Introduction of Ji Cai:Shepherd's Purse or Herba Capsellae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Shepherd's Purse, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Capsella bursa-pastoris(L.)Medic., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Shepherd's Purse, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Herba Capsellae(Shepherd's Purse).

Herba Capsellae:photo of fresh herb Pin Yin Name: Jì Cài.
 English Name: Shepherd's Purse.
 Latin Name: Herba Capsellae.
 Property and flavor: cool, sweet, tasteless.

 Brief introduction: The herb Herba Capsellae is the dried entire plant of Capsella bursa-pastoris(L.) Medic.(family Cruciferae), used (1).as a blood-cooling hemostatic for treating menorrhagia, postpartum hemorrhage and hematuria, and (2).as a diuretic for treating nephritic edema and hypertension. The herb is commonly known as Herba Capsellae, Shepherd's Purse, Jì Cài.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics and other famous herbal classics defined the herb Herba Capsellae(Shepherd's Purse) as the dried entire plant of the species (1). Capsella bursa-pastoris(L.) Medic. It is a plant of the Capsella Medic. Genus, the Brassicaceae family of the Capparales order. This commonly used species is introduced as:

(1).Capsella bursa-pastoris(L.)Medic.

 Capsella bursa-pastoris L.Medic.:growing shrub Botanical description: The plant is commonly known as Jì Cài. Taproots are cylindrical or conical, some branched, 4~10 cm long; Its surface is white or pale brown, with many bearded lateral roots, bent or partially broken, pale brown or milky white; Stem leaves are pinnately divided, curled, brittle, grayish-green or orange; Stem is slender, branched, yellow-green, curved or partially broken, fruit sparsely triangular near apex, petiole, yellowish-green. Slight odor, mild taste. The stem is slender, yellow-green, easily broken. The stem is erect, simple, or branched from the lower part. Basal leaves are clustered rosette, large head pinnately divided, up to 12 cm long, up to 2.5 cm wide, apex lobes ovate to oblong, 5~30 mm long, 2~20 mm wide, lateral lobes 3~8 pairs, oblong to ovate, 5~15 mm long, apex acuminate, lobed, or irregularly coarsely serrate or nearly entire.

 Capsella bursa-pastoris L.Medic.:flowering plant Petiole 5~40 mm; Cauline leaves narrowly lanceolate or lanceolate, 5~6.5 mm long, 2~15 mm wide, base arrow-shaped, clasping, margin incised or serrate. Root leaves are pinnately divided, much curled, lanceolate after flattening, tip lobes are larger, margin coarsely dentate; The surface is grayish-green or yellow, some brown, paper, fragile; Stem leaves are oblong or linear-shaped, base auriculate clasping stem.

  Racemes terminal and axillary, fruiting extended to 20 cm; Pedicles 3~8 mm long; Sepals are oblong, 1.5~2 mm long; Petals are white, ovate, 2~3 mm long, with short claws.

  Fruit is obtrum triangular or obtrachiform triangular, 5~8 mm long, 4~7 mm wide, flattened, glabrous, apex slightly concave, lobed with reticulate veins, with a short style remnant; Style ca. 0.5 mm; Pedicle 5~15 mm. Seeds are fine obovate, grow on false septa, 2 rows, oblong, ca. 1 mm long, light brown. Its flowering period is from April to June.

 Capsella bursa-pastoris L.Medic.:growing plants Ecological Environment: The plant was originated from Asia Minor and Eastern Europe, it is now common throughout the world. The plant now mainly distributes in temperate regions of the world, prefers warm but strong cold resistance. It grows in the wild, on hillsides, fields, and roadside, but also artificial cultivation.

 Shepherd Purse:photo of dried herb Characters of herbs: The main root is cylindrical or conical, some of which are branched, 4~10 cm long; The surface is whitish or light brown, with many whisker-like lateral roots. The stem is slender, yellow-green, and easily broken. The leaves from the root are pinnately divided, curled, lanceolate after flattening, with large apical lobes and coarse teeth at the edges; The surface is grayish-green or withered-yellow, some are chocolate-brown, papery, and fragile; The leaves grow on the stem are oblong or lanceolate, and the base is auriculate. The fruit is an inverted triangle, flat, slightly concave at the top, with a short remaining stylus. Seeds are tiny obovate, inserted on the false septum(pseudoseptum), and arranged in 2 rows. The herb has a faint scent and a mild taste.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.shorten the bleeding time; ②.induce a transient hypotensive effect in experimental animals; ③.exciting effect on the animal uterus and can strengthen uterine contraction; ④.anti-inflammatory; ⑤.anti-ulcer; ⑥.diuretic; ⑦.coronary artery dilation; ⑧.antipyretic effects.

 Medicinal efficacy: Harmonize the spleen, alleviate water retention, cool the liver, hemostasis(stanch bleeding), calm the liver, brighten the eyes, clearing heat and promoting diuresis. It is indicated for the treatment of dysentery, edema, gonorrhea, chyluria, epistaxis(nose bleeding or bleeding from five aperture or subcutaneous tissue), emptysis, hematemesis(spitting blood), hematuria(blood in urine), hemafecia(pass blood in stool), flooding, profuse menstruation, red and white dysentery, nephritis and edema, red eye and pain, fundus hemorrhage, hypertension, etc.

 Administration of Herba Capsellae(Jì Cài): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Herba Capsellae(Jì Cài)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:water decoction,3~5 qian(about 9~15 grams),fresh herb 1~2 liang(about 30~60 grams), or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:prepare to finely ground herb powder,apply stick,mashed and apply stick,or extract juice and eye dropping; ②.Internally:water decoction,15~30 grams,fresh herb 60~120 grams,or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:proper amount,extract juice and eye dropping.

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