Horsetail is a very thin herbaceous plant with a rhizome-like stem that gives it the appearance of the tail of a horse or a bird, that is why it is called horsetail. This herb is also called candock, bottle brush, field horsetail, giant horsetail, common horsetail, horsetail fern and paddock pipes.
Horsetail has been used for its medicinal properties from the time of ancient Greeks. Apart from the medicinal properties, the leaves of horsetail are used to derive green coloured dye. Horsetail is rich in many nutrients and minerals such as manganese, iron, saponins, alkaloids, phytosterols, phenolic acids, silica, calcium, flavonoids, tannins, fatty acids and glycosides. Just like alfalfa herb, horsetail can absorb unique minerals from the soil such as silica, which is rarely found in any other plant.
The Health Benefits of Horsetail:
1. To treat boils and carbuncles:
The anti inflammatory as well as anti-microbial properties of this herb may help in treating infections and inflammation caused due to carbuncles or boils. A poultice made of horsetail is helpful in getting rid of pus from the boils. Horsetail compresses are also helpful. For a horsetail compress, soak a tablespoon of dried and crushed herb for ten to fifteen minutes in warm water. Take a piece of cheese cloth and wrap the soaked herb in it. Apply this compress on the boil. Alternatively, using hot and cold poultice or compress of horsetail herb is extremely helpful in reducing inflammation and drying the boils. You can also apply a paste of horsetail herb on the boil for quick relief.
2. To improve the strength of the nails:
The minerals in horsetail herbs helps in making fingernails strong, remove the white spots from it and reduce the brittleness. Soaking your fingernails everyday in horsetail infusion is extremely beneficial for the nails. For the infusion, boil one tablespoon of dried and crushed horsetail in a glass of water for ten minutes. Let the water cool down and then soak your fingers in it for fifteen minutes. Dry your nails and apply virgin olive oil on your nails. If possible then wear cotton gloves after the infusion. This treatment can be repeated four times in a week.
3. To treat respiratory problems like bronchitis and other infections:
Horsetail herbal tea is extremely beneficial in curing respiratory problems such as cough, dry cough, bronchitis, nasal blockage, and fever related with cold or flu. For quick relief you can also breathe vapours of hot boiling horsetail tea. Having horsetail tea thrice a day is helpful in curing the above mentioned ailments. If you do not find any relief from using herbal treatment after three to four days, you must get yourself medically tested.
4. Relief in Diabetes
A clinical study concluded that patients suffering from type 2 diabetes can benefit largely by taking oral doses of horsetail extracts. Horsetail has been found to successfully lower the levels of blood sugar. You can take horsetail herbal capsule once a day, before a meal, for reducing your blood sugar levels.
5. To stop excessive bleeding
Studies have indicated that horsetail has coagulant and haemostatic properties, which may be helpful in curbing excessive bleeding, internal as well as external. Horsetail herb is also known to be useful in treating excessive bleeding during menstrual cycle. Having horsetail herbal tea is helpful in reducing excessive bleeding and it may also provide relief in discomfort caused due to excessive bleeding.
Horsetail has many more wonderful health benefits, which we will continue in a future post.