Veterinarian Reviewed on June 5, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Horsetail is one of the 15 species of perennial plants in the Equisetaceae family. The plants in the Equisetaceae family are known to have been around for 270 million years and horsetail is considered to be a direct descended of them. The horsetail plant is made up of a hollow stem and lacks any flowers. Leafs of the horsetail plant are small and needle like, resembling the spikes of evergreens. They are very rigid and easily broken in half. The stem itself looks very similar to a horse’s tail; hence it was given the common name horsetail. It may be also known as Dutch Rush, Peterwort, Bottle-brush and Shave-grass. The benefits of horsetail have been known for thousands of years and were used in earlier times by the Greeks and Romans. It was the Greeks and Romans who were the first culture known to discover the benefits of horsetail extract.
The Use Of Horsetail Extract in The Past
Horsetail in Latin is called Equisetum Arvense, the name Equisetum itself is derived from the Latin words equus and seta. Equus and seta literally translates into “horse” and “bristle”. The Greeks and Romans applied the extract of horsetail directly to a wound to stop the bleeding and to help heal the wound itself. Horsetail was also used by the Native Americans as well as the Chinese to aid in healing broken bones, ulcers and inflammations in the skin.
The Benefits and Uses of Horsetail Extract
The benefits of horsetail extract are many by far. Horsetail has a natural antiseptic and antibacterial quality thus helping the body fight off infection. Horsetail extract can be used as a mouthwash to help in eliminating any infections of the mouth and gum. The Silica found in horsetail has been used in products such as toothpaste. It may also be useful in calming any throat swelling or infection. The silica in the extract aids the body in preserving and absorbing calcium which promotes healing in any broken bones.
For those suffering from hair growth problems this extract can be of help. Mixing a few drops of horsetail extract into a shampoo can help to repair damaged hair and enable it to grow healthier. By smoothing out inflammation, horsetail has been used to treat urinary tract infections. A natural diuretic, it helps the body in eliminating excess fluids. Among its many uses, horsetail is often used as a main ingredient in cosmetic and beauty products. The saponins and flavonoids found in horsetail extract allow connective tissue to regenerate quicker and are often used in face cream products.
Side Effects To Be Considered
Horsetail extract is traditionally thought to be safe if taken alone without any diuretics, laxatives and steroids. Those who have been properly diagnosed with thiamine deficiency should not be taking horsetail extract. Horsetail extract is recommended to be taken in small doses. Side effects such as nausea, increased bowel movements and fever are possible in cases in which high doses of horsetail extract are taken. Due to small traces of nicotine found in Horsetail it is not recommend for use in small children. It is also not recommended for those taking nicotine in any other form.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan