Horsetail is a common herb found in a variety of climates, from Alaska to Baja California. I harvested horsetail growing in the wetland behind my house, which was being restored by environmental cleanup group Solve.
The young fast-growing, soft stalks that had come up in early spring were chosen because the silica content of the plant is still soluble at that time. I removed them from my garden as they were blocking where my vegetables were intended to be planted.
Making Medicines with Horsetail
There are several medicines that can be made using horsetail. Honey infused with horsetail can be created by adding some of the herb to slow cooked honey; an apple cider vinegar with horsetail steeped into it can also be made; finally, a tincture incorporating 80 proof vodka and horsetail left to steep for two months will produce an effective medicine.
Using Horsetail Medicines
The most effective use of horsetail is as a tea which helps draw out the silica content – this makes it useful for increasing strength of nails, hair or connective tissues generally.
It may also help treat prostate problems and urinary infections. The honey and vinegar can both be used as hair rinses while tinctures can be added to other formulas when attempting to improve connective tissue strength.
Before using medicinal horsetail it is important to consult a naturopathic physician first – this will ensure its medical appropriateness for each individual case.
Dosage and length of treatment also vary depending on what condition one intends to treat; combining horsetail with other herbs may increase its effectiveness but having an accurate diagnosis before taking herbal medicines is vital.