Horsetail is a good source of the mineral silica. No, this plant has nothing to do with actual horses, it is simply the name of an herb that grows in sandy soil in damp areas. It does the same for the plants near where it grows as it does for humans who use horsetail: it provides important nutrients, especially silica.
One mineral is essential to bone-building, immune system strengthening, the proper use of calcium in the body, and building strong nails, hair, and teeth, yet most people never give it a second thought. It is silica. Silica supports the body’s production of an enzyme called prolyhydroxylase that is involved in the formation of collagen in bones, cartilage, and connective tissue.
Here are some of the most common signs of a silica deficiency:
Excessive wrinkling of the skin
Poor bone development
Soft or brittle nails
Thinning or loss of hair
Of course, these symptoms can be a sign of another health issue so it is important to see your doctor. But it’s also important to be sure that you are eating enough foods rich in silica. It usually takes about two months after using horsetail or eating a diet rich in silica to notice a difference.
Silica is water-soluble, which means that you can make a tea from the dried or fresh herb and the silica will be extracted from the plant to the tea and then into your body where it will support healthy nails, teeth, bones, and hair.
Horsetail is also good for allergies, bladder issues, weak joints, and weak connective tissue. For cystitis, blend with any of the following herbs: couchgrass, yarrow, or bilberry.
To make the tea: use one rounded teaspoon of dried horsetail per cup of boiling water and allow to brew in a teapot or cup for 10 minutes. A common dose is three cups daily; however, it is important to consult a physician if you have any health condition or are taking any medication.
Horsetail has a long spindly stalk with many small, whose leaves look more like long pine needles than leaves. It doesn't flower and usually grows up to a foot tall along roadsides, gardens, and in waste ground areas.
Silica is also found in almonds, apples, beets, celery, flaxseeds (ground), whole grains, grapes, kelp, oats, onions, parsnips, strawberries, and sunflower seeds, silica is still deficient in many people’s diets.