Recently I tried a regiment of horsetail tea; twice daily for two weeks, to see what results it would give. I researched ahead to find out if horsetail was a safe herb, and it is, so I went ahead with my plan.
What I can tell you from my experience, is that horsetail is a mild herbal tea. I discovered it should not be steeped longer than 10 minutes, as the flavor becomes less palatable. It can be drank hot or cold, depending on your preference. I often have a bit of congestion, and I was pleased that it cleared up beautifully. Also, I felt like I was taking a cup of something very good for my health, each day. If I ever have a cold again (knock on wood!), I will be sure to take horsetail, because of the analgesic (pain-relieving) properties, and because of its ability to clear congestion. Read below what horsetail can do for colds and flus, and you’ll definitely want to give it a try!
Horsetail Tea Benefits
Horsetail,Field Horsetail, or Bottle-brush, Equisetum arvense, is smaller version of an ancient plant dating back to the late Paleozoic era, around 350 million years ago. The ancient form of horsetail grew as big as trees in dense forests.
It has been used since ancient Greek and Roman times as a tea (tisane) to drink for kidneys, urinary problems, ulcers, jaundice, hepatitis, tuberculosis, rheumatism and gout. Topically, horsetail has been used for baths and compresses to treat wounds and disorders of the skin. Today, horsetail tea is still used for urinary tract infections, incontinence, wounds, and health of the kidney and bladder. Additionally, it is used for problems such as diabetes, hemorrhoids, as an expectorant to get rid of mucus, and cancer. It gives positive effects of boosting the immunity and is beneficial for the cardiovascular system.
- Analgesic Properties
- Sedative Properties
- Blood Clotting agent
Enhances Kidney Function
Horsetail is probably best known for its positive effect on the health of the kidneys. Because it is a diuretic that supplies good nutrients and flushes all unnecessary toxins from the body, it is a perfect detox tea for kidneys and the liver. By consuming horsetail tea, uric acid is eliminated which causes problems such as kidney damage and kidney stones.
Good for Cardiovascular Health
Horsetail herb seals the walls of blood vessels and relaxes them, working as a mild sedative and anti-covulsant. The antioxidants found in the plant protect the organism against oxidative stress which can help prevent cardiac disease, cancer, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, aging, and even in infectious diseases.
Boosts Immune System
Horsetail is antimicrobial meaning it contains antibacterial and antiseptic properties which can prevent the spread of bacteria, viruses, and fungus. Besides just prevention, horsetail tea can be used to eliminate viral infections and aid fungal treatments. Check with your health care practitioner before using it together with antibiotics or other medicines.
Horsetail is rich in phenolic compounds, which are powerful antioxidants. These inhibit oxidative damage to cell membranes and eliminate free radicals in your body which cause cell damage. The abundance of silicon salts indicates that horsetail may possess remineralization properties. As well, antimicrobial activity can decrease oxidative stress. Scientific studies are quite favorable toward horsetails ability to battle cancer.
Horsetail tea can be used as an auxiliary therapy for diabetes. The stronger forms of the herb, as in extracts, have had a positive effect on blood sugar levels. However, drinking horsetail tea is also beneficial toward the problems that arise due to diabetes.
Diuretic and Anti-inflammatory
Horsetail tea is a mostly positive diuretic which flushes away toxins and provides nutrients with the exception of vitamin B1, which it tends to eliminate. For this reason, it has been helpful with digestive, liver, and kidney issues, and can eliminate excess sweating through the urine. In addition, the diuretic effect is anti-inflammatory, which can reduce blood pressure and swelling.
Aids Colds and Flus
Horsetail tea can aid coughs, and congestion because it is an expectorant. The anti-microbial properties of horsetail help eliminated bacteria in the form of phlegm and mucus in the body. Its anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties also help get rid of colds and viruses. Its sedative and analgesic properties relax the lungs and can help with irritation.
Reduces Arthritis and Gout
Horsetail is being researched for people with rheumatoid arthritis, and studies have shown that it improved their conditions by reducing inflammation and regulating their immune response. Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis, and as traditional use has shown, it may be an important treatment for this disease.
Provides Relief from Inflammation
Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of horsetail, people with injury, or other conditions due to inflammation and swelling are advised to consume horsetail.
Horsetail is a superb clotting agent, helping stop bleeding wounds, topically by compresses, poultices, and baths. The tisane also stops nosebleeds and coughing up of blood. Additionally, it is valuable for bleeding within the urinary tract and in cystitis, urethritis, and prostate disease.
Horsetail is an anti-convulsant, and has been shown to reduce and delay the intensity of seizures in laboratory animals due to the flavonoids it contains. The sedative properties of horsetail are beneficial for cardiovascular health as well as relaxing muscles and cramping.
Owing to its anti-inflammatory properties, horsetail tea can be consumed to alleviate the pain and reduce bleeding in hemorrhoids. Additionally, it is purported to eliminate constipation further helping to ease hemorrhoid pain.
If you are looking for topical relief, you can use the teabag as a poultice. Put the teabag in a small bowl, add just enough boiling water to moisten, cool completely, and apply as needed. You can also put the moistened teabag in the refrigerator, as the cold will further reduce the swelling of hemorrhoids.
Bath for Skin Ailments
A decoction of horsetail added to your bath can be beneficial for healing sprains and eczema.
Natural Hair Rinse for Strengthening Hair Follicles
The horsetail herb can be made into a decoction to use as a rinse for your hair. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add 3 horsetail teabags, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Cool, remove teabags, and massage the decoction into your hair. Wrap in a small towel for 20 minutes, then rinse with clean water. Some people say this rinse is helpful for dandruff, as well.
Warnings & Side-Effects
According to scientific sources, horsetail should not be consumed for a period longer than 2 months without consulting a medical professional. Herbal medicine practitioners claim not to exceed 6 weeks, because it can deplete vitamin B1 levels . For this reason, people with low vitamin B1 levels should not use horsetail tea. Pregnant women are advised against drinking horsetail tea without consulting with a medical professional. Discontinue or do not use if you are allergic to the horsetail herb.
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, Andrew Chevallier, DK publishing