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Horsetail, which is botanically known as Equisetum arvense, is a very unique plant native to North America as well as parts of Europe. It is one of the few plants in its genus to have survived since the era of dinosaurs. Its prolific tuber system made many people consider it a rather bothersome weed. This was until its countless medical benefits became clear to herbal specialists. The most outstanding thing about the herb is that it grows two different stems; an asparagus-like stem in early spring and a thin, green, feathery one in summer. By knowing how to identify Horsetail, you can take advantage of its health benefits.


Medicinal Uses

The number of herbs used as natural remedies is too big to master, and new ones are being added every year. In as much as this is a good thing, the reality is that it is becoming increasingly hard to know which herb can be used for which purpose. To help you avoid this confusion, the medical uses of Horsetail have been hereby spelled out for you:

  • If you are suffering from autoimmune complications such as arthritis, Horsetail will be a great herb to use. This is because clinical tests have backed the herb's efficacy when it comes to treating arthritis. Within a few days, you will notice a reduction in the pain around the joints.
  • Horsetail is also very effective in the treatment of kidney stones. This can be credited to the fact that it is a diuretic, meaning it increases urine production. It can also be used against urinary tract infections, commonly abbreviated as UTI's, as well as prostate complications.
  • This herb has been used to treat complications of the respiratory system. It can also be used in reducing the symptoms of tuberculosis.


Dosage and Administration

Clearly, Horsetail has quite a number of uses that can be very beneficial in the medical field. However, this does not mean that you can just take up the dosage your friend or folk is on. This is because your dosage will not only depend on your age and medical history but also the severity of the condition to be treated. The most common way of administering Horsetail is as a tea. The preparation involves adding boiling water to 2-3 g of the herb and boiling for a further 5 minutes. The tea should then be taken between meals throughout the day.


For internal use, the recommended daily dosage is a paltry 6 g. If you are taking Horsetail as a herbal infusion, 4 ounces taken thrice everyday is enough. As a tincture (1:5), 1-4 ml is recommended thrice daily while 10g of the herb for every liter of water is the daily dosage for external uses such as compresses.


Parts Used

It is always important to find out which parts of herb have medicinal value before you start using it. This will ensure you do not end up using a poisonous part. As for Horsetail, the most commonly used part happens to be the dried and barren stems. These are not only easy to harvest but also need less airing since they are already dry.



The importance of Horsetail, as with any other great herb, does not just end with the medicinal uses. Here are other benefits that could be derived from this plant:

  • To begin with, this herb contains a number of substances that are essential to the human body. Horsetail stem extracts are rich sources of potassium, calcium, aluminum salts as well as silicic acid.
  • It can also be used to repair broken bones and prevent excessive bleeding. This makes it a good herb to have in case of accidents.
  • Horsetail has been very beneficial against dropsy, gravel as well as kidney infections. The same also applies for ulcers and ulcerations along the urinary passages.
  • Horsetail is being studies for its effect on cognitive function and memory.


Side Effects

Like any other beneficial herb, Horsetail only has its fair share of side effects. Some of the adverse effects of using the herb include deficiency of thiamine and electrolyte imbalance. This is especially if a lot of alcohol is consumed when under treatment. Topical application could also lead to irritation of the skin.


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