Horsetail is an herb, belonging to the family of the horsetail, which is commonly called "tail horse", taking the name from the shape of its sterile stems that make up the main part of the plant.
Horsetail grows spontaneously and is very common in northern Italy and on the islands where it is easily found along the edges of waterways, even in Europe and Asia it is very developed. To grow and develop, this plant prefers damp places while its harvest is carried out from May to July when the sterile stems of the plant have matured and are ready to be harvested.
Horsetail is an evergreen plant that has a stem about 50 cm high without flowers and seeds, is equipped with green and striped chloropasts, it reproduces through spores emitted by a second stem 20 cm high and gray. The second stem is lacking in chlorophyll (for this reason it is gray) and in spring, at the base of the plant, it does not have chloropasts but has a strobilus on its tip that disappears when the spores fall, in this way the small fertile stem becomes similar to the largest sterile stem.
Horsetail is a plant with known healing properties and is to be considered one of the most ancient plants existing on earth as fossils of 400 million years ago were found where the presence of this organism is recognized.
The part of the horsetail that is used is the sterile stem which is cut at about 5/10 cm from the ground and is dried in the sun or in special ovens so that it can then be stored in places without humidity.
Features and properties
One of the main characteristics of horsetail is the high silica content which makes it one of the most valid plants when minerals are needed, silica also has the property of strengthening bones and increasing the elasticity of tissues, in fact it is often recommended to accelerate healing in the event of fractures.
Horsetail is used to treat many ailments, in fact it is used to fight urinary tract infections, bladder stones and incontinence is used, in general, for all types of kidney and bladder problems.
Horsetail is also used for the treatment of jaundice, baldness, hepatitis, gout, arthrosis, osteoporosis, and is effective against weight loss, freezing and fluid retention.
This plant is also used effectively in cases of nose bleeding and in cases of very abundant menstrual flows, it is also applied to the skin to treat burns and wounds.
Recent studies have established that this plant can be useful, in advanced age, to cure memory loss.
The horsetail plant cannot be eaten because it contains silicon but is used by man in the form of Equisetum Arvense.
Use and contraindications
Horsetail is mainly used for its diuretic effects as it gently stimulates the increase in urine flow and helps eliminate germs and bacteria present without altering the body's balance (it is advisable to drink a lot more water during treatment with horsetail in order to better eliminate the negative substances).
To treat osteoporosis with horsetail, it is recommended to use it once or twice a day as an infusion, while for kidney and bladder problems it is advisable to prepare a decoction of this plant.
The use of horsetail involves numerous contraindications especially if used for a long time.
Avoid use if you suffer from high blood pressure, if you have kidney stones and if you suffer from heart failure.
There are still no definite studies of the consequences of horsetail in the event of pregnancy and breastfeeding so, as a precaution, it is good not to use it.
Pay attention to the use of this plant if you suffer from diabetes as the horsetail causes an increase in blood sugar and if you suffer from lack of potassium avoid using horsetail because it favors the elimination of this mineral.
Horsetail: How to prepare it
Horsetail can be used in many ways
Prepare an infusion using a liter of boiling water where to infuse, for ten minutes, 30/40 grams of horsetail.
To prepare the horsetail decoction it takes 70 grams of dry branches of the plant to be infused in half a liter of water.
The tincture is prepared by putting 20 grams of horsetail to macerate for eight days in 100 ml of alcohol. Use two or three teaspoons at a time.
Horsetail powder is administered by mixing a teaspoon of product with honey or jam and it can be taken up to three times a day (used to fight allergies).
The horsetail bath serves to combat bladder disorders and is obtained by soaking, for a whole night, 100 grams of sterile drums in a liter of cold water, in the morning boil it for 3/4 minutes, let it cool and strain, add the liquid you have obtained to the bath water.
Horsetail wraps are used to combat cellulite and stretch marks. To prepare the pack boil for about three minutes, 100 grams of horsetail in a liter of water and let it cool.