Horsetail (Equisetum arvense L) is a perennial plant of the family of common in the northern hemisphere. Native to Europe and northern Asia, comes from the horsetails in the Mesozoic Era were great forests. Grows in clay or sandy, wild in the river banks and in open fields, provided that the area is wet.
This plant, which can grow to about eighty feet high, is characterized by two types of stems, a fertile and other infertile. The fertile stems are so called because these contain the reproductive organs, are the first to emerge from its underground rhizome, appear in late winter and spring, are yellow-brown and ending in large spikes containing spores. The sterile stems appear in midsummer dying in winter are hollow, ribbed and articulated with numerous lateral branches.
Once cut, the sterile shoots beams resemble a horse’s tail, hence its botanical name, Equisetum, which comes from the Latin equus meaning “horse” and setum which means “horsehair or pig”, which resulted in medieval Castilian as “cauda equina”, from which the current common name “horsetail”.
The use of horsetail for medicinal purposes dates back to antiquity. Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) cited the virtues ponytail had his contact hemostatic and served to stop bleeding from wounds, and Galen (130-200 AD) mentioned and its diuretic properties. In the Middle Ages, the renowned medical and religious Arnau de Vilanova describes who used it to cure a fistula having heard from another colleague of its healing properties.
For its content in minerals, especially potassium , horsetail has a mild diuretic. The mineral salts also highlights its high silica content, so its dust, ingested, is traditionally used as remineralizing to strengthen hair and nails. Some authors argue that their wealth can make silicon useful horsetail to help maintain collagen connective tissue, especially the joints. Due to its content of flavonoids and other substances have antioxidant action. It has also been observed in several scientific studies that because of containing volatile components, has antimicrobial action, against various bacteria and fungi.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), in his monograph, sees its traditional use as a diuretic to the “washing of the urinary tract.” Other papers, such as the German Commission E, also cites its healing properties on topical (on the skin) for wound healing.
Traditionally, is used, mild diuretic property as an aid in the treatment of overweight .
Dosage recommended by the EMA (adults and adolescents over 12 years):
-Tisane: 2-3 g in 250 ml, 3 to 4 times daily.
-Powder: 570 mg, 3 to 4 times a day.
Horsetail, commercially, is also shaped hydroalcoholic extract liquid (drops) or dry capsules at different concentrations, it is recommended not to exceed the dose recommended by the manufacturers.
Par external use Monograph German Commission E recommends its use as compresses or washes, from a tea made with 10 g of sterile shoots of horsetail in 1 liter of water.
When the water boils, add the ponytail, leaving a couple of minutes, turn off heat and let stand until lukewarm. Strain and drink or use as a wash or compress. To make, you can prepare all the tea that is to be used during the day, but should be kept pouring and stuffy. In this case, if you take hot should be monitored not boil again on heating. For external use, in compresses or washes, it is advisable to prepare whenever you are using.
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