). Extractum Capsellae Bursae pastoris liquidum is used as a substitute for ergot of rye to arrest bleeding from lungs, stomach, uterus and kidneys. Steinmetz addressed the considerable haemostatic action to the fungi Cystopus Candidus and Peronospora Grisea, which would grow on the plant and produce the odour of trimethylamine. Also Wichtl (1994) mentions the former common use of Capsella as a substitute for ergot in uterine hemorrhaging, and its continuous use in folk medicine to treat dysmenorrhea. 
Van Hellemont states that both ergot and Capsella are useful in meno- and metrorrhagia, but ergot would perform a stronger haemostyptic activity (Van Hellemont, 1988). According to Wichtl (1994) Capsella is still occasionally used in traditional medicine as a styptic remedy (its former common use as a substitute for ergot in uterine haemorhaging is obsolete). It is used in European traditional medicine for preventing or arresting hemorrhage, more specifically to treat dysmenorrhea.

Asian tradition
In Tibetan medicine Capsella is used to stop vomiting, to treat kidneys, lungs, and nerve disorders and fluid retention of the body (Wichtl 1994). Capsella is used in Indian medicine in menorrhagia and hemorrhages from renal and genito-urinary tract, in diarrhoea and dysentery and as a diuretic (Khare, 2007).
In China a decoction of the whole plant is used in hypertension and as hemostatic agent for treatmentof chyluria (fat globules in the urine) and hematuria (Herbalgram, 2008). For each herbal preparation, provide evidence of history and extent of use preferably classified whether predominantly European or non-European tradition, and the more recent/current use. 

Wetenschappelijk onderzoek

  • Kuroda K, Akao M, Kanisawa M, Miyaki K. 1976. Inhibitory effect of Capsella bursa-pastoris extract on growth of Ehrlich solid tumor in mice. Cancer Res 1976 Jun; 36(6): 1900-3.
  • Kuroda K. Kadu T. Pharmacological and chemical studies on the alcohol extract of Capsella bursa-pastoris. Life Sci 1969; 8: 151-5
  • Miyazawa M et al. The constituents of the essential oils from Capsella bursa-pastoris Medik. Yakugaku Zasshi 1979; 99: 1041-
  • Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther. 1969 Apr;178(2):392-9. Studies on capsella bursa pastoris. II. Diuretic, anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer action of ethanol extracts of the herb.Kuroda K, Takagi K.

Capsela bursa pastoris
Description of the herbal substance(s), herbal preparation(s) or combinations thereof
25 November 2010 EMA/HMPC/ Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) 

 Herbal substance(s)
Capsella bursa-pastoris (Fam. Brassicaceae/Cruciferae) is a common cosmopolitan weed growing up to
40 cm and indigenous to Europe, West Africa and Asia. The Latin and common names are derived from
the (shepherd’s) purse shape of the plant’s seed pods. Common names are: shepherd’s purse
(English), bourse à pasteur (French), herderstasje (Dutch), Hirtentäschelkraut (German), bolsa de
pastor (Spanish).
For Capsella herba there is no Ph. Eur. monograph available. Therefore the monographs of the British
Herbal Pharmacopoeia 1996 (BHP), the French Pharmacopoeia (Fr. Ph) and the Complete German
Commission E have been consulted (BHP 1996; Blumenthal, 1998).
The BHP monograph describes Capsella as the dried, aerial parts of Capsella bursa-pastoris
(L.)Medikus and includes macroscopic and microscopic characteristics (including weak, rather
unpleasant odour and slightly saline and astringent taste) (BHP 1996). The description in the French
Pharmacopoeia is: La partie utilisée de la bourse à pasteur est constituée par les parties aériennes
fleuries et fructifères, séchées, de Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medikus récoltées en fin de floraison et
en cours de fructification (Fr. Ph., 1997).
Capsella herba (Bursae pastoris herba) consists of the fresh or dried, above-ground parts of Capsella
bursa-pastoris (L.) Medikus (synonym: Thlaspi bursa-pastoris L.) as well as its preparations in effective
dosage (Blumenthal, 1998).
There is no monograph for Capsella herba included in the ‘WHO monographs on Selected Medicinal

