Horsetail is an herb. Saying that from the get-go is important because I am not asking you to pluck a horse’s tail and brew a pot of horse-tail tea. Horsetail is a perennial herb that has been around for over three hundred million years, and has been used in herbal medicine since the beginning of herbal medicine! The plant resembles a horse’s tail, so the namers got creative and named it horsetail.
Horsetail tea contains high amount of different minerals and other nutrients, including manganese, potassium, aluminium, flavonoids, calcium, iron, caffeic acid esters, saponins, alkaloids, fatty acids, phytosterols, glycosides, phenolic acids, aconitic acid, and silica. Those minerals are often the reason people consume the tea, although others enjoy the flavor. The benefits of drinking horsetail tea include:
University of Maryland Medical Center found that horsetail is a diuretic, and it may be beneficial for patients with kidney stones. Horsetail is especially helpful for uric acid kidney stones which are associated with Gout disease. Uric acid kidney stones appear when uric acid stones are lodged into urinary canal and kidneys. Since horsetail is a diuretic, it helps flush out gall bladder and kidney stones and relieve symptoms of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Urinary Incontinence and Bladder Weakness
Horsetail has been found to be beneficial for people suffering from nocturnal incontinence (bed-wetting), bladder and urinary tract infections, and weakened bladder. It can also alleviate the very frustrating urge to frequently urinate with a UTI. Taking a bath with Horsetail tea for at least 15 minutes two to three times per week may help with UTIs and bladder weakness. Steep 10 teaspoons of dried horsetail into one quart of boiling water for 10-15 minutes and add strained tea into bath water.
Bronchitis and Other Respiratory Tract Infections
Horsetail tea is beneficial for dry cough, bronchitis, nasal congestion, and fever associated with cold and flu. Breathing in deeply over your hot steeped horsetail tea can relieve nasal congestion. Drinking horsetail tea two or three times daily helps with respiratory and cough issues.
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Drinking horsetail tea for two months may be beneficial for the fluid build up in the legs and rest of the body caused by edema. The diuretic properties of horsetail means more urine is produced and more liquid and minerals are expelled from the body, while the minerals in horsetail help re-mineralize and replace mineral stores of the body.
Gingivitis and Tonsillitis
Gargling mouthwash made with horsetail tea helps inflamed tonsils, mouth sores, and bleeding gums. Horsetail Mouthwash is made by boiling horsetail in one cup of water for 7-10 minutes. Once cool, gargle and swish three to four times daily until desired results.
Horsetail tea is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant which helps delay the aging process by strengthening connective tissues. It also helps relieve irritated and inflamed skin. For acne, diluted and cold horsetail tea can be used as a toner after washing the face every night.
The anti-inflammatory and hemostatic benefits of horsetail may decrease or stop bleeding caused by hemorrhoids, while also alleviating pain. Drink one cup of tea before every fiber rich meal.
Other Uses of Horsetail Extract
- Relieve boils and carbuncles
- Brittle nails
- Chilblains and food infections
- Hair growth
- Memory loss
- Osteoporosis and Brittle Bones
Horsetail is safe when taken in moderation. If any symptom persists for an excessive amount of time, it is important to talk to your doctor. If you have a Vitamin B deficiency, be cautious because horsetail contains an enzyme, thiaminase, where after long term use, destroys thiamine (B1).
Horsetail has nicotine and diuretic properties, so it should not be used when using a nicotine patch. It may cause an unintentional overdose and lead to serious health problems. Pregnant, lactating mothers and children should not take horsetail because of the nicotine content. The consumption of horsetail should be stopped for one week after one month of regular use.
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