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Equisetum arvense

Equisetum arvense (Equisetaceae)

HORSETAIL, BOTTLEBRUSH, SHAVE GRASS

 

The vegetative stems of horsetail are a long-established remedy given by herbalists for urinary and prostate conditions, and to help heal lung damage caused, for example, by tuberculosis.

 

This ancient plant, which is a common fossil in coal deposits, has been used since Roman times as a vegetable, an animal feed, and a medicine. Culpeper said it was "very powerful to stop bleeding, either inward or outward and eases the swelling, heat, and inflammation of the fundamental, or privy parts, in men and women". Native to Europe and found on low-lying waste ground, it has two types of stem that grow from a wandering rhizome - fertile stems in early spring, followed by vegetative stems.

 

PARTS USED

Vegetative stems.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Alkaloids, including nicotine, palustrine, and palustrinine; saponins; flavonoids, including isoquercitrin and equicetrin; sterols, including cholesterol; silicic acid; minerals.

 

ACTIONS

Halts or reduces bleeding (external and internal); astringent; stimulates immune response.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Given for urinary and prostate diseases to relieve symptoms and aid healing, for bed-wetting, and for lung damage caused by TB and other lung disease. E. hiemale is prescribed by Chinese doctors for eye disorders, dysentery, flu, swelling, and piles.

 

PREPARATIONS

Infusion, tincture.    

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