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Field horsetail – Equisetum arvense. Nature's underestimated treasure

Field horsetail – Equisetum arvense. Nature's underestimated treasure

Horsetail is a plant with astonishing properties. It has been used in natural medicine and cosmetics for centuries, and its beneficial effects on the body have been confirmed by numerous scientific studies. This inconspicuous plant, widely regarded as a noxious weed, can help strengthen hair and nails and even get rid of cellulite! In today's post, we'll take a closer look at all the secrets of this unusual and underrated herb. Ready? Let's get started!


  1. Field horsetail – what kind of plant is it?
  2. A source of valuable silicon
  3. Properties of horsetail. Its effects may surprise you!
  4. Use of field horsetail
  5. Is field horsetail safe to use? Beware of contraindications!

Field horsetail – what kind of plant is it?

A popular way to add variety to the taste of yerba mate in South America is to add herbs to the dry leaves – both fresh and in dried form. We wrote about mate con yuyos, or yerba mate with herbs, on our blog some time ago. One such herb that can be found in the company of Ilex paraguariensis is field horsetail – an extremely interesting plant with many properties. Horsetail, also known by its botanical, Latin name Equisetum arvense, is a plant that has certainly caught your eye more than once during walks in meadows or gardens. Although horsetails are small in size today, more than 300 million years ago, in the Palaeozoic era, they were 30 metre tall trees! They are one of the oldest plants on our globe, and their appearance is truly distinctive. The field horsetail has long, green stems surrounded by tiny, thin leaves that somewhat resemble pine stems. Its common name in English is field or common horsetail and in Spanish cola de caballo, which literally means “horse's tail” – indeed, a bouquet of freshly picked horsetail resembles a horse's tail.

Field horsetail can be found almost all over the world, but it is particularly common in Europe, where it grows wild in wet meadows, marshes, slopes and fields. It is considered by many to be a nuisance, an unnecessary weed, but in fact it is a source of many valuable ingredients! Centuries ago, field horsetail was valued in folk medicine for its numerous beneficial properties. It was used as an herbal remedy for inflamed skin, wounds, burns, sore throats and rheumatic pains, as well as to prevent heavy menstruation. Although on the surface the plant does not stand out, its medicinal properties are truly impressive, as numerous studies have confirmed.

Field horsetail – what properties does it have?

A source of valuable silicon

As it turns out, field horsetail is a powerful source of silicon, which is found in the plant in the form of easily absorbed silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2). Silicon, commonly referred to as the “element of life”, is extremely important for our body. It is responsible for the condition of our skin, bones, nails and hair. It keeps our hair strong and shiny, nails hard and skin supple and healthy. Silicon is also involved in the synthesis of collagen, which is key to maintaining the youthful appearance of the skin. Supplementing silicon deficiencies is particularly important in older people, as it is one of the components that is lost in the body with age.

But that's not all! Field horsetail is a real nutritional bomb. In addition to silicon, it also contains proteins, alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids and phenols. These nutrients have a variety of properties that support our health on many levels. Flavonoids, for example, act as powerful antioxidants that help fight free radicals, helping to slow down the cellular ageing process. Horsetail is also rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. Calcium and phosphorus are essential for healthy bones and teeth, magnesium supports the nervous system, and zinc is crucial for the proper functioning of the immune system. Potassium, on the other hand, helps to maintain the acid-base balance in the body, while iron is essential for the production of haemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood. Not to forget vitamin C, which is also found in field horsetail. Vitamin C is not only a powerful antioxidant, but also supports the immune system, accelerates wound healing and improves the absorption of iron from food.

Properties of horsetail. Its effects may surprise you!

The properties and effects of field horsetail are truly impressive! First of all, it has an antioxidant effect, which means that it helps to fight free radicals. Free radicals are atoms in the body that contribute to the ageing of cells and can lead to various diseases. Thanks to its polyphenol content, horsetail effectively neutralises these harmful molecules, helping the body to remain healthy and youthful. But this is not the only benefit of the plant. What else does it help with? It exhibits a diuretic effect, which is extremely beneficial for the urinary system. It helps to remove excess water from the body, which can be salutary in cases of swelling or kidney problems. In addition, field horsetail prevents the formation of stones in the urinary system, which is another argument for its regular consumption. Another benefit of field horsetail is its detoxifying abilities. It helps to remove toxins from the body, which is key to maintaining a healthy metabolism. Better detoxification means a more efficient metabolism, which in turn translates into a more effective fight against weight gain. Yes, field horsetail for weight loss is a great choice! Finally, the effects of field horsetail on the skin, hair and nails should not be forgotten. Thanks to its high silica content, horsetail strengthens hair, making it stronger and shinier. The nails also become harder and the skin becomes more elastic and healthy. A natural beauty support worth appreciating!

