Horsetail is a member of the Equisetaceae family; the sole survivor of a line of plants going back three hundred million years. The name “horsetail”, often used for the entire group, arose because the branched species somewhat resemble a horse’s tail. It is a descendant of ancient plants that grew as tall as trees during the carboniferous period of prehistoric times and members of this family gave rise to many of our coal deposits. Since being recommended by the Roman physician Galen, several cultures have employed horsetail as a folk remedy for kidney and bladder troubles, arthritis, bleeding ulcers, and tuberculosis. The Chinese use it to cool fevers and as a remedy for eye inflammations such as conjunctivitis and corneal disorders, dysentery, flu, swellings and hemorrhoids.
Because of its content of silica, this plant is recommended when it is necessary for the body to repair bony tissues. Silica helps to fix calcium, so that the body can store more quantity of this mineral and then use it to repair bones, collagen and other body tissues. Horsetail can therefore be useful for osteoporosis.
Horsetail is also recommended for anemia and general debility. It has also been used to treat deep-seated lung damage such as tuberculosis or emphysema.
Horsetail is an astringent herb and has a diuretic action. It has an affinity for the urinary tract where it can be used to sooth inflammation, haemorrhaging, cystic ulceration, ulcers, cystitis and to treat infections. It is considered a specific remedy in cases of inflammation or benign enlargement of the prostate gland and is also used to quicken the removal of kidney stones.
Its toning and astringent action make it of value in the treatment of incontinence and bed-wetting in children. It may be applied to such conditions as urethritis or cystitis with haematuria, reducing haemorrhage and healing wounds thanks to the high silica content. This local astringent and anti-hemorrhagic effect explains the application of horsetail to such conditions as bleeding from the mouth, nose and vagina, its use to check diarrhoea, dysentery and bleeding from the bowel, and for slow-healing wounds, chilblains and conjunctivitis.
The horsetail constitutes one of the most diuretic species in all the plants. That is to say that it possesses a great capacity to eliminate water from the body, in such a point to increase urination up to 30% more than what is habitual. This fact makes that its scientific name Equisetum arvense generally appears in the composition of most of products that habitually are sold to reduce weight. This property is due to the action of several components, among which it is necessary to highlight equisetin and potassium, but there are another ones that also take part such as calcium, magnesium, ascorbic acid and caffeic acid.
As a diuretic it is particularly suited to metabolic or hormonal oedema during the menopause. The diuretic action is thought to be due partly to the flavonoids and saponins. Equisetum is restorative to damaged pulmonary tissue after pulmonary tuberculosis and other lung disease, as the silicic acid is said to stabilise the scar tissue.
It may be taken internally to stop bleeding from ulcers or curb heavy menstrual bleeding. It may also be used as a gargle and mouth rinse for sore throat and bleeding gums or mouth ulcers. Externally it is a vulnerary and may also be applied as a compress to fractures and sprains, wounds, sores, skin problems and a gargle for mouth and gum inflammations.
It has been established that administration of silicic acid causes leukocytosis (a temporary increase in white blood cells). Equisetin’s silica content encourages the absorption and use of calcium by the body and also helps to guard against fatty deposits in the arteries. Its influence on lipid metabolism leads to potential benefit for cardiovascular problems.
Recent research in Russia has apparently demonstrated that horsetail is effective in removing lead accumulations in the body.
Horsetail is a slim plant with a stalk that has the appearance of the tail of a bird or even a horse. It’s reproduced by its spores instead of the seeds in the plant. Similar to the alfalfa plant, horsetail is effective at absorbing unique minerals in our planet like silica which aren’t seen in several other plants. In short, there are numerous horsetail benefits, and in this article I’ll be writing about sixteen of them.
Analysis of horsetail extracts within the laboratory has demonstrated promising results for horsetail’s capability to inhibit the development of cancer cells. It is also showed to be a natural source of anti-oxidants and possible phytochemicals according to a 2010 study published within the “Journal of Medicinal Food.”
In research published in a 2004 issue of “Pharmacal Research,” it was reported that horsetail had demonstrated anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties in mice and helped to reduce edema by 30 percent.
Essential oil from the horsetail plant comprises 25 compounds that supply a comprehensive spectrum of antimicrobial action against specific strains of germs and fungi, according a study from 2006. It even proved successful against Staphylococcus aureus, E.coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella enteritidis.
In research performed on rats, Brazilian scientists found that horsetail extracts enhanced both long-term and short-term memory and cognitive performance. The report, printed in “Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior” in 2005, proposes that the cognitive improvement consequences of the herb may be credited, at least partly, to its antioxidant action.
A limited study taking a look at the connection between osteoporosis and horsetail implied that a horsetail – calcium blend, which has already been employed in Italy to prevent fractures and enhance bone strength, may have a positive impact on bone density. One reason could be the high ratio of silicon in the herb. Dietary silicon intake is linked to greater bone mineral density in premenopausal women and men in some studies.
