I am particularly lucky to have Horsetail growing in abundance in my area. It's rarely cultivated since it is difficult to eradicate once established, but if you plant it in buckets to prevent it from spreading, you can successfully grow a small crop. Horsetail certainly makes a stunning presence in any garden, and is a useful addition to say the least. If you want to grow your own Equisetum arvense, it is best propagated in fall by division of mature plants. Horsetail has been declared a noxious weed in some areas, but I am always excited to see it prospering in the wild.
Horsetail, or Shavegrass as it is often called, is a primitive spore bearing, grass-like perennial with hollow stems that seem to be impregnated with silica. Today's horsetail is a shiny grass growing 4-18 inches in height, but in prehistoric times it grew as big as trees. According to myth, if you find horsetail growing in a field, it means there is underground water or a spring below.
Because the stems contain such a large amount of silica, (which is used by the body in the production and repair of connective tissues and accelerates the healing of broken bones) it is a great choice for tissue repair. Other than a fantastic wound healer it is a valuable astringent, diuretic, styptic and tonic.
I find it interesting to know that Horsetail is not only a rich source of Silica and Calcuim, but also Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, C, E, Selenium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron, Manganese, Sodium, Chlorine, Zinc, Cobalt, Gold, Silver, Platinum, Rhodium- Alkaloids (including Nicotine), Saponins, Tannins, Flavonoids, and Phytosterols. There's alot going on in this herb!
One of my favorite herbal tea blends that provides minerals for strong bone growth for the entire body is simple and tasty. All of these herbs are nutritious and are a good sources of absorabable calcium, magnesium, iron, and other important trace minerals. I recommend two to three cups a day as a gentle bone-building tonic. You can find all of these loose leaf herbs in my Local Harvest Store.
2 parts oatstraw
2 part nettle
1 part horsetail
1 part red clover
1 part rosehips
1 part violet leaves
Horsetail is not only a great medicinal herb for tissue repair, but also nosebleeds, lung weakness, kidney health, eyelid swelling, bleeding gums and prostate and urinary tract health.
It's also a good tea for postmenopausal women to keep their hair, skin, and nails in fit shape as the Silica and Calcium strengthen brittle nails; give life to dull, dry hair, and restore skin tissue.
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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.
Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.
Jessica Morgan, M.H.