Horsetail

A member of the ancient fern family, horsetail is the only remaining descendent of the giant ferns that inhabited the earth millions of years ago. Extremely high in a substance called silica, horsetail holds chemical components that aid in repairing the connective tissue of bones, hair, and nails. Dating back to ancient Roman and Greek forms of medicine, horsetail was used to treat bone loss, loss of blood, ulcers and tuberculosis. It is also used as a healing salve for wounds, cuts and bruises. This herb, also known as shave grass, equisetum, bottle brush and couring rush, has also traditionally been used to treat kidney disorders, as it is a powerful diuretic, as proven by scientific evidence.

Reported health benefits:
Modern day herbal medicine makes great use of horsetail as a bone protector. Rich in silicic acid and silicates, as well as potassium, aluminum, manganese and fifteen different forms of bioflavonoids, horsetail creates a strengthening-effect in the cells. This protective layer promotes the formation of connective tissue. It is strengthening, which allows it to have an anti-arthritic effect in bones. What is more, the presence of many bioflavonoids in the herb have a diuretic effect, creating a atmosphere for detoxification and healthy digestion. Horsetail also holds high levels of the antioxidants responsible for neutralizing free-radicals, a key element in disease-prevention.

Other purported medicinal uses of this herb include:

  • Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis prevention due to siliconís role in formation of bone and cartilage
  • Treatment for brittle hair and nails
  • Acts as an stringent, vulnerary and a diaphoretic
  • Aids in mending broken bones, torn cartilage, ligaments and skin
  • Aids in the bodyís natural production of the natural anti-inflammatory cortisone
  • Powerful detoxifier in the elimination of toxic substances related to inflammation
  • Prevents osteoporosis due to high levels of silicone

Research on Horsetail
An Italian study conducted in 1999 showed that women taking dry horsetail extract showed statistically significant improvements in their bone density.

Contraindications
Consult a doctor if your dog is pregnant or breast-feeding. Dogs with weakened immune systems, excessive dryness or frequent urination should not take this herb. The diuretic effects of this herb increase the toxic effects of digoxin (congestive heart failure medication), seizure medications, as well as other anticoagulants.

Adverse Reactions
The correct species of horse-tail should be used. Another form of horsetail called equisetum palustre holds toxic alkaloids, and can be poisonous.

References
Oh H, Kim DH, Cho JH, Kim YC. Hepatoprotective and free radical scavenging activities of phenolic petrosins and flavonoids isolated from Equisetum arvense. J Ethnopharmacol 2004;Dec, 95(2-3):421-424.

University of Maryland Medical Center. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/horsetail-000257.htm

Corletto F. [Female climacteric osteoporosis therapy with titrated horsetail (Equisetum arvense) extract plus calcium (osteosil calcium): randomized double blind study]. Miner Ortoped Traumatol 1999;50:201-206.

Gibelli C. The hemostatic action of Equisetum. Arch Intern Pharmacodynam 1931;41:419-429.

Perez Gutierrez RM, Laguna GY, Walkowski A. Diuretic activity of Mexican equisetum. J Ethnopharmacol 1985;14(2-3):269-272.

- Ingredient used in Human formula

- Ingredient used in Canine formula