Medicinal plant: what horsetail can do for you

Looking for a plant that can relieve inflammation or contain bleeding? Horsetail has several medicinal properties that might interest you. Learn more now!

Medicinal plant: what horsetail can do for you


  • The forests that were home to the dinosaurs were full of giant horsetails, some as tall as trees.
  • Three hundred and fifty million years later, they're much smaller and more scarce.
  • Due to their high silica content, their stems were used in ancient Rome (and until the 18th century) for scouring pots and pans and polishing brass and pewter.
  • Silica is also a natural non-stick coating for cookware.

Herbal medicine

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense), or more specifically the stems, are known for their astringent and healing properties due to their very high silica content.

  1. Because of its mild diuretic effect, it is particularly effective in cases of infection or inflammation of the urinary tract, bladder or prostate.
  2. It's also prescribed for cases of incontinence or childhood bed-wetting .
  3. It has long been considered an excellent detoxifying herb. Formerly, it was also used in external application for arthritis or skin problems exacerbated by toxins.
  4. Poultices of horsetail were made to contain bleeding and treat wounds that are slow to heel.

Concentrations of gold were found in horsetails, as such gold miners consider the plant as a good sign.

For proper use, consult your doctor or herbalist. Horsetailis not recommended for pregnant or breastfeedingwomen.


  • Horsetails have thin and hollow channeled stems, and reduced leaves like scales. Their deep root system spreads by rhizomes.
  • They produce spore cones at their end and reproduce by cell division of fallen spores.
  • Left in the pasture, horsetails can cause livestock poisoning.

Botanically, they are divided into two main groups:

  1. Horsetails with twisted branches
  2. Scouring rushes, without branches.


  • Field horsetail (Equisetum arvense), measures up to 80 centimetres (30 inches), and its sterile stems have twisted branches.
  • Winter horsetail (E. hyemale), produces straight stems without branches measuring about one meter (three feet).


  • Horsetails prefer wetlands, but their rhizomes allow them to grow in drier lands.
  • They prefer full sun to partial shade, and they are resistant to cold.


  • Horsetails grow in moist soils through the division of rhizomes in the spring.
  • These are invasive plants that are difficult to control and herbicide resistant.

Care : None.

Pests and diseases : No particular problem.

Harvesting and conservation : Harvest the sterile stems in the second half of the summer and dry them.

Finally, horsetail may have receded considerably since the dinosaur era, but its benefits are still enormous. Remember, it is important to consult your doctor before consuming.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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