Horsetail, an ancient herb that dates back to the time of the dinosaurs, often roams the gardeners with the annoying swampy or shady areas. But this "herb", equisetum arvense, contains potential health benefits. The high silica content in horsetail tea can help strengthen bones, hair and nails, works as a fungicide, relieves swelling and even heals black spots on your roses. Use one to three tablespoons of fresh or dried horsetail for each cup of water. Pour boiling water on the grass, let stand for five to ten minutes and strain the herbs before drinking or applying topically.
The most traditional use of horsetail is as a diuretic, dating back to ancient Greek and Roman doctors, reports Medline Plus. Horsetail tea or its supplements promote a greater flow of urine, which can help the body recover from a series of kidney ailments and edema. The Germany's Commission E, similar to the United States Food and Drug Administration, officially recommends horsetail as a treatment for edema. Women have discovered that drinking this or adding it to the tub water for a shower relieves premenstrual inflammation, according to herbalist Jeanne Rose.
Can strengthen bones
The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that although the silica content in horsetail tea theoretically makes it a strong candidate for the fight against osteoporosis, more research is needed. Although one study found that women who took horsetail extract showed an improvement in bone density, analysts believe that the tests were poorly designed. The CMUM, however, recommends horsetail as an herb that is worth trying as part of a preventive treatment for osteoporosis, along with algae, oat flakes, black cohosh and red clover.
Promote healthy hair
Make good use of the silica content of horsetail by using it in cold tea as a hair rinse, or add 4 ounces (119 ml) of this cold tea to shampoo for baby. Consider drinking it daily as part of an overall diet rich in silica. Silica helps, according to reports, to hair growth and health when used both topically and internally. The American Pregnancy Association advises women who experience hair loss after childbirth, using a shampoo containing silica, is a useful recommendation for women interested in the application of topical chemicals during the lactation stage.
Help with nail problems
The silica content in horsetail tea is also an ideal nail strengthener. Drinking it regularly helps to improve the benefits of the herb from the inside out. Additionally, you can use the topical nail strengthener recommended by Herb Companion. Prepare half a cup of tea. Strain the grass, add a small spoonful of honey and let the mixture soak for two days. Apply the formula with a cotton ball every day for two weeks. The herbalist Jim Long recommends combating the fungus of the nails of the feet or hands by preparing a tea of cider vinegar with horsetail. Mix a cup of ground horsetail herb with four cups of cider vinegar to boiling point. Boil for a few minutes and let the mixture settle throughout the night. Strain the herbs and use the infusion of cider with horsetail as an herbal bath for the hands or feet.
An ally in the garden
Horsetail seems to have an anti fungal property useful for both toenails and roses, Long says. He not only uses horsetail tea to soak his nails but also to combat the mildew and black spots of his roses. Strain and cool it, pour it into a spray bottle and spritz over the roses every third day during periods of rain. Long uses a measure of one cup of horsetail for every six cups of water.