Constituents (Felter, 1922 ; BHP, 1983 ; van Hellemont, 1988; Maillard et al., 1988; Wichtl, 1994;
Khare, 2007; Barnes et al., 2007; Song et al., 2007):
 Flavonoids (a.o. flavonglycosides): quercetin, tricin, diosmetin, kaempferol, luteolin, hesperitin
and derivated glycosides (e.g. rutin, diosmin, hesperidin, luteolin-7-rutinoside, luteolin-7-
galactoside, quercetin-3-rutinoside).
 Amines: choline (1%) , acetylcholine, histamine
 Aminoacids (22, a.o. proline, tyramine, and ornithine), (poly)peptides (a.o. α- and γ-
aminobutyric acid, α-aminoadipic acid) and proteins
 Aliphatic and phenolic acids: chlorogenic, vanilic, syringic, fumaric acid
 Volatile oil, with at least 74 components identified, with camphor as major constituent
 Resin
 Saponins
 Other constituents: 9-methylsulfinylnoyl and 10-methylsulfinyldecyl glucosinulates (in seeds),
carotenoids, ascorbic acid, vitamin K, cardenolide, calcium and potassium salts, unidentified
alkaloids, mustardoil glucoside (e.g. sinigrin, possibly responsible for the off-flavours in dairy
products,). Examination of annual crucifers revealed that the concentration of sinigrin in
Capsella bursa-pastoris is lower than that of mustard oil glycosides in other cruciferous plants
(Park, 1967). 

From a study on the nutritional composition of wild edible crucifer species, a relatively high quantity of
fatty acids ω6-PUFAS was found in Capsella. The amount of erudic acid (C22:1ω9), a fatty acid present
in plant oils of species of Crucifera, known as toxic acid involved in the development of myocarditis,
appeared to be very low (Guil-Guerrero et al., 1999).
In a joint study of Universities of Jordan and Pakistan results of chemical analysis of aerial parts of
Capsella bursa-pastoris revealed the components cupressoflavone (in chloroform phase) and swertisin
(in aqueous phase) (Al-Khalil et al., 2000).
A benzene extract of the aerial parts of Capsella bursa-pastoris was fractionated into seven fractions:
polar lipids (34.7%), free fatty acids, triterpenols (25.8%), diacylglycerols, waxy esters (12.8%),
sterols, chlorophylls (12.4%), triacylglycerols (6.7%), unidentified compounds (4.1%) and
hydrocarbons (3.5%) (Bekker et al., 2002).
A quaternary ammonium salt has been isolated from the herb which is reported to be responsible for
its activity (Kuroda 1968; Khare, 2007).
Young leaves contain Vitamin A (5,000 IU/100 g) and ascorbic acid (91 mg/100 g) (Khare, 2007).
Relatively high quantities of minerals in Capsella have been reported, however low % of Na content
(Guil-Guerrero et al., 1999).
Analysis of herbs and their decoctums and tinctures by ICP-OES revealed that Capsella contains
essential elements as Ca, Cu, Cr, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na and Zn, of which some in relatively high amounts
(Ca, Cr, K and Na) compared to the other 9 analysed plant species (Szentmihalyi et al., 2005).
However results of analysis should cautiously be interpreted: Capsella appeared to be a potential
useful biomonitor of the four heavy metals studied (Pb, Cd, Zn and Cu) for monitoring polluted urban
areas (Aksoy, 1999).

 Combinations of herbal substance(s) and/or herbal preparation(s)
BHP (1983) mentions the combined use with Trillium and Hydrastis in menorrhagia or metrorrhagia
and combined use with Agothosma in cystitis. In BHP (1996) only the anti-haemorrhagic action is
Capsella herba is used in combinations with many other herbal substances / herbal preparations,
mainly to be used as infusion. Combinations with other herbs have been mentioned in teas to be used
for symptoms in cardiovascular conditions (Wichtl, 1994).
Capsella is marketed in combination with other herbs (e.g Achillea, Majorana and Quercus) in health
products to regulate menstruation and in urological products (drops and tablets) (Wichtl, 1994). In
Canada Capsella is an approved active ingredient in nearly 20 Schedule OTC Traditional Herbal
Medicines (Wichtl, 1994). Actual market information on Capsella containing medicinal products with a
marketing authorisation or registration is given in next paragraph.