I adore the walk to the community garden. Over the bridge where I imagine a troll underneath, and quicken my step to avoid capture. The creek bubbles and tumbles along after good weekend rain. (And sizeable hailstones that trounced my young lettuce seedlings!)
I notice different things each day. Sometimes it’s rubbish, unthoughtfully left there by others. I catch my thoughts these days and reflect on the need to transform my own negativity. I pick up the bottle for the recycling. All has its place.
On the way back, ‘Trippity, Trap’ … a small pocket of wonder calls for my attention. It has tiny heart shaped seed- pods, like the little pouches hung from the belts of Shepherd’s hence the name…Shepherd’s Purse.
Capsella bursa-pastoria (Shepherd’s Purse) the magickal pockets of goodness tucked in along the fence. It is a great adapter, originally a native of Europe and now growing wild around the world in temperate areas. It grows in the poorest of soil, keeping itself compact at 10cm when impoverished, but luxuriating in rich soil and growing up to 50cm or so.
This is an herb I have a mild awareness of but no proficiency . I’ve made a tincture before, but it sat idle for years, as I had not connected with its use. One day I gave it back to Mother Earth as a votive offering.
Today, Capsella I am your humble student. You are uterine stimulant, a gentle diuretic for those retaining water in their kidneys (Note to self: I had a dull kidney ache last night. I got up during the night and added a layer of warmth to comfort them and protect my Chi, or vital energy).
I think of you as a women’s herb, astringent, stopping excessive menstrual meanderings. As infusion, tincture, fresh or dried, its aerial parts; shoots, leaves and flower are all useful to the observant. Jeannine Parvarti * used it to stop blood flow after birthing her own twins. It contains much Vitamin K, useful for blood clotting and Vitamin C.
It is also professed as an edible, but they say that about Brussel Sprouts to! Just because you can doesn’t mean you have to.
In Josephine Addison’s, Plant Lore, she says that in the language of the flowers it means ‘I offer you my all’. How generous you are little plant. I shall heed you more often.
I honour you humble Capsella.
* Jeannine Parvati Baker http://www.birthkeeper.com/images/JP_edit.jpg
Hygeia: A Women’s Herbal: Jeannine Parvati 1978.
Magic & Medicine of Plants: Readers Digest, 1994
The illustrated Plant Lore, Josephine Addison, 1985.