Horsetail, also known as equisetum arvense or shavegrass, is an herb for those who use herbal remedies rather than traditional ones. Commonly known for its hair, skin, and nails benefits, horsetail herb also poses incredible benefits for your health.
Many people use herbs like horsetail as a means to treat mild issues at home. Learn more about what is horsetail and what are the benefits of horsetail below.
What Is Horsetail?
Horsetail is a medicinal plant that has been used as a remedy for its health benefits for centuries, dating back to Greek and Roman civilizations. It even dates back to as early as prehistoric times. Then, the horsetail herb was much taller, lengthening to the size of a tree. However, today’s horestile reaches about 4 feet tall. Horsetail is the most abundant source of silica in the plant kingdom, due to this, it has also been used in the past to polish metal.
The part of the plant that is above ground is what is used for herbal medicine. Traditionally is has been used for the following health-supporting benefits:
– Healing wounds
– Viral infections
– Mouth and throat health
– Hair, skin, nail, and bone health
– Aids in digestion and Immune system support
– Cardiovascular and respiratory health
– Bladder issues (including urinating in sleep)
– Bleeding issues
While herbalists have been using horsetail as a traditional remedy for centuries, the research and scientific data to support the herb’s benefits is fairly new. However, the amount of research that has been completed is promising and promotes further research to be done.
From the scientific studies that have been performed, here are a few of the most common benefits of horsetail:
High in Antioxidants and Nutrients
Horsetail is very nutrient dense, making it especially desirable for it’s health aiding benefits. Horsetail contains the following nutrients:
– Vitamin C
– B vitamins
– Vitamin E
– Vitamin K
– Electrolytes like potassium, calcium, and magnesium
Horsetail also contains Kynuerenic acid that reduces inflammation and pain; silica, which supports the production of collagen; and chlorophyll, which is known to fight cancer by fighting the cytotoxic and hyperproliferative effects of an iron metabolism.
Due to this, research further suggests that horsetail has antioxidant properties that may prevent cancerous cell growth.
Promotes Bone Health
The high concentration of silica in horsetail is its main health benefit. Silica aids in the health of your bones and teeth, among other things. A 1999 study revealed that after a year of consuming horsetail supplements, post-menopausal women with osteoporosis regained significant bone density.
Fights Illness and Infection
Traditionally, herbalist also used horsetail to treat wounds, especially boils and carbuncles. Horsetail has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that prevent disease and infection. A 2006 study revealed that horsetail essential oil when applied to bacteria and fungi such as Staph, Salmonella, and Candida, found to have a broad spectrum effect on all the strands tested.
Has Diuretic Properties
Horsetail has also traditionally been used as a diuretic to treat bladder issues for centuries. A 2014 study found that horsetail additionally works as a conventional diuretic medicine (hydrochlorothiazide) without the side effects to the liver and kidney, or electrolyte balance in the body as found in other studies of diuretic drugs; because of its natural source of electrolytes.
Supports Skin, Hair, and Nail Health
In addition to its health benefits, horsetail has also been traditionally used for its skin, hair, and nail benefits due to the high concentration of silica. Silica helps boost the natural production of collagen, which contributes to the strength and health of your hair, skin, and nails.
A 2016 study found that hair with high amounts of silica was less likely to fall out, resulting in fuller, stronger hair in comparison to hair with lower levels of silica.
Additionally, horsetail aids in hair regrowth after hair loss. In a 2012 study, significant hair regrowth occurred after 90 and 180 days of supplement with horsetail herb.
Another study in the Journal of Plastic Dermatology found that applying horsetail topically on nails reduced the overall grooves, fragility and splitting of nails.
Another 2015 study found that horsetail ointment aided in healing surgical wounds and further reduced pain associated to it.
Uses of Horsetail
Horsetail can be used in the below ways for the following remedies and benefits:
– Increase bone density: Take horsetail supplement with collagen daily (Try Wholy Dose Beauty Superfoods, which contain horsetail + biotin + collagen)
– Herbal hair rinse: Brew ½ cup of horsetail to 1 cup of water, steep for one hour, strain, and use as hair rinse in shower.
– Boils and blisters: Grind dried horsetail with plantain and add enough water to create a paste, apply topically to boils and blisters and cover with gauze to expedite healing.
– Nails: Apply horsetail oil topically to improve strength, reduce breakage and splitting.
– Diuretic: Drink horestil to remove excess water.
– Sore throat: Boil horsetail in water, mix with sea salt and lemon juice; gargle mixture several times daily while symptoms persist.
– Bladder issues or urination during sleep: Take horsetail capsule two or three times daily to alleviate bladder symptoms, urinary tract infections, and reduce the need to urinate in sleep. Other methods include boiling horsetail in a concentrated amount of water for 10-15 minutes, straining, and adding to a warm bath to soak in.
Is Horsetail Safe?
In general, it is best to avoid ingesting this herb while pregnant unless otherwise instructed or approved by a doctor; though it can still be used in most cases topically.
Though horsetail is generally very safe, other cautions for horsetail include:
– Drinking lots of water as horsetail is a natural diuretic
– Avoid if suffering from a kidney infection
– Check with your doctor if taking other medications
– Check with doctor as it can lower blood glucose
– When searching for a supplement, avoid formulas that contain thiaminase, as it can block absorption of thiamine
Where to Buy Horsetail
There are several places to purchase horsetail online, and you can buy it in several forms such as the root, finely ground powder, or supplements.
For a horsetail supplement, find one that is easy to use and contains added benefits, like Wholy Dose horsetail + collagen supplement which aids in the health of your hair, skin, and nails, as well as your joints, bones, digestion, and metabolism. In this case, implementing horsetail and its many benefits into your diet is easy to do each day–and you will begin to see results with consistent use just after 4-6 weeks.