Head2Toe

Strengthening Horsetail: For more than just fingernails

Dr. Laurell Matthews, ND

d08_3035_equisetum-hyemaleHorsetail is a silica rich herb used to support connective tissues in the body. It is probably most popular for strengthening hair and nails, but it can be used for other connective tissues in the body including skin, cartilage, and bones. Silica is found in trace amounts in the skeletal system and may help stabilize the collagen framework of bones that helps to make them strong. Recent studies have found a correlation between dietary silica intake and increased bone mineral density. Also, many herbalists recommend horsetail when people are healing from broken bones. Likewise, a folk use of horsetail is for people who lack confidence and need more backbone metaphorically.

Horsetail has lesser-known uses for the urinary tract. It is a mild diuretic that increases urinary output. As a diuretic, it is used for both urinary tract issues and edema, particularly when there is swelling due to trauma. Horsetail also…

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