By The Cowrie Shell Center: Sunday, October 31st, 2010 @ 7:42pm
Often when looking for a “natural” hair conditioner or hair growth aid, we turn to the herbal kingdom. As we go through our herbal options a plant that quickly comes to our attention is horsetail. This article explores the beneficial qualities of horsetail as a health and beauty aid.
Promotes Hair Growth Horsetail tea for hair growth is an excellent choice to make because it promotes hair growth. In addition to that it is also responsible for treating dandruff and other similar scalp conditions.
This wonderful herb is one of the ingredients in my Ancient Blends Herbal Hair Conditioning Rinse.
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Horsetail is a member of the Equisetaceae family. The type used in cosmetics and shampoos most often is Equisetum arvense L. Horsetail has many colorful folk names including scouring rush, corncob plant, horsetail grass, shavegrass, pewterwort and bottle brush. The Latin root equus, meaning horse, and seta, which means bristle, come together to form part of its botanical Latin name. Its common name “horsetail” refers to the herb’s thin, branchlike leaves which in some ways are similar to the hair of a horse’s tail. It is called scouring rush because the durable plant can be used as a natural scouring aid for pots, pans and pewter, as well as in refining some forms of art as a natural sandpaper.
Horsetail descends from the huge, tree-like plants of the Paleozoic era some 400 million years ago. Closely related to ferns, horsetail is a non-flowering weed found throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It is perennial plant, with hollow stems and shoots reminiscent of asparagus.
To prepare horsetail for use, the young shoots are harvested in the early spring and dried; it is also tinctured or even eaten, prepared like asparagus. As horsetail dries, silica crystals form in the stems and branches, lending the herb its scouring ability. Later in the year, horsetail levels rise significantly and then it can be an irritant to the kidneys.
Horsetail has a venerable history in Herbalism traced back to ancient Rome and Greece where it was used to stop bleeding, heal ulcers, hemorrhoids, wounds and to treat tuberculosis, anemia, as well as kidney ailments. As a traditional European folk remedy, horsetail has been used as a diuretic to reduce swelling and fluid retention. Horsetail is approved by the German Commission E as a diuretic. Horsetail is used to treat bladder infections and incontinence as well as bed wetting. This is because internal use of the herb reduces the urge to urinate. Horsetail is used to treat osteoporosis, kidney stones, urinary tract inflammation and as a topical wound healer. Horsetail has been recommended by some herbalists as a treatment for tumors and certain cancers.
Horsetail Tea Preparation
The following is the procedure for brewing tea:
- The green parts of the horsetail plant are used in the preparation of tea.
- Take these green parts and dry them.
- Once dry, soak about 1-2 tsp of this in a cup of cold water.
- Let it soak for 10-15 minutes.
- Alternately, one could use the dried parts and simmer in a cup of water for 15 minutes.
- This will allow the essence and flavors to be sufficiently brought out.
- Now strain the liquid.
- You can have this either as a hot or a cold beverage.
- Depending on your taste preferences, add a little bit of honey to it.
- The recommended dosage is about 2 cups everyday.
- The health effects of horsetail tea will be felt after a period of about 2 weeks.
Health Benefits of Horsetail Tea
There are several horsetail tea uses that one can avail of. Take a look at some of these below:
Strengthens Lungs The main component of horsetail tea is silicic acid. This is responsible for strengthening the walls of the air sacs in the lungs as well as increasing resistance. Along with that it also promotes expectoration and relieves a person of the discomfort of coughing continuously. It is extremely beneficial in treating ailments like asthma, bronchitis and tuberculosis.
Treats Urinary Infections Horsetail tea has been touted as a diuretic and is therefore responsible for washing away the toxins and wastes of the body and lending a cleansing effect to the kidneys. It thereby relieves the kidneys of any strain without washing away the important nutrients and minerals.
Reduces Swellings Horsetail tea has excellent medicinal properties and is very effective in reducing swellings in the body, along with getting rid of water retention.
Promotes Joint Health Silicic acid that is found in abundance in horsetail tea, is responsible for strengthening the connective tissues in the body and thereby leading to strengthened joints. It also heals joint injuries, skin disorders, rheumatism and gout.
Promotes Blood Clotting Horsetail tea makes for an excellent supplementary drink and is a favored choice for promoting women's health. Horsetail tea promotes clotting of blood by strengthening the walls of the blood vessels. It thereby showcases healing properties and helps in regularizing irregularmenstruation and the pain from cramps. Since it helps in clotting of blood, it also helps in treating and preventing bleeding gums and bloody noses.
Promotes Bone Health Horsetail tea helps to strengthen bones and cartilage and is therefore responsible for promoting strong bones. It also helps to fight against arthritis and osteoporosis.
Other Horsetail Tea Uses Given below are a few other benefits of this tea which are listed as follows:
- It helps in treating varicose veins because of its ability to tighten tissues and blood vessels. Place a cotton swab soaked in horsetail tea for relief.
- Horsetail tea is used to fight mouth sores and other infections and wounds in the mouth.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties and is an excellent choice to make for treating and healing burns and wounds.
- It helps maintain digestive health by treating disorders like acidity and ulcers.
- Horsetail tea also promotes the growth of strong nails.
Read more on:
- Health Benefits of Tea
- Tea Nutrition Facts
- Herbal Tea Remedies
Horsetail Tea Side Effects
Horsetail tea is not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing, for children and for people who have kidney stones. There are some other side effects of horsetail tea which include the following. Nausea, muscle weakness, electrolyte imbalance, certain skin problems, fever, abnormal pulse rate, deficiency of thiamine. All these effects are seen when an overdose of the horsetail tea supplement is taken. Horsetail tea should not be had with a combination of alcohol, or licorice