The use of horsetail dates back to the days of ancient Greece and Rome. Traditionally used to heal wounds, stop bleeding, and treat kidney problems, horsetail is a natural herb, not the flowing tail of a horse. With its unique ability to absorb minerals that other plants cannot, horsetail is truly a treasure from the plant world.
There are about 15 different species of horsetail, which grow across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. The above-ground parts of the plant are typically used for their medicinal properties. They mildly resemble very large asparagus shoots with spore-containing cones at the tops. When the plant dries, silica crystals form in the stems and resemble feathery tails. Some of the active ingredients, which get passed to us when horsetail is consumed, include silica, phytochemicals, and other antioxidant compounds. Let’s explore some of the health benefits below!
Silicon is a rare mineral, and the body needs it. This mineral is typically found in supplement form, but horsetail contains natural concentrations of silicon, which works to protect bone mineral density as we age. If you already suffer from osteoporosis, adding horsetail to your diet can slow the decline or reverse the degradation, in some cases.
For Skin Care
You may not know this, but horsetail extract is actually found in a variety of creams and organic beauty products. The inherent antioxidant composition, combined with the silica and anti-inflammatory properties, are powerful skin care agents. Regular horsetail consumption can help reduce acne, eliminate eczema, and prevent premature aging.
For Wounds & Burns
Several studies have found that horsetail helps to accelerate wound healing. The silica in horsetail helps to promote the synthesis of collagen, which is necessary for skin strength and elasticity. While ointments containing 5-10 percent horsetail are beneficial, applying horsetail herb directly to the burn or wound can aid the healing process.
For Hair Care
Horsetail contains organic compounds and minerals that work to increase hair strength and volume. In addition to boosting the shine of your hair, horsetail also helps to strengthen hair follicles and reduce your risk of hair loss.
For Brittle Nails
Using horsetail to strengthen nails is one of the most well-known applications for this herb. The high silicic acid content is beneficial for nail, hair, and skin health. Research has confirmed that applying a solution of horsetail with a sulfur donor in a water & alcohol solution to brittle nails (over the course of one month) can improve longitudinal grooves, splitting, and fragility.