Sixteen Reasons to Start a Horsetail Garden

Sixteen Reasons to Start a Horsetail Garden

This plant is colloquially known as horsetail (or sometimes horsetail grass)because the end of it resembles the tail of a horse or similar animal.  It is tall and thin, and grows wildly in many areas.  Most people have seen an abundance of horsetail right outside their homes or near a local swamp, lake, or creek.  As a source of nutrients, it is different from other plants in that it absorbs various substances that other plants do not.  It provides a great number of health benefits, ranging from preventative care for diseases to simply improving the functioning of the body.

Improves Cognitive Function

 The horsetail herb contains many substances, such as antioxidants, which are responsible for improving memory patterns and cognition.  Lab results from an experiment in Brazil have confirmed these effects almost a decade ago.

Cures Brittle Nails

 White spots appearing underneath your nails may be a sign of brittle nails.  This can eventually result in the nails breaking off completely, or worse – splintering and stabbing into the flesh.  Some minerals in horsetail can correct this problem when it is consumed and applied topically.  Steep some horsetail tea by drying two teaspoons of the herb and letting it sit in a cup of hot water for several minutes.  Set some aside to soak the brittle nails in, then flavor the rest to taste and drink it.  Do this four to seven times a week.

Promotes Healthier Hair

Silica, a compound present in great amounts in horsetail, improves the growth rate of hair, moisturizes the scalp (fighting off dandruff), strengthens the hair to keep it from falling out, and prevents hair from splitting at the ends.  Steep some tea once again and use some of it to wash your hair.  Horsetail as an ingredient in shampoo works great as well; alternatively, you can add some horsetail extract to your usual shampoo.  The best-case scenario is to make your own from the extract and a foaming agent.  You can also try creating an oil mixture as a scalp treatment, mixing some of the extract with extra virgin coconut/olive oil.  This will also improve the blood flow around the scalp.  Massage this oil all over the top of your head for about ten minutes every other time you take a shower.  Consuming horsetail as a tea or spice will boost the success rate of this method.

Rectify Skin Issues

Horsetail is full of substances that act as antiseptics, antioxidants, inflammation reduction agents and antibacteria agents.  All of these qualities make it a great topical application to soothe rashes and burns, heal cuts and acne, and dispel itchiness or irritation of the skin.  It also promotes growth of healthy skin cells and tightens the skin as it ages, preventing early wrinkling and other signs of aging.  Putting a horsetail paste on one’s skin every other day until it dries can provide all of these benefits.  Cooled horsetail tea is also great for curing discomfort-related issues (like inflammation) as it will also provide instant relief from the coolness.  Finally, consuming the tea or supplements will help combat skin problems from the inside.

Preventative Measure Against Cancer

The antioxidants in horsetail act as a way to slow the growth of cancerous cells.  It may also contain phytochemicals that provide a similar effect.  Its use against cancer has only been scientifically replicated in a controlled lab environment, however, and is not yet confirmed to be applicable to humans.

Improves Bone Density

In herbal medicine in Italy, horsetail has already been employed as a preventative measure against broken or fractured bones when combined with calcium.  It is speculated that its great concentration of silicon is responsible for this.  This effect especially helps women who are suffering bone density problems as a result of menopause.  Due to these properties it is hailed as a treatment for osteoporosis.

Treats Respiratory Illnesses

Bronchitis, nasal obstructions, influenza and cold symptoms, and even simple dry coughs can be remedied through the usage of the horsetail herb.  Vaporizing horsetail tea and inhaling the fumes is a great way to clear up the nasal passage especially.  To treat coughs and other similar issues, drinking the tea is a great solution because it can be combined with honey, apple cider vinegar, or another soothing agent to provide short term relief while the problem is fixed by the nutrients from the horsetail.

Lowers Blood Sugar

This could be considered a dangerous point for some, of course, but for diabetics with high blood sugar levels horsetail is fantastic.  It quickly and effectively lowers blood sugar enough to combat the effects of several meals for diabetics.  With that said, it may be wise to avoid horsetail if you have naturally low blood sugar or are taking some kind of medicine to lower your blood sugar.

Prevents Kidney Stones

Kidney stones from uric acid are greatly reduced in frequency and severity by horsetail.  This can make them easier to pass as well.  It also helps against stones forming in the bladder.  If serious enough, these stones can cause internal bleeding, so keeping them at bay is important.

Relief From Incontinence

The inability to control one’s bladder, or incontinence, is able to be remedied by consuming concentrated doses of horsetail, regardless of what its cause is.  If the cause is a urinary tract infection, it may be beneficial to take a warm bath made of tea from horsetail.

Provides Microbial Defense

Conditions such as staphylococcus (staph infections), pneumoniae, salmonella, E.coli, and enteritidis can all be fought off by consuming horsetail in some fashion.  Scientific confirmation of this property has been made; it is attributed to a range of 25 different compounds that act as a defense mechanism for the body against various fungi and germs.

Works as a Compress for Boils

A combination of anti-inflammatory agents and antimicrobials provide an excellent treatment for boils on the skin.  A poultice or compress from this herb can be used to clear out any pus from a boil or sore, reduce inflammation, and eventually disperse the problem.  Compresses are simply made by soaking the dried herb in warm water for 15 minutes or so, then placing the saturated horsetail grass in a clean rag or cotton cloth.  This is then pressed against the afflicted area.  Keep it pressed on for five minutes at a time, then repeat the process.  Alternatively, you can make a paste or cream out of the horsetail for the same effect.

Cure Foot Infections

Once again, due to the antifungal properties of horsetail it can be used to cure a variety of fungal foot infections.  The first that should come to mind is of course athlete’s foot, which can absolutely be cured by it.  Its anti-inflammatory qualities make it great against other conditions of the foot as well, such as frostbite or the lesser-known chilblains (which is brought on by freezing, humid environments, causing disruption to the capillaries of the feet).

Acts as a Fantastic Mouthwash

Aside from leaving you with great smelling breath, a horsetail mouthwash will help heal gums that are bleeding or attempting to heal naturally, alleviate mouth sores, and soothe inflamed tonsils.  It will even help relieve a sore throat.

Hemorrhoid Treatment

Finally, horsetail also acts as a hemostatic.  This combined with its ability to reduce inflammation makes it a great solution for hemorrhoids that will relieve much of the pain and stop most of the bleeding.  Horsetail also contains plant fibers (as do all plants), which will prevent constipation and thus further pain and bleeding associated with hemorrhoids.

Side Notes About Horsetail

Not all natural remedies work for everyone.  Some people simply react differently, and some people have allergic reactions.  Always consult a doctor if you have any concerns or are unsure how horsetail will interact with other supplements, medications, or any existing conditions.  Begin taking horsetail in very small amounts before fully introducing it into your system.

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Sagar is co-founder and CTO at Multia, a leading creative agency in Pune. He started his venture when he was 16, he has won numerous international and national web development competitions and has worked on 100+ web, mobile and online marketing projects. He’s a globe-trotter and has traveled to San Francisco, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dubai, Jakarta and Bali Islands.
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