Horsetail is an herbal supplement that contains the highest known content of silicon of any herb. Because of its silicon content, horsetail is well known in anti-aging beauty aids that are promoted by many of Hollywood’s actors and actresses. Horsetail extract will also help you to heal quickly from conditions including sprains and torn ligaments, arthritis, tuberculosis and ulcers, and aid in maintaining healthy hair.
Horsetail is commonly known as bottlebrush, mare’s tail, scouring rush and shave grass, and its scientific name is Equisetum arvense. According to Herbs 2000, horsetail is related to plants that were around during the dinosaur era and are believed to have been as tall as 40 feet or more. In the Middle Ages, horsetail clumps were used as scouring pads because of their silicon content.
Clinical European studies have shown that horsetail extract helps mend broken and fractured bones quicker, states Herbs 2000. Horsetail extract will also heal dislocated joints and pulled hamstrings and reduce osteoporosis. Growth and stability of the skeletal system are promoted by using horsetail extract. The German government agency, Commission E, regulates the use of horsetail extract as a diuretic for water retention and to treat urinary tract problems including gravel, according to Flora Health. It is also used externally to treat wounds and prevent infections.
Herbs 2000 recommends that for athletic injuries, take three capsules of horsetail extract daily until the healing process is complete. Horsetail extract that has standardized silica is recommended at 20 to 30 mg of silica daily, or 8 to 11 mg of silica per capsule, Flora Health says. For external use, 10 teaspoons of powdered horsetail extract is infused in about 1 quart of water.
Horsetail is a perennial herb that grows in moist or sandy soil in much of North America as well as in Europe and Asia. It is named because of its stringlike roots. Horsetail grows in two stages. The first stage doesn’t last long, and there is a fertile and flesh-colored stem that grows as tall as 4 to 7 inches. The second stage has a green and sterile stem that grows up to 18 inches and whorls of small branches.
Side effects of horsetail extract include electrolyte imbalance and thiamine deficiency. The Herbal Resource says topical applications can cause skin problems. Nicotine toxicity is possible, including symptoms of nausea, muscle weakness, fever and abnormal pulse rate. Do not take while on other diuretics or laxatives, while drinking alcohol or with excessive amounts of licorice, and do not use for long periods of time. Talk to your health care provider to ensure there are no drug-herb interactions.