Beauty + Health Herb | Horsetail | Charu Naava
What is Horsetail?
Horsetail is a thin, and sterile perennial plant with a rhizomatous stem that looks like the tail of a bird or a horse. It is reproduced by it's spores instead of the seeds. It is also known as Pewterwort (due to its use in polishing pewter and wood), Scouring Rush( due to the abrasive coating of silicates on its stems which was used for scouring metal pots). It's other common names are Shavegrass, Candock, Paddock pipes, Bottle brush, Horsetail Fern, Field Horsetail, Common Horsetail or Giant Horsetail. Ancient Greeks, Roman and Chinese herbalists have been using Horsetail for it's health benefits for centuries. Aside from its health benefits, it's leaves have been used for dyeing a soft green colour, the stalks were used to make whistles to call spirits, Indians used it to polish wooden tools, in Japan horsetail is still used as a finest sand paper to sand the wood before varnishing and in shampoos and cosmetics.
However, horsetail is valued more for it's health benefits due to a number of great minerals and other nutrients it contains, such as manganese, calcium, iron, flavonoids, caffeic acid esters, saponins, tannins, alkaloids, fatty acids, phytosterols, glycosides, phenolic acids, aconitic acid, and silica. Similar to Alfalfa plant, Horsetail is capable of absorbing unique minerals from the earth like Silica which are not found in many other plants.
What are the Benefits of Horsetail?
Horsetail is known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, coagulant, demulcent, diuretic and astringent activity. Reportedly, it has been used in the treatment of a number of health conditions which include brittle bone, hair, teeth and nails, white spots on nails, gingivitis, tonsillitis, inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth, rheumatic disorders, edema, osteoarthritis, diabetes, acne, wounds, itchiness, rashes, burns, frostbite, chilblains, athlete's foot, cracked and tired feet, drawing out pus from boils and carbuncles, ulcers, fistulas, herpes simplex, dyspepsia (impaired digestion), gastrointestinal conditions, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory tract infections, bronchitis, fever, malaria, bladder problems, urinary tract infection, bed wetting in children, kidney stones (nephrolithiasis), prostate problems, hemorrhoids, muscle cramps, tumors, broken bones, fractures, sprains, nose bleed and other heavy bleeding. Horsetail is also known to strengthen the body's immune system.
Horsetail in Juices, Smoothies and Oil
Smoothie + Juice
I mainly add my horsetail to my daily morning smoothies or juice of choice. I open the capsules and add the contains directly into my smoothie or juice- shake or blend thoroughly. Before bed, I simply swallow the capsules. On daily I consume a cap full of horsetail capsules which is about 8 to 10 a day.
Add horsetail extract oil to your carrier oil of choice( an oil that will penetrate the hair shaft) to help slow hair loss and promote hair growth. Add 4 drops of horsetail extract oil to 2 tablespoons of your oil. I also, like to add in an essential oil or two - like Lavender or Rosemary in a dark bottle or jar. I sit this mixture in boiling/hot water until it's warm - to do a hot oil treatment for my scalp. I massage the oil into my scalp for 5 -10 minutes at least 2x a week. If your hair is thicker, you can do this maybe every other day. I suggest doing this earlier in the day. So, that your scalp and hair has time to soak up the oil as much as possible before heading to bed.