Urinary Health Support
Horsetail Background and Benefits
Horsetail is the common name for vascular plants in the Equisetum genus, which contains about 16 species. Unless otherwise specified, the common name “horsetail” specifically refers to Equisetum arvense, also known as the common horsetail and field horsetail. Horsetails grow in temperate to artic climates in the northern hemisphere.
Horsetails reproduce by spores instead of seeds, a reproduction method that was more common when horsetails dominated forests during the late Paleozoic era. Horsetails have fertile and sterile stems, both of which grow from underground rhizomes. The fertile stems start growing in the early spring and release spores instead of performing photosynthesis. These stems die shortly thereafter, at which point the plant begins to produce photosynthesizing sterile stems.
Fertile stems reach a height of about 10 inches and are covered with brown scales. The spore cones at the top of the stems are about 1.5 inches in length. The sterile stems may be three feet tall, with as many as 20 segmented joints.
The young buds of the fertile stems may be eaten as a vegetable, especially primarily in Japan and Korea. It is also grown around other plants in aquatic areas due to the ability of horsetails to absorb excess water. This effect is primarily due to the high mineral content in horsetails, especially silicon. Horsetails also contain significant levels of calcium and potassium.
Uses of Horsetail
The most significant health benefits of horsetail extract are generally due to its high silica content, a compound that is based on silicon. These benefits primarily include urinary health as well as support for bones, lungs and bleeding.
Lung health support
Horsetail extract produces silicic acid in the body, which may help to maintain healthy lung tissue.
Urinary health support
Horsetail has a significant diuretic effect, meaning that it helps increases urination. This effect may provide benefits to the urinary system such as managing irritation, healthy inflammation management and infections of the bladder.
Oral supplements containing horsetail extract may help support tothe body’s ability to manage minor internal bleeding.
Bone health support
The high silica content of horsetails may help to support healthy bone growth. Silica helps to fix calcium in the body, which may increase the calcium supply available for bones and cartilage.
Signs You May Need Horsetail
Fluid retention, or edema, is the most significant reason for taking horsetail extract. The common signs of edema include bladder and kidney stones, infections of the urinary tract and urinary incontinence. You may also benefit from horsetail if you have bone conditions such as low bone density and brittle fingernails. General signs that may mean you need horsetail extract include jaundice, joint conditions, unexplained weight loss, heavy menstrual periods and internal bleeding.
Synonyms and Similar Forms of Horsetail
Equisetum genus, Horsetail extract