Shepherd’s bag – gritsiki zvichaynі (preparation and storage)

shepherd’s bag – Capsella bursa – pastoris (L.) . The Ukrainian name is hrytsiki zvichaynі, popular names are bagman, kalytnik, little bears, chicken buckwheat, wild buckwheat, polova buckwheat, gorobynets, gorobyn ochko, zozulnik; sparrow porridge, redhead, rezhuha, etc.


Cruciferous family – Brassicaceae (Cruciferae).

The herb is used for medicinal purposes.

It occurs throughout Ukraine, mainly in the forest-steppe and northern part of the steppe regions. Grows like a weed in yards, parks, streets, roadsides, edges of fields and vegetable gardens, young fallows.

The reserves of raw materials are very large (several hundred tons of grass can be harvested annually), but with an increase in the culture of agriculture and an improvement in the sanitary condition of the villages, they decrease. Industrial blanks are possible in almost all regions of Ukraine. Average annual harvesting of shepherd’s purse grass in the republic in 1974-1976 amounted to 14.5 tons.

Shepherd’s purse is an annual plant with a weakly branched taproot. Stem single, branched, 20-60 cm high. Basal leaves forming a rosette, pinnatipartite, with triangular, traditionally dentate or notched-dentate lobes. Stem leaves are alternate, sessile, semi-amplex, notched-toothed or entire, decreasing towards the apex. Small white flowers in racemes at the top of the stem and branches. The fruits are triangular oblique heart-shaped pods 6-8 mm long, opening with two valves. Seeds numerous, small, light brown. The plant blooms in May – June. The fruits ripen in the second half of May – early June. In rainy years, flowering is delayed for almost the entire summer.

Grass is harvested during flowering. Usually the plants are pulled out, then the roots are cut with knives. In dense standing, the grass is cut with sickles or mowed with scythes and then selected from the mowing.

Dry in the open air, in attics under an iron roof or under sheds with good ventilation, spreading a thin layer (3-5 cm) on paper or cloth. The yield of dry raw materials is 26-28%.

According to GOST 14102-69, the raw material consists of stems 10-40 cm long with green leaves, yellowish-white flowers and immature green fruits. The smell is weak, peculiar. The taste is bitter. Humidity is not higher than 13%. Not more than (percent) is allowed in raw materials: crushed parts and parts damaged by a fungus, stems with unseparated roots or individual roots, yellowed leaves – 3, crushed parts (passing through a sieve with a hole diameter of 1 mm) – 2, organic impurities – 2 , mineral impurities – 1. Ash content should not exceed 10%, ash insoluble in 10% hydrochloric acid – 2% – Extractive substances extracted with 70% alcohol should not be less than 10%.

Dry grass is packed, pressed, in bales weighing 50 kg, or in bags of 25 kg. Store in dry, well-ventilated areas on pallets or racks. Storage period up to 3 years. Raw materials are not subject to re-control.

The herb contains vitamin K, acetylcholine, tyramine, hissopin glycoside, saponins, organic acids. It is used for uterine bleeding, as a small antihypertensive agent in the form of a liquid extract and infusion.

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