Horsetail is an amazingly versatile herb that was around long before mankind walked the earth. In ancient times, this herb grew to the size of palm trees.
According to David Wolfe, horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is one of the six ‘superherbs.’ It is easy to understand why when you learn of all the benefits this herb has for your body. A general antioxidant and traditional remedy for the urinary tract, it also heals bones, strengthens hair and teeth and keeps your skin wrinkle-free.
The main healing ingredient in horsetail is silica, a compound that helps your body absorb calcium. Horsetail has a strongly abrasive effect and is also known as a scouring rush. It was commonly used for scrubbing metal objects such as pots and pans.
Horsetail can be taken as a tea and a strong infusion can also be used as a final rinse for your hair (strengthening effect) or in your bath when suffering from urinary tract infections. The taste of the tea is pleasant enough to drink without honey. You can try making your own brew from fresh shoots in the spring and it is also relatively easy to air-dry horsetail for use later on:
Air dry low-moisture herbs, such as horsetail, by gathering about half a dozen stems together. Put a paper bag over the herbs and tie it together with the stems so that you can hang the herbs upside down in a warm, well-ventilated room. Use a pin to make a few holes in the bags for ventilation. Depending on the moisture levels in the room, the herbs could be dried in as little as one week.
I have read testimonials from post-menopausal women who swear by horsetail because it has increased their bone density as well as kept their skin free from wrinkles. There are also tinctures and tablets made from the herb, available from most health food stores if you are unable to make your own remedies.
Please note that horsetail may be contraindicated for people with kidney disorders, alcoholics (due to possible depletion of thiamine), pregnant or nursing women and diabetics (lowers blood sugar).
Here are some of the conditions that can benefit from treatment with horsetail:
- Arthritis (rheumatoid and osteo-)
- Weakness of the bladder
- Brittle nails and hair
- Chronic lung disease
- Ageing skin
- A weak immune system (increases phagocyte count)
Magickally, horsetail is a plant of Saturn. It has many magical uses…
- Strengthen boundaries
- Make commitments and vows firm
- Protection against intruders in the home
- Snake charming
- Bone healing
- Anti-ageing spells