Field horsetail application and effects

When it comes to teas for purification, detoxification, or the treatment of urinary tract diseases, horsetail ( Equisetum arvense ) is always a special recommendation due to its diuretic and dehydrating properties. The medicinal plant, also known as horsetail, can do a lot more. Field horsetail can be used in a variety of ways, especially in the area of ​​joint and vascular problems. And Equisetum arvense is also highly valued by connoisseurs as a gynecological herb. You can find out what the herb is all about and how it can best be used here.

  • Scientific name: Equisetum arvense
  • Family: Horsetail ( Equisetaceae )
  • Folk Names: Meadow pine herb, Fegekraut, crafts herb Heermos, Hippuris, Kandel Wisch, Can herb cat helmet, cats Wedel, Ponytail, Pfannebutzer, Ross Wedel, Schachtelheu, Schaftheu, scouring herb horsetail
  • used plant parts: Leaf shoots
  • Origin: America, Asia, Europe
  • Most important ingredients: flavonoids, silica, minerals, phenolic acids, phytosterols

Application areas:
  • Urinary tract disease,
  • Inflammation,
  • Women suffering,
  • Vascular diseases
  • and joint diseases
Plant portrait: gentle healing from the farmland

In addition to the field horsetail, there are other species among the horsetail family ( Equisetaceae ), whereby Equisetum arvense is primarily used medicinally. Its undemanding species ensured a fairly large distribution area in the northern hemisphere, which extends from America through Europe to Asia. The field horsetail has even become naturalized in some regions of the southern hemisphere such as South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The growth form of many horsetails is strongly reminiscent of bamboo.

In the case of the field horsetail, on the other hand, one might feel more reminiscent of the branches of a conifer in the case of the green leaf shoots, while looking at the spore shoots, on the other hand, of a mushroom. In fact, Equisetum does not form flowers, but rather spore heads similar to mushrooms, through which the plant reproduces. The mode of reproduction was one of the first to arise on earth. It is therefore not surprising that the horsetail family, with a history of over 300 million years, is one of the oldest plant families in the world.

By the way: The name of the horsetail comes from the fact that the individual sections of the hollow trunk of this plant are nested in one another and you can literally pull them out and put them back together again. Nicknames such as cattail rose tail, or ponytail can also be traced back to the special appearance of the field horsetail.

As the name suggests, field horsetail grows preferentially on loamy arable land or at least on light meadow edges and embankments. Farmers don't like that at all. Because of its deep rhizomes, the plant displaces crops and cereals relatively easily. In addition, the roots are difficult to remove, which is also a thorn in the side of farmers and farmers. Equisetum arvense is therefore often defined as a weed, despite its medicinal properties. The field horsetail shares its dubious reputation with the nettle, which is also decried as a rampant weed. And both plants are in parts similar in terms of their healing properties. This applies in particular to the diuretic effect of field horsetail and nettle, Cystitis can be used. Sometimes both medicinal plants can even be found together in herbal mixtures, for example in the case of bladder and kidney tea.

Field horsetail is an insider tip, especially in the field of gynecology, because women suffer more often from cystitis due to their shortened urinary tract. The healing properties of Equisetum arvense go even further. For example, even very weak menstrual bleeding should be remedied thanks to the circulation-promoting effect of field horsetail. Menopausal symptoms, such as vascular and tissue changes, also respond well to the use of the herb.

“[...] The roots are woody, hard; the herb is astringent, so its juice stops blood flow from the uterus […]. ” - wrote Dioscurides, Greek doctor of antiquity.

It is not difficult to guess that the use of field horsetail has a long tradition. Dioscurides recommended the plant that he called Hippuris, for example for heavy uterine bleeding, coughs, and wounds. The hemostatic effect in particular was later praised by numerous other doctors and herbalists, including Paracelsus and Matthiolus. Sebastian Kneipp, the German naturopath, and inventor of the famous Kneipp cure for the treatment of vascular problems and tissue damage was also very keen on horsetail and recommended it
  • Vascular disease
  • Ulcers
  • Kidney grits
  • Stone ailments
  • Urinary retention
  • Bleeding
  • vomiting blood
In folk medicine, horsetail was mostly known as horsetail. Similar to the nickname “Pfannebutzer”, the name comes from the fact that the green shoots of the field horsetail were previously used to clean metal. The traditional areas of application of the horsetail included complaints such as
  • Ulcers
  • Eczema
  • Fistulas
  • Receding gums
  • Skin inflammation
  • Inflammation of the mucous membranes
  • bone or joint problems
Field horsetail was often combined with nettle or ribwort for this purpose

