Horsetail is widely distributed throughout the temperate climate zones of the Northern Hemisphere. Horsetail is a unique plant with two distinctive types of stems. One variety of stem grows early in spring and looks like asparagus, except for its brown colour and spore-containing cones on top. The mature form of the herb, appearing in summer, has branched, thin, green, sterile stems and looks like a feathery tail.
Reportedly first recommended by the Roman physician Galen, a few cultures have employed horsetail as a folk remedy for kidney and bladder troubles, arthritis, bleeding ulcers, and tuberculosis. In addition, the topical use of horsetail was used traditionally to stop the bleeding of wounds and promote rapid healing. The use of this herb as an abrasive cleanser to scour pots or shave wood illustrates the origin of horsetail’s common names—scouring rush and shave grass.
What it does
Horsetail contains flavonoids, alkaloids, sterols, manganese, potassium and silicic acid. Silicic acid provides the mineral silicon, which is important for bone, teeth, joint and nail health. Horsetail is a good diuretic and urinary tract tonic.
|Water retention||Improving growth and quality of skin, hair and nails.||Healing broken bones|
|Arthritis||Osteoporosis prevention.||Urinary tract infections|
Horsetail is sometimes used by herbalists for urinary tract infections, bladder and kidney problems, arthritis and brittle nails.
If you are already taking diuretic drugs do not take horsetail.
If you are taking digoxin you should not take horsetail as this herb may lower potassium levels increasing the toxicity of digoxin.
Do not use in pregnancy or when breastfeeding.
Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using Horsetail.
At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with Horsetail.