Description: Horsetail is a perennial plant common in moist loamy or sandy soil all over North America and Eurasia. A creeping, string-like rootstock with roots at the nodes produces numerous hollow stems, which are of two types. A fertile, flesh-colored stem grows first, reaching a height of 4 to 7 inches and bearing on top a cone-like spike which contains spores; this stem dies quickly. A green, sterile stem grows up to 18 inches high and features whorls of small branches.
Properties and Uses: Diuretic, hemostatic, vulnerary. Shave grass has been praised for its usefulness in lung problems, including mild tuberculosis (its silicic acid content is said to stabilize the scar tissue). The juice of the plant — essentially, the sterile stems — is good for anemia which results from internal bleeding such as stomach ulcers, since it promotes the coagulation of blood. A tea made from shave grass has been recommended for stomach and leg ulcers, urinary tract problems, water retention, excessive menstrual flow and leucorrhea. For the latter two com- plaints, the tea can also be used as a douche. Externally, the tea makes a good wash for wounds, sores, skin problems and mouth and gum inflammations.
CAUTION: Excessive doses can lead to symptoms of poisoning.
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