Capsella bursa-pastoris, or shepards purse, is an annual found in most regions of the world. It grows to about 30cm tall and is in flower year round.
The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked and are rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C. While the seeds are difficult to harvest as they are very small, they can be ground into a meal. An oil can also be extracted from them. For an easier way to incorporate these healthy seeds, add the whole seed pod to soups or stews as a peppery seasoning. The raw root is also a viable ginger alternative. Shepard’s purse should be avoided by those on medication for high blood pressure, those with thyroid gland disorders, and those with heart disease.