Capsella bursa-pastoris

Plant Name

Capsella bursa-pastoris (Linn.)Moench.

Botanical Info

Annual ,stems – To +50cm tall but typically less.


It is native to eastern Europe and Asia minor but is naturalized and considered a common weed in many parts of the world.
Throughout Central Asia as a weed in cultivated areas and waste places, particularly in the temperate regions.

Chemical Content

Aerial parts contain flavonoids, polypeptides, choline, acetylcholine,
histamine and tyramine. Young leaves contain fumaric acid, vitamin A and ascorbic acid.
Among other constituents are hesperidin and rutin.
Major constituent of the essential oil is camphor.
A quarternary ammonium salt has been isolated from the herb which
is reported to be responsible for its pharmacological activity.

Traditional Use and Activity

The herb or its juice extracts are employed to check menorrhagia and haemorrhages from renal and genitourinary tract. Also used in diarrhoea and dysentery and as a diuretic.
A neoplasm inhibitory substance has been identified as fumaric acid. An inhibitory effect of the extracts of the herb on Ehrlich solid tumour in mice was found to be due to the fumaric acid.