Fields of application for field horsetail

All in all, naturopathy knows the following areas of application for Equisetum arvense :
  • Urinary tract diseases - for example, cystitis, bladder weakness, kidney gravel, kidney weakness, or dropsy.
  • Inflammation - for example, bowel inflammation, skin and mucosal inflammation, or inflammation of the gums.
  • Vascular problems - for example, circulatory disorders, vascular bleeding, varicose veins, or weak menstrual period.
  • Bone and joint problems - for example, broken bones, osteoporosis, or rheumatism.
  • other complaints - for example, shortness of breath, brittle fingernails, gout, hair loss, tuberculosis, or wounds.
"Drunk with wine it helps [the field horsetail] with dysentery [dysentery / bacterial intestinal inflammation], it also urges the urine. The leaves stick with bloody wounds when they are finely rubbed scattered; the root and the herb are beneficial for coughs, orthopnea [shortness of breath] and internal ruptures. It is also said that the leaves, when drunk with water, fix a division of the intestines, a tear in the bladder and a rupture of the intestine. ” - Dioscurides

Ingredients and effects
  • Flavonoids
  • Silica
  • Minerals
  • Phenolic acids
  • and phytosterols

Plant dyes are commonly referred to as flavonoids, whereby the word is derived from the Latin flavus for 'yellow' and thus from yellow dyes of a vegetable nature. They were the first scientifically more precisely determined flavonoids and are now summarized in the flavonoid subgroup of flavones. Some of them are also found in field horsetail, for example, quercetin. The name comes from the Latin word Quercus for "oak" since the dyer's oak ( Quercus tinctoria ) was once considered to be one of the first natural dye suppliers for dyeing textiles yellow. Accordingly, quercetin was one of the first flavonoids ever to be discovered and used.

It is now known that quercetin, in addition to its properties as a coloring agent, also has an antioxidant and anticarcinogenic effect. Accordingly, it is highly valued on the one hand in the area of purification measures, on the other hand, it is also used in the treatment of heart, vascular, and cancer diseases. The situation is similar with apigenin and luteolin. These are two other flavones that are also known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Luteolin also counteracts an increased uric acid level (hyperuricemia), which is why it is particularly relevant for the treatment of gout. The metabolic disease is based on an increased loss of uric acid crystals in the blood which, via the storage of crystals in the joints, not only leads to severe joint pain and inflammation in the long term but also means an enormous additional burden on the kidneys, which ultimately provokes kidney damage and even kidney failure. Drinking field horsetail tea is therefore recommended as an accompanying measure in the treatment of gout.

The strongest flavone in field horsetail is certainly kaempferol. The dye has a wide range of medicinal uses, for example as a plant-based estrogen (phytoestrogen), as its effects are very similar to the female estrogen hormone. Accordingly, kaempferol can also be used to treat typical women's ailments that are based on a fluctuating estrogen level in the female hormone balance. These include menstrual disorders or menopausal symptoms such as postmenopausal osteoporosis . The latter is due to a falling estrogen level during menopause, which causes serious changes in the female skin, conjunctiva, hair and bone tissue. Overall, the kaempferol in field horsetail has one
  • antimicrobial
  • calming
  • anti-inflammatory
  • heart-strengthening
  • hormone regulating
  • anti-cancer
  • nerve-strengthening
  • analgesic effects

Many flavonoids are made up of glycosidic compounds. This is understood to mean plant substances, each composed of alcohol and sugar. This also applies to saponins, which also belong to the glycosides and the field horsetail is one
  • cholesterol-lowering
  • anti-inflammatory
  • diuretic
  • hormone-stimulating
  • impart expectorant properties
The diuretic and at the same time anti-inflammatory effect is largely due to the plant's own saponins. In the field of gynecology, the hormone-stimulating effect of saponins is also valued.


