Sheperd's purse is a common weed, in the genus Capsella, belonging to the family Brassicaceae, native to Eastern Europe and the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey. The herb has been used in traditional medicine to treat Rheumatic joints, ecchymosis, bruises, strained parts, stomach troubles, such as diarrhea, dysentery, gastritis, gall bladder, kidney and bladder trouble, liver colics, disturbed metabolism, venereal disease, lung tuberculosis, bleeding lungs, etc.
1. Antitumor and anti-intoxication activities
Fumaric acid, isolated as the active component of Capsella bursa-pastoris herb was found to reduce markedly the growth and viability of Ehrlich, MH134, and L1210 mouse tumor cells in culture at concentration of 0.3 approximately 1.2 mg/ml and exhibited activity to enhance the recovery of the cells from the toxic effects of mitomycin C, aflatoxin B1, N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine, and potassium 1-methyl-7-[2-(5-nitro-2-furyl) vinyl]-4-oxo-1,4-dihydro-1,8-naphthyridine-3-carboxylate, according to "Antitumor and anti-intoxication activities of fumaric acid in cultured cells" by Kuroda K, Akao M.(1)
2. Antimicrobial effects
In the investigation of 11 weeds collected from the Menoufeya district for phytochemical compounds effective against several representatives of bacteria and yeasts, found that that Soxhlet benzene extracts, especially those of Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik., were the most effective. Alkaloids and flavonoids of Capsella gave the highest antibiotic potencies and had the broadest antimicrobial spectra, according to "Preliminary screening of some Egyptian weeds for antimicrobial activity' by El-Abyad MS, Morsi NM, Zaki DA, Shaaban MT.(2)
3. Uterotonic effect
In evaluation of Water extracts (infusions) from a group of medicinal plants in terms of their activity enhancing the uterine tonus in a series of experiments with a preparation of an isolated rabbit and guinea pig uterine horn, found that the combined preparation 'Antiinflamin', consisting of a pooled freeze-dried extract from three plants and chemotherapeutic agents produced a good enhancing effect, in the form of 'comprets' for intrauterine application at the rate of one compret per 2500 cm3, according to "[Uterotonic action of extracts from a group of medicinal plants].[Article in Bulgarian]" by Shipochliev T.(3)
4. Anti- Ehrlich solid tumor
in the determination of the treatment of ICR mice with i.p. injections (0.14 g/kg/day) of the extract of Capsella bursa-pastoris herb in solid growth of Ehrlich tumor cells, found that the acidic substance was identified as fumaric acid and was effective in inhibiting the growth of Ehrlich solid tumor at a dose of 10 mg/kg/day. The 50% lethal dose (i.p.) of this acid was 266 mg/kg, according to "Inhibitory effect of Capsella bursa-pastoris extract on growth of Ehrlich solid tumor in mice" by Kuroda K, Akao M, Kanisawa M, Miyaki K.(4)
5. Infertility?Capsella bursa-pastoris ('Shepherd's Purse'), dried and ground, was added at rates of 20 and 40% to the stock diet of male and female mice, found that at the 40% level, both materials impeded ovulation and produced temporary infertility in males and females. 20% Capsella did not affect female fertility, and previous experiments had shown that an equivalent amount of grass meal was harmless, according to 'THE EFFECT OF CERTAIN PLANT PREPARATIONS ON THE FERTILITY OF LABORATORY MAMMAL" by JUNE EAST(5)
6. Multiple sclerosis
In the evaluation of Fumarates (found abundantly in Shepherd's purse) and its improvemant of multiple sclerosis (MS) and psoriasis, found that In mice, fumarates also generate type II DCs that induce IL-4-producing Th2 cells in vitro and in vivo and protect mice from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Type II DCs result from fumarate-induced glutathione (GSH) depletion, followed by increased hemoxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression and impaired STAT1 phosphorylation. Induced HO-1 is cleaved, whereupon the N-terminal fragment of HO-1 translocates into the nucleus and interacts with AP-1 and NF-κB sites of the IL-23p19 promoter, according to"Fumarates improve psoriasis and multiple sclerosis by inducing type II dendritic cells" by Ghoreschi K, Brück J, Kellerer C, Deng C, Peng H, Rothfuss O, Hussain RZ, Gocke AR, Respa A, Glocova I, Valtcheva N, Alexander E, Feil S, Feil R, Schulze-Osthoff K, Rupec RA, Lovett-Racke AE, Dringen R, Racke MK, Röcken M.(6)
1. Overdose can cause gastrointestinal discomfort such as stomach upset.
2. Shepherd's purse may cause allergic effects such as skin redness and swelling
3. Do not use the herb in new born or children, or if you are pregnant or breast feeding with out approval from the related field specialist.
4. If you are taking high blood pressure, thyroid gland, or heart related medication, please consult with your doctor before taking the herb.
5. Shepherd`s purse may interact with other medication including coagulation medicine
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