What Is Horsetail?
Horsetail (Equisetum Arvense) healing properties date way back to Roman and Greek civilization where it was once thought to help ulcers, wounds and kidney problems. It derived from a group of grass plants from the Equisetaceae family that has been around 400 million years. It dates before dinosaurs and is so tough that it is the ONLY plant that survived this many years. In fact, it is deemed as a “living fossil”. It has even been noted throughout history that its descendants grew as large as trees during the prehistoric carboniferous period. Because of the anti-aging benefits found in horsetail, you will often see the plant’s extract as an active ingredient in natural beauty supplements.
Medicinal Use & Health Benefits
Over the course of decades, its popularity grew and a few countries even started adopting it in their medicinal practices. Roman physician Galen recommended it for various ailments such as TB, arthritis, bleeding ulcers and kidney, and bladder infections. Chinese have used it for cooling fevers and as a remedy for eye infections.
Studies are showing us that horsetail has healing properties that will heal Urinary Tract Infections as the plant’s silica promotes cell repair and its astringent actions reduce blood and mucus secretion by contracting blood vessels and body tissues. Its uses extend to bladder and kidney infections, stones and incontinence. Horsetail acts as a “fluid retention” which also assists in weight loss. It relaxes the blood flow and aids in heavy menstrual periods, hemorrhaging of nose, lung, and stomach. It even helps with bleeding ulcers. Horsetail, in conjunction with other medicines, can dramatically help tough respiratory infections as well as genital and urinary infections, as it aids in stopping the growth of harmful bacteria and viruses.
History & Future Use
The chemical make up of horsetail tell us a lot about what other healing we might eventually expect. It has Phenolic compounds such as Flavonoids and Phenolic acids. In fact, recent studies of lab rats, have shown Flavonoids reduces anxiety and act as strongly as the strong pharmaceutical antianxiety drug, diazepam and is being referred to as the “ new benzodiazepine.” It has Kynurenic acid which reduces inflammation and pain; Styrylpyrones to protect against cancer; Water-soluble Vitamins and Fat-soluble vitamins; as well as many other ingredients that can be used to keep us healthy. It stops or slows down growth bacteria, viruses and yeast infection by disrupting the cell walls and energy production.
This is not the end of horsetail’s great strengths we are learning, but only the beginning. Recent studies on mice have indicated that it may eventually assist us in Parkinsons, dementia and Alzheimer’s because it has improved memory and cognition in older rats. It has improved herpes symptoms, stokes, Hepatitis and even stopped HIV from damaging cells and possibly even assist in heart disease, as it tends to relax the blood vessels and reduce blood pressure in mice.
Through studies, we’re learning about the vast amount of illnesses horsetail prevents, reduces or cures. Although not widely adopted in the pharmaceutical world, studies are being performed that indicate horsetail has the ability to become the diverse healing agent we’ve been waiting for.