As a derivative of silicon, silica has an immune-boosting effect. This comes from silicon's cell-stimulating effect, which of course also affects the immune cells and thus ensures an improved defense reaction in the event of illness. The anti-inflammatory and disinfecting effects of silica can also be explained by a function that supports the immune system. Much better known, however, are the
  • connective tissue tightening
  • vascular strengthening
  • hair-strengthening
  • skin-protecting
  • bone strengthening
  • nail strengthening
  • teeth strengthening
Properties of silica. The function of silica or silicon as a structural component of body tissue is almost always important. For example, the plant substance ensures more elasticity in vascular and connective tissue structures. In this way, it not only protects the blood vessels from constrictions and associated diseases such as arteriosclerosis, varicose veins, or circulatory disorders. Due to the increased elasticity of the connective tissue, typical signs of aging in the skin such as cellulite or wrinkles can also be reduced. Especially women in menopause have increased under the connective tissue to suffer.

In the hair, silica also ensures a healthier and stronger hair structure, which protects against hair loss and split ends. It also makes the fingernails stronger, which helps prevent brittle nails. The situation is very similar with bones and teeth, which also depend on a healthy supply of silicon or silica.


Speaking of teeth and bones. The minerals in field horsetail also contribute to the health of teeth and bones. Classic minerals like
  • Potassium
  • calcium
  • magnesium
have long been known here for their effect on tooth and bone density. And hair, skin and fingernails also need a regular supply of the mentioned minerals, as they mainly consist of horny layers that are particularly dependent on magnesium. Overall, the effect of potassium, calcium and magnesium on the body structures mentioned is explained by their ability to regulate cell growth, cell health and hormonal balance. All three body processes play an important role in the maintenance of tooth, bone, skin, hair, and nail tissue. In addition, the three minerals have an effect
  • blood pressure regulating
  • blood sugar lowering
  • immune-boosting
  • heart-strengthening
  • strengthens muscles and nerves
  • stimulates the metabolism
  • soothes
Phenolic acids

Not only do the dyes in the field horsetail have a beneficial effect. Some aromatic substances from the group of phenolic acids also contribute to the medicinal properties of the plant. For example, a Spanish study from 2013 points to the antifungal potential of phenolic acids in Equisetum arvense. Thanks to a field horsetail extract, the researchers were able to successfully combat the mold pathogen Aspergillus flavus. This is also discussed as the cause of the so-called "curse of the Pharaoh", a mysterious series of deaths that occurred in the late 19th to early 20th century after the pharaohs' tombs were opened for the first time in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings by the responsible archaeological teams happened.

Today it is assumed that the affected team members were fatally infected with mold by the Aspergillus mold, which has spread over the millennia in the stagnant air of the burial chambers. The fungus secretes toxic toxins, mostly aflatoxins, which can cause heart failure, kidney bleeding, and even cancer. A plant-like field horsetail, which is so effective against deadly fungal infections, is of course of particular interest in medicine.


To come back to blood and vascular health, the phytosterols in the field of horsetail make an important contribution here again. Since they are similar to the body's own cholesterol, they are able to lower the level of cholesterol in the blood. This in turn keeps the vessel walls in good condition and protects them from blood lipid deposits, which can later lead to circulatory disorders or even hardening of the arteries. Certain phytosterols are also used therapeutically to treat skin irritation and itching.

Caution, risk of confusion: Anyone who collects wild specimens of the plant should always be careful to really harvest the field horsetail and not the marsh horsetail by mistake. In contrast to its conspecifics used as a medicinal herb, the latter is poisonous and must therefore not be consumed under any circumstances! Both types of horsetail can be distinguished by the color of the edges of their nested hollow trunk sections. In the field horsetail, these jagged edges are colored green, in the marsh horsetail they are brown to black.

Application and dosage

You can either buy the field horsetail as a ready-made herb or collect it yourself from May to July. Only the young leaf shoots (not the mushroom-like spore shoots) of the plant are collected. The classic form of application is then that of the dried herb as a tea. However, there are a number of other possible uses that we would like to briefly introduce to you in conclusion.

Horsetail tea

Field horsetail can be used internally as a relatively versatile tea. In addition to the best-known use for existing urinary tract infections, the tea can also be used, for example, to detoxify the body or for existing menstrual or menopausal symptoms. In fact, thanks to its high content of hormone-stimulating ingredients such as silica, field horsetail is a very important gynecological herb that, with regular use, is able to regulate the female hormone balance.

The basic recipe

The following applies to the dosage of a basic recipe for field horsetail tea:
  • Two tablespoons of field horsetail come up
  • 500 milliliters of tea water
Boil the herbs together with the water and then let it steep for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then the herbs are sieved and the tea is drunk throughout the day.

