Horsetail, or equisetum, is a gaggle of grass crops from the Equisetaceae household, a plant household that has been round for about 400 million years.1 Due to this, Equisetum has been deemed as a “residing fossil,”2 as a result of its existence dates again even earlier than the dinosaurs.three
One of many members of the Equisetum group is the Equisetum arvense, which is often referred to as the horsetailfour or area horsetail.5 This text will primarily give attention to the Equisetum arvense variant of the horsetail group, with the identify “horsetail” referring solely to the Equisetum arvense.
Initially from the Pacific Northwest, horsetail has been distributed all all through the world and has been used as a decorative6 and medicinal plant. Its symmetrical and linear look lends patios and lawns a clean-cut aesthetic, which many individuals respect. As a medicinal plant, its use dates again to the Roman and Greek civilizations, who used it to assist deal with ulcers, wounds and kidney issues.7
Sadly, farmers normally deal with horsetail as a pest that is very difficult to eliminate. It is because horsetail can propagate by spores, that are situated in cones on the finish of the plant’s stems.eight These spores are outfitted with elaters, which permit them to maneuver round as soon as they land on the bottom.9 This implies they’ll unfold simply and extra effortlessly than different weeds.
How Can You Profit From Horsetail?
Regardless of its standing as a weed, horsetail can ship shocking benefits on your well-being. Quite a few research have targeted on the medicinal makes use of of horsetail and the attainable well being advantages you will get from this plant. A few of these advantages embrace:
Helps promote bone well being — Horsetail comprises excessive quantities of silica, a mineral important for robust bones.10 The truth is, this herb has the very best quantity of silica within the plant kingdom.11 In an Italian examine, menopausal ladies with senile osteoporosis have been noticed to have elevated bone density after a yr of horsetail supplementation.12
Helps cease bleeding — In keeping with the e-book “Prescription for Natural Therapeutic,” utilizing horsetail topically might assist heal wounds faster and cease them from bleeding.13
Capabilities as a diuretic — Horsetail might assist flush extra fluids and salt from the physique, and could also be helpful for individuals with kidney issues, bladder stones or edemas.14 A 2014 examine confirmed that horsetail is simply as efficient as hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic treatment.15
Aids in sustaining pores and skin and hair well being — The excessive ranges of silica in horsetail help within the manufacturing of collagen, an essential consider stopping indicators of growing older.16 One examine discovered that utilizing an oral complement that included horsetail in its formulation helped enhance hair development amongst individuals with alopecia.17
Assists in easing urinary tract infections — The diuretic, astringent and tissue therapeutic properties of this herb might assist ease UTIs. In a 2011 examine printed within the Worldwide Journal of Drug Growth and Analysis, horsetail was one of many herbs evaluated for this specific ailment.18
This is How You Can Use Horsetail Herb
If you happen to’re curious on how you need to use horsetail to enhance your well being, listed here are some concepts you may strive:19
Drink horsetail tea — This is likely one of the straightforward methods to reap this herbs advantages. The directions on easy methods to make horsetail tea may be discovered beneath.
Create a horsetail poultice — That is supreme for topical illnesses that may be resolved by this herb, corresponding to therapeutic wounds. Apply it on the affected space.
Make an natural tub — Including horsetail to your tub water might assist tackle a sluggish circulation and ease gout or rheumatism. Soaking your fingers in a basin of water infused with dill seeds and dried horsetail herb can also assist hold your nails wholesome.20
Aside from its therapeutic makes use of, horsetail is essential in biodynamic farming. Known as Equisetum 508, horsetail tea or liquid manure preparation is used as a sprig to assist shield crops from weeds, rot, pests and mildew, in addition to to regulate and forestall fungal ailments.21
Word that any such horsetail tea is totally different from the one you may brew and drink. You will discover directions on easy methods to make horsetail tea for crops, in addition to liquid manure, within the e-book, “Biodynamic Gardening.”22
Develop Horsetail in Your Personal Yard
Horsetail is a perennial plant23 that normally thrives in moist and boggy soil. It is extraordinarily exhausting to regulate if not managed nicely. This is likely one of the the reason why horsetail is greatest planted in vast areas. If in case you have restricted house, utilizing containers and pots will assist management their unfold.24 If you wish to plant your individual horsetail so as to add a tinge of inexperienced to your house otherwise you need to reap this plant’s quite a few advantages, listed here are just a few suggestions from SF Gate:25
Select a shady half in your backyard. A shady location will make sure that the horsetail will hold its shade all year long. Just remember to have soil that’s wealthy in natural matter. You’ll be able to guarantee this by including a layer of compost or natural manure on prime of your soil.
