Can be found in our Bones & Teeth product.

Herbal Medicine Materia Medica: Horsetail

David Hoffmann L. BSc (Hons), MNIMH ©


Equisetum arvense


Names: Shavegrass.

Habitat: Common on wet ground and waste places.

Collection: Take care to ensure the plants being picked are E.arvense or other common species, as some other species are rare butlocally abundant. Collect in early summer. Cut the plant just above the ground, hang in bundles and dry in an airy place.

Part Used: Dried aerial stems.


  • Alkaloids, including nicotine, palustrine andpalustrinine
  • Flavonoids such as isoquercitrin and equicetrin
  • Sterols including cholesterol, isofucosterol, campesterol.
  • Silicic acid.
  • Misc: a saponin equisitonin, dimethylsulphone, thiaminase & aconitic acid.

Actions: Astringent, diuretic, vulnerary.

Indications: Horsetail is an excellent astringent for the genito-urinary system, reducing hemorrhage and healing wounds thanks to the high silica content. Whilst it acts as a mild diuretic, its toning and astringent actions make it invaluable in the treatment of incontinence and bed wetting in children. It is considered a specific in cases of inflammation or benign enlargement of the prostate gland. Externally it is a vulnerary. In some cases it has been found to ease the pain of rheumatism and stimulate the healing of chilblains.

Ellingwood suggest the following uses: dropsy, lithaemia, haematuria, gonorrhea, gleet, irritable bladder, enuresis in children, prostatitis, and the ashes for acid dyspepsia.

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