Horsetail Herbal Uses And Benefits

Horsetail is a medicinal herb that comes from a three-foot plant with a history dating back to the Romans, Greeks and the prehistoric era. The herb has been used for various medicinal purposes throughout history and it continues to be useful till date. 

Horsetail belongs to the Equisetum plant species and is sometimes referred to as puzzlegrass.The plant has two unique qualities: It reproduces through its sores and does not sprout normally from seeds. Unlike any other plant ever known, it contains a lot of silica, a trace mineral also known as silicon dioxide that can contribute to bone density and hair growth. 

Some of its many uses owing to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are as follows:

Improves Bone Density

A horsetail supplement can be consumed along with calcium. The abundance of silica contained in horsetail is beneficial for maintaining bone and teeth health. Post-menopausal women with osteoporosis had improved their level of bone density by taking supplement for over a year, according to one study conducted in 1999. 

Hair, Skin and Nail Health

The hair can be rinsed with horsetail extracts. The silica stimulates the growth of collagen, which helps in the maintenance of skin, hair and nails. It also helps hair regrow after hair loss. A 2016 study showed that hair with high silica content is more lustrous and less likely to fall. Furthermore, horsetail can be topically applied to the nails to prevent it from splitting and breaking. 


Horsetail tea can be consumed to move excess water out of the body to treat bladder-related problems. As a diuretic, it is as effective as regular medication prescribed. It also does not cause an imbalance of electrolytes. Horsetail consumption has been linked with the excretion of uric acid from the kidney, which would otherwise form kidney stones. 

Boils and Blisters

Grind the dry herb and mix it with water to form a paste that can be applied topically on boils and blisters. Horsetail has anti- inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Horsetail essential oil could help cure different types of fungi and bacteria such as Candida and Staph, according to a 2006 study. 

Sore Throat

A concoction of boiling water, sea salt, lemon juice and horsetail can cure a sore throat if gargling is done many times a day while symptoms persist. 


Horsetail contains antibacterial and antiseptic properties that are useful in protecting the body’s immune system against foreign pathogens. It provides the ability of wounds to recover quickly and the ability to cope and bounce back faster after an illness. 

Cognitive Health

Horsetail demonstrated in laboratory studies that it improves the efficiency of neural pathways in the brain and therefore increases cognitive function. It has also been linked to decreasing the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Horsetail Plant Horsetail Plants in Warwickshire, United Kingdom. Tim Graham/Getty Images