Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

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Horsetail Overview:

Horsetail is the last remaining member of a class of plants that used to dominate the terrain for over 100 million years. The strange vasular plants reproduce via spores, and have been incredibly successful despite the vast majority of the related species having gone extinct.

+ Indications

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Prostatitis
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
  • Incontinence
  • Urinary stones
  • Kidney stones
  • Anemia
  • Chillblaines
  • Chronic heart failure
  • Hemorrhage
  • Wounds (topically)
  • Rheumatic arthritis
  • Emphysema
  • General debility
  • Gout
  • Oedema

+ Contraindications

None noted. Avoid high doses.

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Diuretic
  • Urinary Antiseptic
  • Astringent
  • Styptic (Hemostatic)
  • Vulnerary
  • Antibacterial
  • Antilithic
 

Main Uses:

Horsetail is mainly used for its urinary antiseptic qualities to treat urinary tract infections (cystitis, urethritis). In men, horsetail is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.

It is also used for its high silica content to support nail and hair growth and is used traditionally for reumatic pain.

 

Daily Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

2-6 mL

Weekly Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

15-40 mL

 

Part Used

Aerial parts

Family Name

Equisetaceae

Distribution

Horsetail can be found all over the world, but is most common in North America and Europe in marsh or wetter areas.

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Constituents of Interest

  • Silica
  • Palustrine
  • Salicylic acid
  • Equisetonin

Common Names

  • Horsetail
  • Equisetum
  • Scouring rush
  • Horse pipes
  • Joint Grass
  • Bottle Brush
  • Snake Grass
  • Puzzle Grass
 

Botanical Info:

Horsetail is the only living member of the family Equisetaceae, and the only member of its class, Equisetopsida, as well. This class used to dominate much of the Paleozoic forests for over 100 million years. The class included species that reached monsterous heights, some reportedly reaching over 30 meters tall. Since this time however, only the lonely horsetail has survived. It is an ancient species and a bit of a time capsule for the other members of the Equisetopsida class of plants.

The class was characterised by vascular plants that reproduce via spores rather than seeds. this makes horsetail unique in a world dominated by angiosperms.

 

Research Overview:

Level Of Research:

 

Clinical Applications Of Horsetail:

Horsetail is reliable as a urinary antiseptic and can be used to treat lower urinary tract infections. The silica content in horsetail is very high, which is used as a nutritive for supporting nail and hair growth.

 

Cautions:

None reported.

 
 
 

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References:

For a full list of references, visit the full Turmeric monograph.