Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is a medicinal herb that contains silicon, which plays a role in strengthening bones. The aboveground parts of horsetail (both fresh and dried) are those used for medicinal purposes.
Horsetail has mainly anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, coagulant, diuretic, and astringent properties.
- Horsetail is generally used to treat bladder infections and bladder weakness and to strengthen bone, hair, and fingernails. For this reason, this natural ingredient has been suggested as a treatment for osteoporosis.
- Other conditions that can be treated with horsetail are kidney stones, urinary tract infections and minor wounds and burns (but never apply this herb to open wounds).
If you cultivate horsetail at home, you should know that young shoots are gathered early in the spring. If you gather this herb late, its silica level will be too high and it will probably irritate your kidneys.
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- For such chronic conditions as osteoporosis, for example, take horsetail for a week, but then abstain for at least another week. In any case, do not take horsetail for longer than a month.
- Avoid horsetail if you have high blood pressure, a family history of silica kidney stones, if you suffer from heart or kidney disorders, diabetes, or gout and if you are at risk for low potassium levels.
- Also, be careful and do not take Equisetum palustre, another form of Equisetum, as it is poisonous.
The effects of horsetail may enhance the effects of certain medications, so do not take horsetail (at least without consulting your doctor) if you are taking:
- alcohol (it can lower levels of thiamin),
- nicotine patches or gum (as it already contains some nicotine),
- digoxin (Lanoxin) (it may lower levels of potassium),
- diuretics (water pills) (as it already has some diuretic properties),
- lithium (as taking horsetail with lithium may result in a dangerous buildup of lithium in the body),
- or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Here you have some of the main home and natural remedies with horsetail.
1. Brittle nails
Take horsetail extract daily and soak your nails in a horsetail tea to strengthen and repair your nails.
- 2 teaspoon dried horsetail.
- 1 cup water.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin oil.
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
- 1 cotton cloth.
- Steep the horsetail in the water for 10 minutes.
- Let it cool down.
- Soak the nails for 20 minutes.
- Then dry your nails.
- Apply a mixture of equal parts of warm extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
- Wrap your fingers with a thin cotton cloth for overnight.
- Repeat this remedy for at least 3-4 times a week.
Horsetail has been proved to have benefits for hair growth and strength, as well as for fighting hair loss, dandruff and split ends.
Drink horsetail tea or wash your hair with horsetail extract to have a strong, rejuvenated and dandruff free hair.
- 3-4 drops horsetail extract/tincture.
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil/olive oil.
- Massage the horsetail extract or tincture mixed in the oil (this will improve the circulation in the scalp and strengthen hair follicles) for at least 10 minutes 3-4 times weekly.
- For hair wash, add 3-4 drops of horsetail tincture into your shampoo and wash as normal.
- After shampooing, you can pour half a cup of cold horsetail tea into your hair and wash it out after 4-5 minutes. Drinking one cup of horsetail tea for two months (non-consecutively) may be more effective.
As horsetail has anti-inflammatory and hemostatic properties, it can alleviate the pain and help to decrease or stop the bleeding caused by hemorrhoids.
- Drink one cup of tea before every fiber-rich meal.
4. Skin problems (rashes, burns, acne…)
- Apply a horsetail extract paste on the affected area for at least 20 minutes 4-5 times a week.
- Drinking horsetail tea may also delay the aging process and help to relieve the inflamed and irritated skin.
- For acne, dilute and cool down a cup of horsetail tea. Use it as a toner after washing the face every night. Dab a cotton swab into the diluted tea and apply it all over the face (but avoid the eyes).