Equisetum arvense, commonly known as the Field Horsetail or Common Horsetail. Horsetail is the sole descendant of the giant fern like plants that covered the earth some 200 million years ago. The herbs creeping rhizome sends up hollow, jointed, virtually leafless, bamboo like stalks that reach 6 feet. At the ends of the stalks, spore-bearing structures (catkins) develop which resemble horsetails, corncobs, or bottle brushes, hence some of the herb’s names.
The plant contains several substances which can be used medicinally. It is rich in the minerals silicon (10%), potassium, and calcium, which gives it diuretic properties. It is prescribed to care for cartilage, tendons, and bones, and also polyps, epistasis, and bleeding. The buds are eaten as a vegetable in Japan and Korea in spring time.
In herbalism it is used to treat kidney and bladder problems, gastro-enteritis, and prostate and urinary infections, and is particularly indicated for enuresis (inability to control urination) in children.
Horsetail has an astringent effect on the urinary system proving especially valuable where there is bleeding in the urinary tract, and in cases of bladder or urethra inflammation, and prostate disease.
Cautions: horsetail breaks down vitamin B1 (thiamine) and should generally be taken long term only with a B vitamin supplement.