The impressive benefits of horsetail include its ability to prevent certain types of cancer, boost immunity, reduce inflammation, increase cognitive function, and relieve respiratory issues. It also helps soothe the skin, protect bones, promote oral health, detoxify the body, treat diabetes, and promote hair care.
Horsetail is a plant with the common name of Equisetum, which is the last remaining species of the genus of that name. It is also known as puzzlegrass. The remaining members of that genus have gone extinct, so this is truly a blast from the past, and has some unique characteristics to go with that great backstory! They are defined by a singular vascular shoot that forms the main stem and the leaves are largely non-photosynthetic. Furthermore, they reproduce via spores, not seeds – a very unusual quality for a plant. Historical records include mentions of horsetail being used for myriad health issues dating back to Greek and Roman times.
When horsetail is consumed, minerals and unique organic compounds are passed on to us, resulting in a wide variety of health benefits. Some of the active ingredients that make horsetail potent include antioxidant compounds, silica, and other phytochemicals that can have dramatic effects on the body.
Spread a spoonful of herb with a cold (200ml) cold water and warm to boiling. Cover the court and let it stand for half an hour, then proceed. Drink two or three times a day after a cup of tea after a meal.
One of the most exciting areas of research concerning horsetail is related to cancer, as the antioxidants found in horsetail show significant effects against free radicals, the dangerous byproducts of cellular respiration that can cause inflammation, pain, wearing out of the organs, and degenerative diseases. The presence of antioxidants also prevents free radicals from causing healthy cells to mutate into cancerous ones. This research is in its early stages, but the results thus far are promising.
Horsetail has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, can protect against the invasion of foreign pathogens and substances that can compromise our immune system. This is particularly effective when you have been wounded or are recovering from an illness, as infections can be much more severe when they attack an already weakened immune system.
If you regularly experience painful swelling and inflammation in parts of your body, whether due to injury, arthritis, gout, or any other condition, adding horsetail tea to your health regimen can be of great use. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory compounds found in horsetail can quickly alleviate those symptoms and get you back on your feet.
Silicon is one of the rarest minerals needed by our body and there are very few accessible sources of it in our diet. However, horsetail has naturally high concentrations of silicon, which is a key element in protecting bone mineral density and integrity as we age. If you are at high risk of osteoporosis or already suffer from bone degradation, then adding horsetail to your diet is an easy solution to slow the decline, and even reverse it in some cases!
Horsetail’s antioxidant effects have been linked to higher cognitive abilities in laboratory studies, probably owing to the increase in neural pathway efficiency when free radicals are eliminated from the system. This means that horsetail is not only a brain-boosting herb, but it may protect you from cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as you age.
If you suffer from respiratory issues, such as congestion or frequent colds, drinking horsetail tea can be a wonderful solution.  It acts as an expectorant, clearing out mucus and phlegm where bacteria can lodge and grow, while also helping strengthen the immune system and relieve inflammation, resulting in respiratory relief.
Research has connected the use of horsetail supplements and tea to more balanced insulin levels in the body, namely in the rapid lowering of blood sugar when necessary. While this is an effective method of diabetes management, it should only be used for a short time, or when absolutely necessary. It can have long-term impacts if consumed for longer than two months in succession.
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