HORSETAIL (EQUISETUM ARVENSE)
Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) can grow anywhere, especially along roadways and in sandy soil. When the horse tail herb is dry and when you shake it you can actually hear a faint rustling sound. That’s because it is the highest possible source of silica which is very beneficial for blood vesicles as it strengthen them, increases their flexibility, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Silica also helps the connective tissues of the body. Horsetail actually contains more silica than any other plant.
Horsetail herb is very helpful in treating urinary tract infection, prostate problems, kidney stones (although some suggest it shouldn’t be used in this condition), cystitis, incontinence, and arthritis (silica helps to repair cartilage and connective tissue), inflammation in the veins (phlebitis, thrombophlebitis), and in repairing connective tissue of skin and nails (silica and flavonoids). Its diuretic effect is caused by the flavonoids and saponins. Horsetail is also regarded as an epithelial tissue regenerator, due to the presence of flavonoids and saponins. It also contains calcium. Externally Silica in horsetail concoction will impose a healing effect on hair follicles especially when it is combined or used alternatively with castor oil. A horsetail compress can be used to treat burns, wounds, haemorrhages, sprains, or fractures.
In order to have benefit of silica found in the Horsetail you need to make a concoction rather than a tea as silica requires longer heating treatment to move from the herb to water. This concoction can be used both internally and externally.
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of horse tail herb to over a litre of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15-30 minutes, turn off the heat, cover and leave for another 10 to 15 minutes. Strain, divide into 3 parts and drink about a glass of the concoction 3 times a day between meals with a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.
Fortunately there is much simpler and time-saving way of the same concoction. It can be done by mixing 2-3 tablespoons of the herb with 1 litre of boiling water in a large thermos flask and leaving closed for an hour or so.
Remember to increase water intake if you use horsetail internally.
Do not take this herb if you are pregnant, suffer from congestive heart failure, or if you take ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure.
It is also important to know that horse tail contains a chemical which is called an “anti-vitamin B1 factor” (leads to B1 deficiency). Therefore, it should be taken with vitamin B1, especially when the herb is used internally for a longer time (which is not recommended anyway).