slightly bitter and sweet, earthen, cool
diuretic, astringent, anti-inflammatory
bladder, musculoskeletal, connective tissue
Horsetail, or Shavegrass, is a living remnant of the ancient trees that stood up to 100 feet and dominated much of North America 300 million years ago. The horsetail forests decomposed to form the thick coal beds that fueled this continent’s Industrial Age. Ancient by the time dinosaurs arrived, it still reproduces by spores and does not seed. Horsetail has an affinity for the urinary tract. It is both diuretic to promote urination, and astringent to reduce urination showing a regulating action. It can reduce kidney and bladder irritation and help the passing of stones. Very high in silica, it helps the strength and growth of connective tissues as in brittle hair or tendons. Topically, it reduces bleeding, heals wounds, and treats inflamed tissue. It is often included in foot soaks for fungal infections that have embedded under the toenails because it is antifungal, drawing, and strengthening to the tissues.
Pregnancy. Consume only in liquid extract such as infusion or tincture, as the mineral “sand” may irritate the digestive tract.