Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

Traditional Indications

Horsetail is an astringent, diuretic and vulnerary. Horsetail is an excellent astringent for the genitourinary system, reducing haemorrhage and healing wounds and also benefits the hair thanks to the high silica content. Whilst it acts as a mild diuretic, its toning and astringent actions make it invaluable in the treatment of incontinence and bed wetting in children. It is considered a specific in cases of inflammation or benign enlargement of the prostate gland. Externally it is a vulnerary. Its’ high silica content makes it a specific for alopoecia and to strengthen the hair and bones. Its high mineral content makes enables to chelate heavy metals in particular lead. (1)

Pharmacognosy

The horsetails are known biosilicifiers through the mechanism underlying silica deposition. (2) Nanoporous silica is capable of removing heavy metals from biological systems via adsorption and application. (3)

Equisetum arvense have a long tradition in the treatment of inflammatory disorders. Extract of Equisetum arvense interferes with the polyfunctionality of immunocompetent cells thereby providing an anti-inflammatory mode-of-action. (4)

 

1. PFAF. Equisetum arvense 2019 [Available from: https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+arvense.
2. Law C, Exley CJBPB. New insight into silica deposition in horsetail (Equisetum arvense). 2011;11(1):112.
3. Yantasee W, Rutledge RD, Chouyyok W, Sukwarotwat V, Orr G, Warner CL, et al. Functionalized nanoporous silica for the removal of heavy metals from biological systems: adsorption and application. ACS applied materials & interfaces. 2010;2(10):2749-58.
4. Gründemann C, Lengen K, Sauer B, Garcia-Käufer M, Zehl M, Huber RJBC, et al. Equisetum arvense (common horsetail) modulates the function of inflammatory immunocompetent cells. 2014;14(1):283.