For many hobby gardeners it is a curse, for our health a true blessing: the field horsetail, Equisetum arvense, also known as horsetail. As a descendant of plants that grew as tall as trees in prehistoric times, today’s dwarf plant is still full of strength.
Women in particular should make use of this herb. The plant has a lot of healthy components to offer and as a medicinal herb it can combat various ailments and can be used for prevention. It’s much used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and other alternative medicines.
Applications and effects
In the past, horsetail was often used for cleaning tin, as the silicic acid is embedded in the plant in the form of crystals. This is how it got the widespread name horsetail. The “water doctor” Sebastian Kneipp rediscovered it as a medicinal plant and used it for better wound healing and against rheumatism and gout.
Silica or silicic acid (Silicium), a whitish grained mineral, is found everywhere in and on earth. It is a firming component from rock to the cell walls of plants.
Humans need silica to build:
- Connective tissue
- Skin and hair
- As well as the hard substances such as bones, teeth and nails
The high silica content makes horsetail very valuable for middle-aged and older women. Women with weak connective tissue and/or vein problems find in horsetail tea a natural helper. It also strengthens their bones and promotes the elasticity of their skin.
Horsetail extract is a true all-rounder in health matters. Its concentrate and extract are available ready to use.
- Invigorating to the connective tissue
- Promoting hair and nail growth
- Assisting the healing of wounds
- Stimulating the metabolis
Areas of application
- Inflammation of the urinary tract
- Kidney stones
- Water retention in the tissue (edema) after injuries
- Poorly healing wounds
- Brittle fingernails
- Hair loss
Scientific studies have confirmed the diuretic and urinary tract flushing effect of horsetail. Based on empirical medicine, further effects and resulting areas of application are known.
The astringent and firming ingredients of horsetail help with bladder weakness, frequent urination, bladder cramps and incontinence. In cases of urinary tract disorders, it has a urinary tract strengthening and calming effect, alleviates irritation and urinary tract infections and promotes urinary excretion.
Horsetail tea is recommended as a gargle or mouthwash in cases of tonsillitis, gingivitis and atrophy (periodontosis). For rheumatism, gout and weakened joints, in addition to baths with horsetail, a cup of tea should be drunk daily throughout the day.
Furthermore, horsetail tea strengthens the lungs in cases of cough and bronchitis, protects against fatty deposits in the arteries and the resulting circulatory disorders and is a good household remedy for haemorrhoids (additional sitz bath!) and for excessive menstrual bleeding.
Athletes also appreciate horsetail because of its high content of silicic acid and the resulting positive effect on tendons and ligaments.
Forms of preparation
The many areas of application and versatile ingredients require proper preparation to ensure that the herb achieves its full effect. Follow the preparation recommendations below.
Pour 1 – 2 tsp of the dried herb with 150 ml of boiling water; Boil the mixture for 20 minutes to dissolve the silicic acid; pour the tea through a sieve; drink a cup of the freshly brewed tea twice to 4 times a day between meals.
Note: If you are doing a flushing therapy with horsetail, you must make sure to drink plenty of it!
For wound healing: make a decoction from 10 g of dried horsetail herb with 1 l of water as described for tea; then soak a cotton cloth in it and apply the compress to the wound 1 x daily for 20 minutes.
For bruises or eczema: you need 1 – 2 teaspoons of the stem to 1 cup of water; then let the whole thing boil for 5 – 10 minutes; soak the compresses with the strained liquid.
Baths and partial baths
Full bath for gout, rheumatism, to strengthen the immune system and connective tissue & sitz bath to strengthen the ligaments and muscles of the pelvis and bladder: Put 100 g of horsetail in 1 litre of cold water; bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes on the lowest heat, then strain it and put it in the bath water.
Conditioner for strong hair
Scald 4 teaspoons of field horsetail herb with 2 cups of boiling water; allow the mixture to stand for 20 minutes before straining; after washing, pour the cooled brew over your hair; allow the conditioner to soak in for a few minutes; then rinse your hair again briefly with clear water.
- horse tail
From Middle English horsetaile, horstaile, equivalent to horse + tail.
- IPA(key): /ˈhɔː(ɹ)s.teɪl/
horsetail (plural horsetails)
- (literally) The tail of a horse. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
- (botany) Any of various simple vascular plants, of the order Equisetales, that have hollow stems and produce spores.
- (military) A Turkish standard denoting rank.