Top 15 Benefits and Uses of Horsetail

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

Horsetail, as you might imagine from its name, is a thin perennial plant that looks similar to a horse’s tail or a bird’s tail. It has no seeds but instead reproduces by spores. It’s sometimes called Pewterwort due to its ability to polish pewter. Other common names include shavegrass, bottle brush, horsetail fern, or scouring rush. Both Chinese herbalists and the Romans have been using horsetail for centuries. Horsetail is often used in Japan in many shampoos and cosmetics.

Horsetail has many medicinal properties and nutrients including calcium, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, fatty acids, and silica. Horsetail is able to absorb many nutrients from the earth, such as silica, which is not found in many other plants.

This plant has many useful compounds such as antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, astringent, diuretic, and coagulants. It can be used for many health conditions. Take a look at the top 15 benefits and uses of this amazing plant.


1. Helps with bladder issues

Many studies have proven that horsetail extract can help those with bladder problems and urinary tract issues. Horsetail can alleviate the symptoms of urinary tract infections, such as that feeling that you constantly must pee. One capsule of horsetail extract taken 2 or 3 times per day can help. Or taking a bath with some horsetail tea 2 or 3 times per week can stop bladder infections and even help strengthen the bladder. To use this method, add 10 teaspoons of dried horsetail to one quart of boiling water and steep for about 15 minutes. Strain and pour the tea into the bath. Soak in the bath for about 15 minutes each time.


2. Helps with mouth and throat problems

Gargling twice per day for 2 minutes with horsetail tea can help stop inflamed tonsils, mouth sores, bleeding gums, and gingivitis. Find out do’s and don’t of oral care.


3. Helps with cognition

Scientists in Brazil discovered that horsetail extracts given to rats helped to improve long term and short term cognitive and memory performance. This study, done in 2005 and published in Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, states that the improvements to cognitive function could be due to its antioxidant compounds.


4. Healthy hair

Many studies show that the silica in horsetail helps with both hair health and growth. Horsetail can help stop dandruff, split ends, and hair loss as well. You can work both ends of the hair issue by both drinking horsetail tea and washing your hair with a shampoo that contains horsetail extract. Making your own horsetail hair conditioner is easy. Mix a half dozen drops of horsetail extract into 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin coconut or olive oil will not only stop dandruff, but will increase your body’s ability to grow hair by encouraging blood circulation in the scalp while strengthening the hair follicles. Add this mixture to your hair and massage it into the scalp at least three times a week and leave on for a minimum of 10 minutes. If you can’t find horsetail shampoo, make your own by mixing a few drops of horsetail extract into your favorite shampoo.


5. Helps dissolve kidney stones

Research done at UMMC shows that horsetail can help stop the formation of kidney stones and even help dissolve stones already in place. Some kidney stones develop from an excess of uric acid in the body. Drinking horsetail tea or taking supplements can help remove uric acid from the joints and kidneys. This is especially helpful for those with gout.

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