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Horsetail
Equisetaceae
Equisetum arvense


Thunder
Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Herb



Equisetaceae Family

Equisetum Genus
Other Names for this Plant

Field Horsetail, At Quyroughi, Atkuyrugu, Chieh Hsu Ts'Ao, Cola De Caballo, Equiseto Menor, Kilkah Asb, Prele, Sugina, Thanab Al Khail, Vara De Oro, Wen Ching, Scouring rush, Equisetum


Location

Native to temperate zones of North America, Europe and Russia



Physical Description
The segmented stem can be pulled apart and put back together at the joints to make necklaces and bracelets. It appears in the spring as a naked segmented stem with a dry tipped sporangium (spores may be shaken from it). Later the sterile stage stem arises with many long needle-like branches arranged in whorls up the stem.


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Equisetaceae
Equisetales
Horsetail Order
Equisetopsida
Horsetail Class
Pteridophyta
Pteridophyta
Fern Division
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

Externally, both the American Indians and the Chinese use horsetail to stop bleeding and accelerate the healing of wounds and broken bones. The effectiveness of horsetail in external applications is related to the solubility of silica in the fluids of wounds or in the poultice materials, and its absorption directly into blood and cells at the site of the wound.

Internally, horsetail is often used as a source of minerals, especially silica and calcium, in a form that can be easily used by the body in the production and repair of bone, skin and connective tissue. As a diuretic and astringent it is widely used in the treatment of genitourinary problems such as gravel and inflammations. Europeans, Asians, and Americans use horsetail in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, cystitis, cramps of the bladder, kidney stones, enuresis, lithiasis, dropsy, internal bleeding, fevers, eye disease, nephritis, cystic ulceration, gonorrhea, gout rheumatism, and miscellaneous hemorrhaging conditions of the bladder, kidneys and prostrate. Horsetail has even found its way into folk medicine treatments for cancer.

Medicinal Uses: Astringent, Antihemorrhagic, Anti-inflammatory, Diuretic

Is a popular kidney treatment among Hispanic people. Commission E approved for wounds, burns and internally for urinary tract infections, as well as, kidney and bladder stones.
Mexican Americans use dried whole aerial plant parts of horsetail in infusion or decoction to treat painful urination. This therapy is not supported by scientific evidence. But equisetonin and bioflavonoids in the plant may account for its diuretic effect. Native Americans used a poultice of the stem to treat rashes of the armpit and groin. An infusion of the stem was used by Blackfoot as a diuretic. Cherokee used aerial part infusion to treat coughs in their horses. An infusion of the plant was used to treat dropsy, backaches, cuts, and sores. Baths of the herb were reported to treat syphilis and gonorrhea. This is one of the First People’s most widely used herbs.

Food Uses: Native Americans of the Northwest eat the tender young shoots of the plant as a blood purifier (tonic). The tips, the strobili are boiled and eaten in Japan. Mix vinegar and soy and enjoy. Roots have been eaten by Native Americans in the Southwest.
Strobil (the fertile shoots in spring) - cooked and used as an asparagus substitute. They should be used when young but even so it is probably best to change the water, perhaps 3 - 4 times. One report says that they can be eaten raw, they are peeled and the shoot tip is discarded. It is said to be a very tedious operation and they should not be eaten raw in any quantity

Some native tribes liked to eat the young vegetative shoots, picked before they had branched out, and would often collect them in great quantity then hold a feast to eat them. The leaf sheaths were peeled off and the stems eaten raw - they were said to be 'nothing but juice'
Roots – Raw. The tuberous growths on the rhizomes are used in the spring. The black nodules attached to the roots are edible. It takes considerable effort to collect these nodules so it is normally only done in times of desperation. However, native peoples would sometimes raid the underground caches of roots collected by lemmings and other rodents in order to obtain these nodules.

Toxic dut to the enzyme thiaminase, a substance that can rob the body of the vitamin B complex. Clinical signs of Equisetum poisoning are seen primarily in young, rapidly-growing horses but cases of poisoning have also been reported in cows and sheep. The development of symptoms of Equisetum poisoning initiates slowly. The first signs might be a general scruffy physical appearance, weight loss (without a particular loss of appetite), diarrhea, and slightly uncoordinated movements. If not treated, the disease will progress to a point where the horse will show a loss of muscular control, staggering gaits, and extreme balance issues. The horse is prone to become uneasy and nervous due to the inability to control muscle movement, it might lie down and not be able to get up, and seizure, but the horse ultimately will die from sheer exhaustion within approximately one to two weeks



Horsetail


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