Horsetail is recommended for individuals with kidney stones, hair grow & skin problems, haemorrhoids, diabetes, bronchitis, tonsillitis, gingivitis and more.
Horsetail is often refered to as a “living fossil”. The last surviving genus of the Equisetaceae class of plants, horsetail’s ancestors are over 400 million year old. Long ago, Horsetail’s ancestors once included trees that stood at over 30 meters tall! Now Horsetail, a humble herb, stands at around two feet tall, under one meter in height. The plant’s name equisetum arvense comes from the plants unique appearance made of long bristled nonflowering branches. Equisetum, is derived from the latin roots “equus + seta” or “horse + bristle”.
Equisetum arvense, contains potential health benefits. Is is recommended for individuals with kidney stones, hair grow & skin problems, Horsetail tea’s high silica content may help strengthen bones, hair and nails, skin, fight fungal infections, relieve bloating, haemorrhoids, as well as diabetes, bronchitis, tonsillitis, gingivitis and much more.
Preparations of Horsetail are often used in cosmetics and even fine sandpaper. These same properties have even been used for centuries in cleaning pots, pans and other metal utensils.
Use 1 to 3 tsps. of fresh or dried horsetail for every cup of water. Pour boiling water over the herb, steep 5 to 10 minutes and strain the herbs before drinking or applying topically.
Side effects of horsetail tea
- Limit your intake of this tea to a short period, as usage over time could cause your kidneys to get irritated.
- Due to its diuretic action, taking this tea could cause potassium levels to drop at a faster rate than you are ingesting this element. This could lead to muscle weakness and may cause arrhythmia. Make sure to have your potassium levels tested and adjust your diet accordingly.
- Taking too much of this tea, or for a long period of time, could cause a deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamin). You may need to find additional sources for this vitamin as you may experience loss of strength and coordination. This could happen also if you are drinking alcohol while taking this tea.
- Although one of the great benefits of horsetail tea is its ability to treat wounds and external lesions, make sure to test on a small area of your skin to see if you are not allergic to this herb. If you start experiencing skin irritation or rash, stop using this it and seek an alternative solution.
- One of the elements present in horsetail is nicotine, so taking this tea in greater amounts than those recommended could result in symptoms resembling toxicity, such as nausea, muscle weakness, fever and even irregular heartbeat.
- The same applies if you are taking lithium, as horsetail tea could affect the way your body eliminates lithium. Talk to your doctor and work together to monitor your progress.
Horsetail Tea and Pregnancy/ Breastfeeding
- If you are pregnant, it also best to find an alternative solution. Horsetail tea contains small amounts of nicotine which are not recommended during this stage.
- This tea is also not recommended for young children. The traces of nicotine found in this tea make it unsuitable for children or small infants. For the same reason, do not take this tea while breastfeeding as it may also make your milk less flavorful for your baby.
Do not take horsetail tea
- If you have a history of kidney problems (kidney stones or kidney failure) or diabetes, then you should not take this herbal tea, as it may alter your blood sugar levels drastically. Talk to your doctor about other possible treatments.
- A history of heart problems and high blood pressure makes for a bad combination with horsetail tea. Not only may this tea cause arrhythmia, but it may also seriously interfere with your medication.
- If you are prone to thiamin (vitamin B1) deficiency then you should not take this tea, as it may cause additional depletion especially if you like to drink alcoholic beverages.
- If you are taking prescription medication, make sure to talk to your doctor before taking this herbal tea medicinally. It may inadvertently enhance the effects of the medication and cause more harm than good.
- Horsetail contains small amounts of nicotine. These may be enough to cause harm to you if you are using nicotine patches or gum to help you quit smoking.
- If you are taking other diuretics, it is best to avoid horsetail tea as it may result if dehydration or low potassium levels. This could be quite harmful, causing as first symptoms, muscle aches weakness and chronic fatigue.