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Equisetum arvense

Common name: Horsetail

Family:  Equisetaceae

Parts used: Aerial

Constituents: Nutrients (mineral silica (65%) in the form of silicic acid and silicates, K+, Mg), flavonoids (quercitin, kaempferol glycosides), alkaloids, phenols (caffeic acid esters), phytosterols, saponins (equisitonin), mucilage, tannins.

Medicinal actions: Immunostimulant, WBC stimulant,  anti-inflammatory, astringent, anti-hemorrhagic, hemostatic, anti-atheroma, diuretic, vulnerary, connective tissue tonic, anti-rheumatic.

Medicinal uses: Has specific use for BPH, prostatitis, incontinence and enuresis in children. Is also indicated for edema secondary to trauma or dependent edema. It is specific to the genitourinary and respiratory systems to promote repair of tissue. Is also used as a connective tissue tonic that promotes repair of damaged connective tissue and the healthy growth of bones. It improves connective tissue strength and elasticity, as well as removes uric acid, lactates and residual toxins from the extracellular matrix. Promotes renal function, cleanses and repairs tissues. Repairs connective tissue, improving both collagen and elastin; bone, cartilage, joints, muscles, arteries (bleeding), veins (varicose). Chronic connective tissue disorders, arthritis, inflammation (old degenerated wounds) releases old pus and residual material, chronic infections (esp. bladder), irritation. Restores mineral levels and weak mucous membranes (eg. sinusitis, IBS).

Pharmacy: Dried herb: 1-4g, TID. Infusion: 2tsp/cup, infuse 20 min, TID. Tincture: (1:2. 25%), 2-6ml QD. Poultice: make paste with powdered herb. Note: Pulse dosing 4 weeks on, 1 week off.

Pharmacology:

  • Is rich in silicic acid and silicates, which provide approximately 2–3% elemental silicon. Silicon is a vital component for bone and cartilage formation. Helps preserve elasticity of connective tissue, controls Ca+ absorption and promotes the repair of tissue after lung damage. The high silicon content exerts a connective tissue-strengthening effect..
  • Soluble silicates stimulate leucocyte activity.

Contraindications: Impaired cardiac and kidney function, prostate cancer, children under 2, and long-term use.

Toxicity: No adverse effects expected. Use with caution in people with edema that is the result of impaired kidney function. Long term use (> 1 month) may cause kidney and/or heart damage and result in tissue irritation and consequent inflammation. Note: Equisteum heavily concentrates minerals from the soil in which it grows.  Thus, plants by roads and industrial areas will concentrate heavy metals such as cadmium and lead.

Interactions:  Digitalis and other cardiac glycosides may be potentiated due to potassium loss secondary to diuresis caused by Equisetum.

 

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About Marisa Marciano

Naturopathic Herbalist

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