Horsetail has a versatile medicinal effect

The history of the horsetail family goes back to about 400 million years ago: horsetails of enormous sizes already existed in the Paleozoic era. Members of the horsetail family are often found as fossils in coal seams. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans knew the medicinal properties of the plant. Dioscorides reports the plant as wound-healing, styptic and diuretic. Galen made the statement in the 2nd century BC that horsetail: ‘can heal tendons, even if they are cut in half’ . In the Middle Ages the use seems to fade away, Hildegard von Bingen found the herb unusable for medical purposes. In the 17th century, Culpeper describes the horsetail as a remedy against external and internal bleeding, as a healer of fresh wounds and as an aid for skin problems. Kneipp, the founder of hydrotherapy, rediscovered the plant as a versatile medicinal herb, used in sitz baths and as warm wraps.


  • 15 to 20% of the dry weight consists of minerals, mainly silicon as an inorganic mineral and 5 to 8% as organic silica; potassium: 2.1 to 2.9%; calcium, manganese, magnesium, sodium, iron, sulfur, zinc, selenium, chromium, cobalt, phosphorus.
  • Flavonoids variable according to type: the European chemotype contains mainly quercitin 3-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside and its malon esters, quercitin 3-O-sophoroside, enkwanine, protogenkwanine 4′-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside; the North American and Asian chemotypes contain apigenin and luteolin-5-glycosides and their malone esters, quercitin 3-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside and its malone esters.
  • Saponins: equisetonin 5% with equisetogenin as aglycon; the separated sugars are fructose and arabinose.
  • Trace alkaloids: nicotine, palustrine, palustrinine, 3-methoxypyridine.
  • Tanning agent: gallic acid, tannic acid.
  • Phenolic acids: di-E-caffeolyl-meso-tartaric acid, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid.
  • Polyenoic acids: oxalic acid, malic acid, aconitic acid, malonic acid.
  • P-coumaric acid.
  • Fibres.
  • Sterols: beta-sitosterol, campesterol, isofurosterol, cholesterol.
  • Vitamin C, beta-carotene, rhodoxanthin, vitamins BI, B2 and B3.

Horsetail promotes the production, recovery and elasticity of tissues by supporting the synthesis of full-fledged collagen: horsetail repairs, strengthens and relaxes the skeleton, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, skin, hair and nails. It increases the resistance of connective tissues to leucocytes and therefore to inflammation. It helps strengthen elastic tissues of vital organs such as the lung, aorta and vascular walls and keep them supple. Horsetail inhibits the aging process in the elastic tissues of, among other things, the aorta and reduces the risk of atheromatosis with elevated cholesterol. It promotes wound healing through minerals including organic silicic acid, which is easily absorbed and plays an important role in collagen synthesis, and through flavonoids that improve blood circulation.

Medical use of horsetail: arthrosis, osteoporosis, fractures

Due to these properties, horsetail is recommended for osteoporosis, brittle bones, repair of fractures and rapid growth. Can also be used for tendonitis, injuries, sports injuries, bruises, torn ligaments and sprains. Also use horsetail for weak ligaments, easy spraining of joints, disorders of the intervertebral discs and wear and tear on the intervertebral discs. In addition, it can help with breaking and splitting hair and nails, thin hair, hair loss, caries and weak teeth. As an additional aid, it can help with osteoarthritis, arthritis and gout, with wounds that are difficult to heal, with premature skin aging.
As an additional aid, Equisetum is used for lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis , loss of support tissue, emphysema and tuberculosis, it increases the resistance of connective tissue and prevents atherosclerosis. Therefore, use horsetail against hypertension, cardiovascular disease and hemorrhoids. Horsetail generally remineralizes the connective tissues due to its high mineral content and promotes blood production. It is therefore indicated for mineral deficiencies, cramps and spasmophilia. It therefore helps as a supplementary remedy for asthenia, anemia and degenerative disorders. Furthermore, horsetail is a mild diuretic and uric acid diuretic due to the flavonoids, saponosides and potassium salts present. The herb has a connective tissue strengthening and astringent effect on the mucous membranes of the urinary tract because it contains silicic acid and tannins. Horsetail is therefore recommended as an additional treatment for bladder disorders such as cystitis, especially in the case of chronic complaints.
A versatile herb, but certainly not a panacea. Better to use it together with other plants, for example for cystitis together with goldenrod. For osteoarthritis together with devil’s claw and for rheumatism together with meadowsweet.

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