Common Name: Horsetail (Shavegrass)
Latin Name: Equisetum arvense
Horsetail has a recorded history going back 350 million years to the Devonian era. A living fossil, the plant at that time was as large as palm trees. The present living genus of the family Equisetaceae is the only living genus that reproduces by spores opposed to seeds. A close relative of the fern, horsetail is a nonflowering weed found throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Horsetail contains the most abundant source of silica in the plant kingdom and has been used throughout the ages in shampoos and skin care preparations to strengthen hair and nails. Native Americans would use horsetail as a scouring brush to polish metal. Also high in minerals and nutrients horsetail includes manganese, calcium, iron, flavonoids, saponins, tannis, fatty acids, phytosterols, glycosides, phenolic acids and silica. Combined with other nutritive herbs such as nettle, horsetail makes a good mineral supplement that can be easily assimilated by the body.
Parts Used: Arial stems
Constituents: Silica, saponin, flavone glycosides, organic acids, nicotine, palustrine
Actions: Astringent, diuretic, vulnerary
Medicinal Uses: Horsetail is traditionally used as a diuretic, helping to treat kidney ailments such as urinary tract infections, edema, and kidney stones. An excellent astringent, horsetail can be used to help stop bleeding including hemorrhaging, internal and external ulcers and intestinal disorders. Its mild diuretic, toning and astringent properties make it invaluable for incontinence and bed wetting in children. It has been also been used to help with an enlarged and inflamed prostate gland. Due to its high content of silica horsetail is recommended for skin, hair and bone health. Externally, it can be used as a poultice or wash to help stop bleeding and accelerate the healing of wounds. Used in a lotion or oil it is helpful for irritated skin conditions and rashes. It is also helpful to help get rid of white spots from nails, control excess oil on the skin, as well acts as a good strengthener for bones as it aids in the absorption of calcium.
Used In: Hand Cream