Parts Used & Where Grown
Horsetail is widely distributed throughout the temperate climate zones of the Northern Hemisphere, including Asia, North America, and Europe.1 Horsetail is a unique plant with two distinctive types of stems. One variety of stem grows early in spring and looks like asparagus, except for its brown color and spore-containing cones on top. The mature form of the herb, appearing in summer, has branched, thin, green, sterile stems and looks like a feathery tail.
How It Works
Horsetail is rich in silicic acid and silicates, which provide approximately 2–3% elemental silicon. Potassium, aluminum, and manganese, along with fifteen different types of flavonoids, are also found in this herb. The presence of these flavonoids, as well as saponins, is believed to cause the diuretic effect, while the silicon content is thought to exert a connective tissue-strengthening and anti-arthritic action.2 Some experts have suggested the element silicon in horsetail is also a vital component for bone and cartilage formation.3 Anecdotal reports suggest that horsetail may be of some use in the treatment of brittle nails.4