June 2012 - Herbs for Healing Newsletter in association with Transition Tradition:
horsetail and its medicinal benefits
Natural remedy of the month: honey
Never have I seen as much horsetail growing in one
place as at the Coldharbour allotment in Salisbury.
Curse or blessing? Weed or medicinal herb? The
answer is all of these and more.
Horsetail is a living fossil, a prehistoric plant. It has
been growing on our planet for over 400 million
years. It has a perennial rootstock that reaches up to
2 meters below the ground.
Horsetail can be used as a plant food for tomatoes
and many other plants. Mix it with nettles and
comfrey leaves for a particularly potent brew that
can be diluted with water in the watering can and
Horsetail strengthens the cell membrane in plant
cells, which makes it more difficult for garden pests
to get into the plant and weaken it.
No other plant contains as much silica as horsetail.
It absorbs this mineral from the earth. The young
plant has the highest amount of silica.
Silica facilitates the absorption of calcium by the
human body, both of these minerals are necessary for
teeth, bones, hair, nails and other connective tissues
like tendons and ligaments.
It is a valuable herb for preventing or slowing down
osteoporosis, a condition where bones become
brittle and breaks down too fast.
Can horsetail be used as a medicine?
Silica in horsetail strengthens all connective
tissues in the body. It is specifically used to treat
incontinence because it strengthens the sphincter
muscle of the bladder.
As a mild diuretic it can be used to deal with urinary
problems such as bladder and kidney infections.
Since horsetail increases elasticity of connective
tissue it can be very helpful in preventing and
healing chapped skin on the fingers and hands. Use it
as a decoction or bathe your hands in it.
When kidneys function better in eliminating normal
waste products, the health of many other areas of the
body, in turn, improve.
This, I believe, is the reason why the famous Swiss
herbalist Abbe Kuenzle stated: ‘all pain caused by
rheumatism, gout and nerves would disappear....’
if everyone drank a cup of Horsetail tea every day.
Horsetail is a powerful mending plant because it
supplies the body with the building blocks to mend
itself more effectively.
It also strengthens the lung tissue in cases of a history
of tuberculosis or pneumonia. Each infection in the
lungs leads to fibrous scar tissue which reduces
elasticity. The lung tissue needs to be elastic to