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Horsetail Tea

Horsetail tea, with its light taste and aroma, is an herbal drink prepared from the dried or fresh horsetail fern (Equisetum arvense), also known as the shave grass, found in North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, silica and other minerals, this infusion has been valued for its numerous medicinal properties.

Horsetail Tea

History and origin

In ancient Rome and Greece, the herb was commonly used as a medicine for stopping bleeding, healing wounds, and for promoting urine production. A famous 17th-century herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, recommended its use for the treatment of skin inflammation, ulcers, and kidney stones. Indigenous people in North America belonging to the Chippewa, the Cherokee, and the Potawatomi tribes had this tea to relieve the symptoms of kidney diseases.

Horsetail Tea

Horsetail Tea

Horsetail tea benefits: what is it good for

Presence of antioxidants

Because of its high antioxidant and bioflavonoid content, having it regularly helps to slow down the spread of cancer cells. Since it has anti-cancer properties, it defends the body against the harmful effects of free radicals.

Antimicrobial property

Also known for its antimicrobial activity, it keeps you protected from allergens and viruses. As demonstrated in some scientific studies, its intake is beneficial for lessening the symptoms of bacterial and fungal infections.

Anti-inflammatory property

In some clinical studies, its consumption has proved to be helpful in alleviating joint and muscle aches caused by certain inflammatory conditions like rheumatism, gout, and arthritis.

Stops excessive bleeding

Its hemostatic and coagulating properties aid in relieving the discomfort caused by injuries and wounds. Regularly drinking it helps to minimize excessive bleeding during heavy periods.

For osteoporosis

Some research studies have shown the positive impacts of horsetail on bone density in postmenopausal women suffering from osteoporosis. Taking this decoction along with foods rich in calcium has been found helpful for increasing the strength of connective tissues, enhancing the flexibility of bones, helping in faster healing of fractures.

Horsetail Tea Photos

Horsetail Tea Photos

Horsetail Fern

Horsetail Fern

Respiratory conditions

It is utilized as a natural remedy for respiratory problems like bronchitis, dry cough, and infections of the respiratory tract. Drinking a cup of horsetail tea provides relief from nasal congestions and other symptoms of cold and flu.

Useful for detoxification

As it has diuretic properties, the functioning of the urinary bladder and the kidneys is considerably improved with its consumption, helping in removing excess water and cleansing the body. Therefore, it prevents fluid retention, improves the symptoms of edema significantly, and even helps to lose weight.

The high silica content helps in flushing out toxins, preventing the accumulation of heavy metals like aluminum that are believed to trigger Alzheimer’s disease.

For diabetes

Its short-term intake is beneficial for those with type-2 diabetes since it helps in reducing blood glucose levels significantly.

Urinary tract infection and incontinence

Its astringent property, due to the presence of tannins, makes it effective in resolving problems of the urinary tract. Since it strengthens the muscles of the urinary bladder, it helps to hold urine for longer. Thus, it proves useful in providing relief for urinary incontinence.

Horsetail Tea Pictures

Horsetail Tea Pictures

Other uses

  • Massaging a mixture of 3 drops of this herbal extract and 2tbsp of olive oil/coconut oil strengthens the hair follicles, improves blood circulation, and promotes hair growth. Cold horsetail tea can also be used for rinsing the hair after a normal shampoo.
  • Brittle or weak fingernails can be strengthened by dipping them for 20 minutes in a cold infusion of horsetail.
  • A cotton swab soaked in the tea could be rubbed on the skin to treat acne, skin lesions, rashes, and burns, as well as to minimize the risks of wrinkle formation.
  • Lukewarm horsetail tea could be used as a mouthwash for the treatment of mouth sores and bleeding gums. It can also be gargled for about 3 minutes to relieve the symptoms of tonsillitis.
Horsetail Plant

Horsetail Plant

How to make horsetail tea

  • Take 3-4 tsp of fresh or dried horsetail herb in a teapot
  • Pour 8 oz of boiling water into it
  • Cover the teapot
  • Steep for 5 minutes
  • Strain the mixture
  • Add honey or sugar for enhancing the taste

Safety and precaution

Side effects

In general, consumption of horsetail tea is safe, but having it in excess for longer periods is not recommended because the constituent chemical thiaminase could result in the deficiency of the vitamin thiamine. Those with low potassium levels and low blood sugar levels should use it cautiously.

During pregnancy

It should be avoided by expecting and nursing mothers since no scientific evidence has backed its use during these times.

Horsetail Tea Images

Horsetail Tea Images

Where to buy

Organic horsetail herbs cut into pieces and packed in tea bags can be purchased from local herbal tea shops and online tea stores.

Article was last reviewed on 3rd November 2017

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