Tip: In order to reach specific areas of the skin with an external application, for example in the event of a wound or existing skin complaints, the field horsetail is also often used for healing compresses. For this, you can simply use the lukewarm tea and put the wrap in it. The pads are then placed on the affected skin area for about 30 minutes. Incidentally, it should also be able to treat gas or kidney problems from the outside.

Kidney and bladder tea with field horsetail

There are also some special tea blends with field horsetail for special occasions. This includes, for example, the use in the case of a very persistent kidney or bladder infection. Field horsetail can be combined very well with other, highly effective kidney herbs such as bearberry or nettle. For the herb mixture, you need a tablespoon of each
  • Field horsetail
  • Bearberry
  • Nettle leaves
  • Sage
  • yarrow
  • nasturtiums
Pour the herbal mixture into one and a half to two liters of cold water and bring the tea to a good boil. After a steeping time of ten minutes, strain the herbs and drink the tea in small sips throughout the day.

Field horsetail detox tea

In addition to field horsetail, this tea contains other detoxifying herbs and is highly recommended when you are on a diet. Just mix a teaspoon at a time
  • Field horsetail
  • Nettle
  • Shepherd's purse
  • Elderflower
  • Lemon balm
  • ribwort
together and take one teaspoon per cup of the herbal mixture. Then pour 250 milliliters of water over the herbs. The brewing time for the tea is ten minutes before the herbs are filtered off and the tea is consumed in small sips. In total, you can drink three cups of this detox per day.

Horsetail tea for coughing up blood

The hemostatic and anti-irritant properties of field horsetail can also be used in tea form. An old prescription for coughing up blood proves this. To make this tea, you take:
  • 20 grams of horsetail
  • 20 grams of lungwort
  • 20 grams of ribwort
Add a tablespoon of this herbal mixture to a cup of boiling water. Let the tea steep for ten minutes before filtering off the herbs. Drinking three to four cups of this tea a day should then immediately relieve the coughing up blood.

Sitz bath with field horsetail

For hip baths, Equisetum arvense is often used for sexually transmitted diseases, but also for bladder infections, prostate problems, rheumatism, or varicose veins. To do this, add 50 grams of dried field horsetail to one liter of cold water.

Let the herb mixture stand overnight before you filter the herbs off the next day and add the cold extract to the bathwater. After a 45-minute hip bath, the symptoms usually subside quickly.

Horsetail tinctures

Horsetail tincture is also suitable for external use (for example for circulatory disorders ). The tincture can also be used internally, for example for urinary tract infections or other bacterial diseases. For this purpose, take about 30 drops of the tincture daily.

The basic recipe

The ingredients:
  • 50 grams of dried field horsetail
  • 500 milliliters of vodka
  • a large screw jar
  • a dark bottle
Put the dried herbs in the screw-top jar and then fill it up with the vodka. Let the tincture mixture mature for four weeks on a window sill with plenty of light before filtering off the herbs. The tincture is then transferred to a dark bottle for further storage. The dark glass is important so that the sensitive active ingredients in the tincture are not destroyed by sunlight. It is, therefore, best to store the bottle in a cool and dark place in the refrigerator.

Immune-boosting tincture

This special recipe is said to have a particularly strengthening and revitalizing effect in the case of a weakened immune system and infectious diseases. For this you need:
  • 50 grams of horsetail
  • 50 grams of taiga root
  • 30 grams of barberry
  • 30 grams of marigold
  • 20 grams of nettle
  • 20 grams of pansies
  • a liter of vodka
Fill the herbs into a screw-top jar as usual and then pour the vodka over it. Well sealed, the tincture mixture must be placed on the warm window sill for six weeks to mature and be shaken daily. After the herbs have been sieved off and the tincture poured into a dark bottle, this has a shelf life of around two years. If necessary, one to two teaspoons of the tincture are taken per day for strengthening.

Side effects and contraindications

It should be noted that due to its strong diuretic properties, horsetail should not be used if there is excessive water retention due to cardiac or renal insufficiency. Here the water stagnation would only increase and thus provoke health-endangering complications. Also, diuretic herbs should never be used for longer than six weeks, as otherwise there is immense flushing of nutrients in the body. In particular, a deficiency of vitamin B1 was frequently observed with intensive use of the field horsetail. This is particularly important for pregnant women, which is why they should refrain from using field horsetail.

Post a Comment