Have you seen this growing as an accent in a flower garden?

Looks like miniature bamboo, but it’s an herb called horsetail. Like many herbs, it has multiple benefits you might find helpful.

Hair, skin & nails

Horsetail is rich in silica, which nourishes your hair, skin and nails. It’s been used around the world for centuries to enhance beauty because it contains the building blocks for collagen. Research published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that silica from horsetail increased hair growth. Hair strands with a higher silica content are shinier and tend to have a lower fall out rate. You can even mix a few drops of horsetail tincture in 2 Tbsp of coconut oil and massage into your scalp to promote circulation and strengthen hair follicles.

Bone health & arthritis

We tend to blame osteoporosis and osteopenia on a lack of calcium, but there are many other important players. A lack of silica actually precedes the calcium loss and demineralization of bones. Horsetail not only contains an abundance of silica, but it’s rich in calcium and other minerals needed for bone and joint health. Studies show that horsetail actually stimulates the formation of bone cells. In addition to helping osteoporosis, it can strengthen the connection between the jawbone and teeth. Our modern diet is deficient in silica and enjoying a cup of horsetail tea a few times a week can help to supplement this in a natural way.

Urinary health

Horsetail is a natural diuretic and, unlike diuretic drugs, does not remove electrolytes. This can help with swelling from fluid retention. Because it boosts the flow of urine (and the desire for water) it helps to flush out the bacteria and toxins that can lead to a urinary tract infection

How to use Horsetail

As with any herb, it’s important to use off again/on again. In other words, if you’re taking horsetail every day, use it one week on and one week off. You can drink a cup of horsetail tea a few times a week without overdoing it. You can find tea bags at a health food store or use 2-3 Tbsp of dried herb per cup of boiling water and steep for 5-10 minutes, then strain and drink. You can also use horsetail tincture 2-3 ml in water 2-3 times a week. In this instance, use one week on and one week off. Of course, if you are on Rx meds or have a health condition it’s important to clear this with your physician. My opinion is that it’s best to use this as a tea 2-3 times a week. Ingesting herbs like food on a regular basis is very effective for longer term use. Ingesting a tincture is more like a natural drug and should be used under direction of a practitioner.

Planting Horsetail in your garden

Horsetail is invasive, similar to bamboo, so it’s best to plant in a container in the ground. Here’s a great article that shows examples of how horsetail can add beauty to your yard or garden. It’s so rewarding to harvest your own healing plants from your backyard! 

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