( Equisetum arvense )
Rich in silica
Horsetail is an herb and was long considered as wound healing plant. Among many herbs found on this earth, Horsetail is prized for its silica content.
Silica is a mineral composed of silicon and oxygen, the two most abundant elements found on this earth.
Horsetails therapeutic value comes from its silica content which can be dissolved in water and be absorbed into the human body when taken as a tea or tincture.
Builds connective tissue
Silica is very important for connective tissues as it helps in cell regeneration. As the name implies, connective tissues are the type of tissues that connect a group of tissue in the body to other tissues.
For example, the organs in our body are held in place by connective tissues, our muscles are attached to the bone by connective tissues called tendon, a bone is attached to another bone by ligament, adipose tissues under the skin is another example of connective tissues.
Silica plays a huge role in maintaining this connective tissues. Silica is important for bone formation, collagen production as well for teeth mineralisation.
Silica in horsetail is the building block of collagen. Collagen is a type of protein that binds cells together for support and connectivity. Without silica the production of collagen will slow down and thus can cause wrinkles on the face, thinning of hair and brittle nail. Lower collagen production will also impact the joints. Stiff and weak joints are often signs of less collagen in the body.
Horsetail herb can be used to increase collagen production in the body. Silicic acid is the bio-available form of silica. Normally silica can be found in many food, but they are not so high as it is in horsetail. Silica is found abundantly in Horsetail.
Silica in our body tends to decrease as we age. Therefore, replacing natural silica taken from plants such as Horsetail, is a great way to supplement our body. It is always advisable to take any minerals that come from plants than the synthetic version.
Most store bought mineral supplements are usually made artificially, in an industrial process. Synthetic supplements are not only incompatible to our body but also can cause side effects. Our body can metabolize nutrients best when taken in a natural state rather than the synthetic version.
The interesting fact about silica is that, our body is able to take this silica and convert it into calcium. Our body does this by binding silica and carbon atoms together into calcium atoms. Isn't it fascinating how intelligent our body is and how plants and human can have a deep connection such as this?
In traditional use
Traditionally horsetail has been used to stop bleeding and to heal wounds, especially treating genitourinary complaints such as bleeding in the urinary tract and also for urethritis & cystitis.
Horsetail has been used successfully in this cases, because this herb speeds up the healing process by accelerating the regeneration of connective tissues in the urinary system. Horsetail is a mild diuretic herb, which means it increases the urine production by increasing the blood flow in the kidneys.
Traditional knowledge reveals that horsetail has been used to treat rheumatic, arthritic as well swelling in the legs. This can be credited to the diuretic properties of horsetail. Diuretic herbs function to cleanse the body from toxic congestion, especially in the joints by flushing them out through urine.
Consideration before taking horsetail herb
Even though horsetail is an excellent herb, it should not be taken for a long period of time without a break. Horsetail also should not be taken in excessive amount at a time but only as per the recommended amount. Remember the poison is in the dosage.
Even honey can become a poison if taken too much. Our body functions under certain law of science, and balance is the answer in maintaining a good health. All herbs contain complex biochemical compounds that are normally not found in food and therefore paying attention to the dosage and length of time taken is very important.
Another point to consider is that, any herbs and their effect can vary from person to person, according to their body constitution. Therefore, consulting an experienced herbalist is important, as she or he can match the right herb for your body constitution for an effective result.