6) Boils and Carbuncles
The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory action of horsetail may assist with the disease and irritation brought on by Boils and Carbuncles. Its poultice, compress, and salve can be used to remove the pus from carbuncles, boils and sores. To make a compress just soak smashed dried horsetail herb into lukewarm water for 15 minutes. Wrap the drenched horsetail herb in a little piece of cloth and apply it onto the carbuncle or boil. Using cold and warm compresses of this poultice 2 to 3 times daily may reduce the redness and draw out the pus. To switch between the cold and hot compress, just make two poultices and dip one in some hot water and the other in cold water before you apply it. Apply the compresses for about 5 minutes each, at least three times in a single session. A paste created by the herb’s leaves can be applied on the affected region to decrease the inflammation and pain. To make the spread, add a modest quantity of water to half a teaspoon of horsetail extract powder, or soak smashed horsetail leaves into hot water.
7) Brittle Nails
Horsetail contains minerals that could assist with white spots in the nails and weak and brittle fingernails. Reportedly, just taking horsetail extract daily and soaking the nails into horsetail may fix and reinforce the nails. Steep 2 teaspoons of dry herb in a cup of water for 10 minutes, to make a horsetail infusion that you can soak your nails in. Duplicate this treatment for at least four times per week.
Horsetail tea is proven to be advantageous for bronchitis, dry cough, nasal blockage, and temperature associated with cold and influenza. Also, inhaling vapors from horsetail tea may help reduce nasal blockage. For a cough and other respiratory illness, you would want to drink horsetail tea 2-3 times daily. Talk to your physician, if symptoms last for more than five days.
9) Chilblains and Foot Infections
Horsetail is considered to have antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, Chinese herbalists have been using horsetail topically for generations in treating foot problems such as Athlete’s Foot, frostbite, and chilblains. Chilblains is really a skin condition brought on by the experience of severe cold and humidity which damages the fine capillary beds in the skin of the feet causing inflammation, redness, itching, and blisters.
Some research has found that patients identified with diabetes (type-2) who were administered a single oral dose of horsetail extract had significant lower blood sugar levels within less than an hour. Therefore, taking horsetail once a day before a meal can be advantageous for no more than 8 weeks.
11) Tonsillitis and Gingivitis
Gargling for 1-3 minutes at a time with a mouthwash that is made with horsetail tea may assist with inflamed tonsils, bleeding gums and mouth sores.
12) Hair Health
There have been studies that demonstrate that the silica found in horsetail may aid in boosting hair growth and health, and might even be advantageous for dandruff, hair loss, and split ends. Drinking horsetail tea and washing the hair with horsetail extract shampoo might be powerful to help to rejuvenate hair suffering from dandruff into strong, lustrous, and nourished hair. Many herbalists consider that massaging a few drops of horsetail extract or tincture mixed in 2 tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil can help to decrease dandruff and increase the ability to grow hair by enhancing the blood circulation in the scalp and strengthening the hair follicles. Simply massage the horsetail oil combination into the scalp for at least 10 minutes several times weekly. For washing one’s hair, add a few drops of horsetail directly into your preferred shampoo and wash as you ordinarily do. Consuming a horsetail extract capsule or drinking one cup of horsetail tea for 8 weeks may increase the effectiveness of the herb on this particular issue.
The hemostatic and anti-inflammatory action of horsetail may relieve the pain and help reduce or prevent the bleeding from piles. Fiber rich meals will minimize the threat of constipation that’s considered among the main causes of pain related to hemorrhoids.
14) Kidney Stones
According to the UMMC, research shows that because of the action of horsetail, it might be advantageous for individuals with kidney stones. Especially the uric acid kidney stones that are generally associated with Gout disorder. Normally, uric acid kidney stones develop when the urine excretion is uric acid deposits.
15) Skin Problems
Studies have shown that bactericide, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, silica, and antioxidant agents in horsetail may give the capability to it to cure wounds, rashes, burns, skin lesions and acne. Silica is proven to help form collagen that’s significant for the growth and the care of healthy connective tissues throughout the body. Consequently, horsetail extract is extensively used in antiwrinkle, antiaging and other cosmetic items. One easy home remedy would be to utilize horsetail extract paste on the affected skin for at least 20 minutes several times per week. By drinking horsetail tea, its antioxidant action and anti-inflammatory capabilities may delay aging by strengthening the connective tissues and might help alleviate the irritated and inflamed skin. For acne, diluted horsetail tea that is iced may be utilized as a toner after washing the face every evening. Simply dab a cotton swab into the tea and use it all over the face while being sure to completely avoid the eyes.
16) Enuresis and Bladder Weakness
Studies have proven that horsetail extract may be advantageous for individuals suffering from nocturnal incontinence (bed wetting), bladder and issues with the urinary tract. It can also alleviate the constant urge to urinate with UTI (UTI). A recommended remedy would be to take one capsule of horsetail extract 2-3 times daily. It’s documented that having a bath that is filled with tea made from Horsetail for a minimum of 15 minutes 2-3 times per week may be useful for bladder and UTI weakness. For a steam bath, steep 10 teaspoons of dry horsetail into one quart of boiling water for fifteen minutes and pour the tea in the bath water.
The Side Effects of Horsetail
Similar to most nutritional supplements, horsetail is secure when taken short term and in moderation. Consult with your healthcare provider before the therapeutic utilization of horsetail, especially if you’re taking some other supplements or drugs. Pregnant, lactating moms and kids shouldn’t take horsetail due to its Nicotine content. Horsetail ought to be used short term just for a maximum of two months, unless it is suggested by your physician otherwise. Ideally, the consumption of horsetail supplements must be stopped for at least a week after it has been used for a month before using it again.