Information on Horsetail

Latin NameEquisetum arvensephoto
Other NamesShavegrass
Part UsedHerb
Herb FormsTincture, capsule, tablet, bulk herb.
AffectsUrinary system, Integumentary system
CautionsContraindicated in cardiac or kidney dysfunction. Consumption of fresh horsetail is reported to potentially lead to thiamine deficiency. Horsetail extract is safe to use because the thiaminase is broken down.
Botanical InfoHorsetail is a non-flowering primitive and ancient plant of wet places with straight, ribbed stems covered with whorled radiating branches. The plants often spread by underground runners.
DescriptionHorsetail, or shavegrass, is valuable for its high silica content, which makes it useful for strengthening and regenerating connective tissues. A number of commercial preparations containing horsetail extract are available and are recommended for strengthening the hair, nails, and for speeding healing of bones and connective tissue. It is also beneficial for urinary tract infections, and although it is considered a mild diuretic (aquaretic), because of its astringency, horsetail is used for incontinence and bedwetting in children. Horsetail helps reduce inflammation or benign enlargement of the prostate. It is commonly used in Chinese medicine to reduce irritation and redness of the eyes. Externally, horsetail poultices are applied for bleeding wounds, rheumatism, fractures, and sprains.

Horsetail has a taste of SWEET, BITTER and a temperature of NEUTRAL.


Decoction1 cup 2-3 x daily
Tincture2-3 droppersful 2-3 x daily
ExtractFollow label advice

Ailments Treated by Horsetail

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Baldnessrich in silicatea, tincture, capsule, tablet
Bladder, weakurinary tract tonictea, tincture, capsule, tablet
Bones, brokenconnective tissue regeneratorextract in tablet form
Lupus, mildconnective tissue strengthenertincture, tablet, tea
Nails, brittleconnective tissue strengthenertablet, tea, tincture
Scalp conditionssilica containingextract (tablet) internally


Blumenthal, Mark et al. 1998. The Complete Commission E Monographs. Austin: American Botanical Council.
Leung, A. and S. Foster. 1996. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.
McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Felter, H.W. and J.U. Lloyd. 1983. (1898). King's Dispensatory. Portland, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications.
Weiss, R. 1988. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, England: Beaconsfield Publishers.
Wren, R.C. 1988. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs. Essex: C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd.
Bradley, P.R., ed. 1992. British Herbal Compendium. Dorset: British Herbal Medicine Association.