Use of field horsetail

Field horsetail is a versatile plant. It can be used both internally and externally. Here are some of the ways you can benefit from this remarkable plant:

  • Horsetail – for drinking. The simplest and most popular way to use field horsetail is to prepare an infusion. To prepare a horsetail herbal tea, simply pour a tablespoon of dried leaves over boiling water and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, then strain. Alternatively, you can make a stronger decoction by boiling horsetail for 20 minutes at a ratio of 2 cups of water to 2 tablespoons of dried leaves and setting aside overnight. Field horsetail is also great as an addition to tea and other herbs – and also to yerba mate! Due to its weight loss supporting properties, it is added as an ingredient in functional “weight loss” compositions, such as Kurupi Fitness or Colon 90-60-90.
  • Horsetail – external use. As we mentioned, field horsetail is also widely used in skin and hair care. An infusion of horsetail can be used not only as a drink, but also as a skin tonic, which can help fight acne and improve skin elasticity. Field horsetail also has a strengthening effect on hair – it can be used as a rinse to give hair shine and strengthen it from root to tip. Regular use of field horsetail externally can produce visible results in the form of healthier skin and stronger hair.
  • Horsetail in the culinary. In ancient times, cooked or raw horsetail stems were a delicacy for some Indian tribes, and the Inuit enjoyed eating the tubers bulbs by the rhizomes, rich in starch. In Japan, horsetail sprouts are used in traditional dishes such as fish broths or vegetables with vinegar, adding a unique flavour and nutritional value.
  • Other uses of horsetail. The rough-to-the-touch stems of field horsetail were formerly used for polishing wood or metal products, as well as for polishing musical instruments. Today, the plant is a valued ingredient in many cosmetic preparations. Thanks to its cleansing properties, field horsetail is ideal for use in products designed for acne-prone, tired or ageing skin. Regular use of cosmetics with horsetail can firm the skin and add radiance. Horsetail extract is also often added to bath lotions, shampoos and rinses – it acts as a remedy for damaged, falling hair, strengthening it and giving it a healthy appearance.

Is field horsetail safe to use? Beware of contraindications!

Although the use of field horsetail does a lot of good for the human body, it is unfortunately not without potential side effects to be aware of. First of all, the use of the plant should be avoided by pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. It is also contraindicated for people taking certain medications, so it is always advisable to consult a doctor before starting a treatment. One of the main problems with field horsetail is its ability to decompose vitamin B1 (thiamine) in the body. Horsetail contains the enzyme thiaminase, which in larger quantities can lead to a deficiency of this important vitamin. It is therefore advisable to take horsetail intermittently or to combine it with products rich in vitamin B1. Side effects of an overdose of field horsetail can include an upset stomach, kidney pain or palpitations. It is therefore important to use the plant in moderation and not to exceed the recommended doses. If you notice any worrying symptoms in yourself, such as stomach pain, kidney problems or irregular heartbeat, stop using field horsetail immediately and consult your doctor!

Field horsetail is a plant that definitely deserves more recognition and a place in our daily diet. However, as is the case with any medicinal plant, care must be taken. A good way to benefit from its properties is to drink yerba mate with horsetail. In this way, the plant is only one of many ingredients, but we can still benefit from its favourable properties without worrying about overdosing. Let's enjoy what nature has to offer us and benefit (remembering to be careful) from the wealth of field horsetail!

Source of information:

  1. Wikipedia: Equisetum arvense, Silicon.
  2. A. E. Al-Snafi, The pharmacology of Equisetum arvense - A review, IOSR Journal of Pharmacy, 2017.
  3. N. S. Sandhu, S. Kaur, D, Chopra, Equietum arvense: Pharmacology and phytochemistry - a review, Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, 2010.


Colon 90-60-90 - 0,5kg

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