Med Plant Data Base


Moldo-german project 10.820.09.09GA
Evaluation of the pharmaceutic potential
of medicinal plants from natural habitats from Republic of Moldova


Capsella bursa-pastoris

KINGDOM: Plantae » Class: Magnoliopsida » Order: Capparales » Family: Brassicaceae

Capsella bursa-pastoris


Capsella bursa-pastoris


Kingdom: Plantae

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Capparales

Family: Brassicaceae

Genus: Capsella

Species: Capsella bursa-pastoris

Plant description

Plant : 10-50 cm tall.
Growth habit: annual, from weak taproots. Stems: simple to branched, with
short, star-shaped hairs.

Leaves: mainly in a basal rosette, lance-shaped, broadest toward tip, 3-6
cm long, stalked, almost entire to pinnately lobed with larger lobe at tip.
Stem leaves smaller, alternate, stalkless and clasping, lance-shaped to
oblong, mostly with shallow, sharp teeth.

Flowers: white, with 4 petals 1.5-4 mm long and sepals 2 mm long, on
slender, spreading stalks that are 7-15 mm long. Many flowers in round
clusters at first, but these are later elongated in fruit.

Flowering time: May-July.

Fruits: pods triangular to heart-shaped, strongly flattened, long-stalked,
4-8 mm long and 3-5 mm broad at the tip, with style about 1 mm long. Seeds
numerous, not edged, with minute, net-like patterns.

Diffusion area

Common as a weed in disturbed
areas, roadsides, gardens etc., even to subalpine habitats, in all parts of
MT. Also almost throughout the rest of N. America.


Is found through the orchards,
fields, cultivated or ruderal lands, abandoned places near the roads, in
gardens. It is a widespread species.

Therapeutic actions

Antiscorbutic; Astringent;
Cancer; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Haemostatic; Homeopathy;
Hypotensive; Oxytoxic; Stimulant;

Vasodilator; Vulnerary.

Shepherd's purse is little used in herbalism, though it is a commonly used
domestic remedy, being especially efficacious in the treatment of both
internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea etc. A tea made from the whole
plant is antiscorbutic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, haemostatic,
hypotensive, oxytocic, stimulant, vasoconstrictor, vasodilator and vulnerary
A tea made from the dried herb is considered to be a sovereign remedy against
haemorrhages of all kinds - the stomach, the lungs, the uterus and more
especially the kidneys. The plant can be used fresh or dried, for drying it
is harvested in the summer. The dried herb quickly loses its effectiveness
and should not be stored for more than a year. Clinical trials on the
effectiveness of this plant as a wound herb have been inconclusive. It
appears that either it varies considerably in its effectiveness from batch to
batch, or perhaps a white fungus that is often found on the plant contains
the medically active properties. The plant has been ranked 7th amongst 250
potential anti-fertility plants in China. It has proven uterine-contracting
properties and is traditionally used during childbirth. The plant is a folk
remedy for cancer - it contains fumaric acid which has markedly reduced
growth and viability of Ehrlich tumour in mice. A homeopathic remedy is made
from the fresh plant. It is used in the treatment of nose bleeds and urinary

Biologically active substances

luteolin-7-rutinoside and quercitin-3-rutinoside

Polypeptides of undetermined structure

Plant acids; fumaric and bursic acids

Bases; choline, acetylcholine, histamine, tyramine

Indigenous medicinal plants in databases

Hrean Armoracia rusticana

Gaerth., Meyt

Iarba mare Inula helenium L.

Iarba rosie - Polygonum

persicaria L.

Iedera - Hedera helix L.

Ienupar Juniperus communis L.

Ipcarige Gypsophila paniculata L

Izma buna Mentha piperita L.

Centers, institutes, research labs of medicinal plants

1. Medical University of Vienna,
Department of Medicine I, Division of Oncology, Austria.

2. Drug Research and Development Center Playa, Havana City, Cuba.

3. Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão
Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São
Paulo, Brazil.

4. Department of Biochemistry, Amala Cancer Research Centre Amala Nagar,
Thrissur-680555, Kerala, India.

Wetland Science Institute;

Systematic Botany, Department of Biology/Chemistry, University Osnabru
Èck, Barbarastr,Germany;

Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, College of
Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University, Korea;

Korean Agricultural Culture Collection, National Institute of Agricultural
Biotechnology, Rural Development Administration, Korea;

Institute of Botany, University of Hohenheim, Germany.


1. Agaev M.G., ed. 1988. Main
agricultural weeds in crops of Leningrad region. Catalogue of VIR world
collection. Issue 468. Leningrad. 40-42 pp.

2. Bush, N.A. & V.L. Komarov, ed. 1939. Flora of USSR.
Moscow-Leningrad. V.8: 603-604.

3. Nikitin V.V. 1983. Weeds in the flora of USSR. Leningrad: Nauka. 220 pp.

4. Shlyakova E.V. 1982. Identification book on agricultural weeds in
Non-Chernozem zone. Leningrad: Kolos. 82 pp.

5. Ulyanova T.N. 1998. Weeds in the flora of Russia and other FSU states.
Saint Petersburg: VIR. 229, 232 pp.

6. Zotova A.P. 1971. Weed plants and their control. Leningrad: Lenizdat.
78, 80 pp.

Genetic characteristics

2n=32 chromosomes.

Gathering place (figure should be increased)

Capsella bursa-pastoris

Copyright © Universitatea Academiei de Stiinte a Moldovei
Copyright © Gincota Filipp