Make a gap within the soil on your plant and set the plant down into the outlet. The crown needs to be at floor stage.
Water the horsetail after planting. Just remember to hold the soil moist always.
Accurately Harvest and Retailer Horsetail Herbs
The perfect time for harvesting horsetail is throughout late spring, when its leaves are nonetheless vivid inexperienced.26 After harvesting, storing a complete yr’s provide of horsetail is simple sufficient. The factor that it is best to keep in mind is that the leaves needs to be totally dried earlier than storage. Here’s a step-by-step information from The Daring Connoisseur weblog on easy methods to correctly retailer horsetail leaves:27
After harvesting, rinse the leaves to eliminate grime. Dry them within the solar for a couple of minutes earlier than hanging them up.
Bundle just a few horsetails collectively, ensuring that they nonetheless get sufficient air publicity. Tie them with a string.
Dangle them up in a darkish place with good air circulation. Drying them would take two to 3 weeks. You’ll be able to decide whether or not they’re fully dry by breaking a stem along with your fingers and no moisture comes out anymore.
Chop the leaves up and retailer them in an hermetic glass container. Place the container in a darkish place. Saved leaves normally final for as much as one yr.
Get This Herb’s Well being Advantages by Brewing Horsetail Tea
As talked about above, among the finest methods to reap horsetail’s advantages is by making horsetail tea. There are on-line shops that provide horsetail tea, both as unfastened tea or in teabags, however should you presently have an satisfactory provide of this herb, there may be the choice of brewing your individual. That can assist you brew your first batch of horsetail tea, here’s a recipe from the e-book, “Therapeutic Teas:”28
Horsetail Tea Recipe
half ounce (or three three/four teaspoons) dried horsetail herb
eight ounces water
Boil water in a kettle.
Place the horsetail in a mug or teapot.
Pour water onto the herb. Let it steep for 3 minutes.
Pressure your tea and drink.
Word: You’ll be able to take this day by day for 2 weeks, however now not than that to keep away from irritating your intestines and kidneys.
Contraindications and Potential Facet Results of Horsetail
Take be aware that horsetail, like different herbs, can result in varied unwanted side effects, particularly if taken with out the help of a well being practitioner. Among the unwanted side effects that you may undergo from extended horsetail use embrace the next:
Thiamine deficiency — Individuals who undergo from thiamine deficiency ought to steer clear from this herb as a result of it has been noticed to destroy thiamine throughout digestion.29
Potassium deficiency — Horsetail’s diuretic property might improve your threat of potassium deficiency (hypokalemia by depleting your physique’s provide.30
Lowered blood sugar ranges — The ingestion of horsetail can alter glucose ranges within the blood, which can be exhausting to handle for individuals with diabetes. If you’re diabetic, it’s best that you do not use horsetail until accepted by a well being skilled.31
Do not forget that Equisetum arvense is the main target of this text, and never the opposite sorts of Equisetum crops. Equisetum palustre, one other number of horsetail present in areas like Canada, is poisonous to sheep and cattle32 and is probably not secure for people. Earlier than ingestion, just remember to have the proper herb.
For pregnant or breastfeeding ladies, it’s best that you don’t take any horsetail merchandise to make sure your and your kid’s security. That is as a result of herb’s nicotine-like results and the shortage of conclusive research that decide its toxicity.33