I had no idea about this tea until I purchased it last week and tried it today. Without knowing much about this tea, I steeped it in gongfu style which is probably unnecessary for herbal teas, but I cannot resist it. The aroma of the dried leaves reminded me of seaweed and garlic. Hence, I was expecting a salty taste which I got but only as a sub-note to a more dominant sweetness which I found surprising. Later, when I read about this herb, I found that it belongs to the mustard family (which sort of explains its garlicky and vegetal notes). However, as many herbal teas, this tea is not consumed for its taste but rather for its health benefits.
Shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) is native to Europe and Asia Minor and according to the European Medical Agency’s 2019 report, its medicines are used to treat heavy menstrual cycles. According to the Agency, despite lack of sufficient clinical evidence, the plant is considered safe and its intended use does not require medical supervision.
Shepherd's Purse is also known to have antioxidant properties due to the fumaric acid and sulforaphane it contains. Although it said to have other benefits such as soothing stomach aches, cramps, and stop internal bleeding, I won’t touch on those as I could not identify a reliable evidence-based source.
Finally, I would like to say that this herb’s name ‘Shepherd's purse’ is interesting and it translates into Turkish with the same meaning. As it is seen on the photo below, it has heart-shaped seed pods (a single plant can produce about 2-3K seeds) and these pods look like some pouches worn by medieval peasants. I would be very interested in knowing in which language the current name was given first. By any chance would you know?
Type: Herbal (non-tea)
Harvest time: 2019
Leave colour: Shades of light green
Liquor colour: Pale yellow
Tea aroma: Vegetal and seaweed
Tea taste: Sweet with vegetal and subtle garlicky undernotes
Steeping/brewing: Infuse about 3 gr of dry leaves in 100°C water for about 3 minutes.
Shelf life: Up to 2 years (the freshest the better)