A member of the Equisetaceae family, Equisetum Arvense more commonly referred to as horsetail, is also called Bottlebrush, Mare’s Tail, Scouring Rush, Shave Grass, Pewterwort, Equisetum, Queue de Cheval, Dutch Rushes and Giant Horsetail. Horestail is considered to be one of the oldest plants on Earth; its family has been traced back to over three hundred million years.
The plant is called horsetail because it’s brush-like appearance which closely resembles the tail of a horse. The name Equisetum is also derived from two Latin terms; equus, meaning “horse” and setum, meaning “bristle. Though very toxic if consumed by cattle, this plant has various medical as well as cosmetic uses.
CHARACTERISTICS OF EQUISETUM ARVENSE
A living fossil, this plant is reproduced by spores instead of seeds. An herbaceous plant, one can find around 25 species of horsetails. Though majorly perennial, some of the horsetail species are also annuals. These plants generally grow in damp and shady places and are hence often found near streams, rivers and near humid walls.
Equisetum Arvense can grow up to a height of 12-24 inches. The plant has green hollow stems and no leaves and fruit. Its stems may be reproductive or barren. These stems generally appear during the spring season. A cone like structure, called the strobilus appears on each stem; when mature the strobilus opens up to release spores which in turn germinate into new plants. In addition this plant can also spread from branching beneath the soil.
THERAPEUTIC POWERS OF EQUISETUM ARVENSE
The use of Equisetum Arvense for medicinal purposes has been traced back to ancient Roman and Greek eras. The stems of this herb are used for therapeutic purposes. The high mineral content of this herb helps relieve problems like anemia and its silica content in repairing body tissues. This herb also helps the body to store more calcium for stronger bones.
HORSETAIL CAN BE USED AS AN:
Horsetail has very high silica content. In addition the plant contains compounds like Campestrol, Equisetrin and Equisetonin; alkaloids like nicotine and plautrine and minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc and aluminum amongst others.
CARE FOR AILMENTS
Equisetum Arvense offers relieve to several diseases, ailments and discomforts. Some of these are:
- Strengthening bones: The silicon content in horsetail is very helpful in strengthening bones and relieving osteoporosis.
- Hepatitis: This herb has been used to effectively relieve hepatitis.
- Kidney and Bladder managements: This plant is highly diuretic in nature and is hence often prescribed for relieving kidney and bladder problems. Supplements made from this herb are extremely useful for relieving urinary problems including bed wetting.
- Skin and hair care: The silica and mineral contents of this plant aid strengthening and conditioning of weak and damaged hair. The saponins and flavonoids found in horsetail are very effective in improving skin texture and elasticity.
- Sprains and joint problems: Supplements made from this herb are very beneficial for people suffering from sprains or joint dislocation.
- Dropsy: This herb is considered a good remedy for relieving dropsy.
- Mouth Ulcers: Mouthwashes containing this herb are very effective in relieving mouth ulcers and other problems like bleeding gums.
- Arthritis: Arthritic problems can effectively be relieved by the use of this herb.
- Bleeding: Horsetail is prescribed to stop bleeding, internal and external. Hence it is used to relieve internal ulcer bleeding as well as heavy menstrual bleeding in women.
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONARY TIPS WHILE USING EQUISETUM ARVENSE
Internal use of this herb should be limited to short periods only as can lead to irritation. Excessive topical use too should be avoided as could lead to dermatitis. Consumption of this herb by children, pregnant and nursing women is also not recommended. People on other medication or supplements should intake horsetail products only after consultation with their doctor.
Before using any herbs it is advisable to consult a medical practitioner.
PLANET AYURVEDA PRODUCTS THAT USE THIS HERB
None of the Planet Ayurveda products have Equisetum Arvense as one of their ingredients; however some of our products contain other herbs with medicinal qualities equivalent to that of horsetail. These include:
Planet Ayurveda products are manufactured as per the traditional Ayurvedic science, using only pure and natural herbs; no chemicals or preservatives are used in any of our products. All our products are vegetarian and made from 100 percent natural ingredients. Our organization aims at providing the highest quality herbal supplements for the global market.