Healing Weeds - Getting a closer contact with the healing world of herbs and wild plants.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Equisetum arvense

NL: Heermoes - F: Prêle

Field horsetail, often considered intrusive, is another richness that we must learn to value. It offers protection to other garden plants and helps enrich the soil. It can be used in natural garden spray helping to strengthen plants to withstand plague attacks, as well as to eliminate some, being particularly effective against fungal infections. It is a great addition to compost heaps and it can take part in a green liquid "compost"  - very easy to make - fermented with other plants, such as nettle.

It is a rich source of silica. It has been used in many expensive food supplements sold as "liquid silica", to help improve one's mineral balance, helping to repair tissues, fractures and to strengthen the bones, tendons, hair, skin and nails.

Young horsetail shoots
It is also used in folk medicine to increase immunity, as blood cleanser, to heal chronic bronchitis and emphysema, to help mineralize the body and as tonic.

Field horsetail can be dried and ground to be used a food supplement sprinkled over a meal. There are some toxic substances in this plant, so in case of using it internally as food supplement tiny amounts are advised.

Horsetail is also used to help restore tooth health. It can help tooth enamel to get back to how it should be. For that purpose, it can be used in small doses, internally, but also as a tooth powder, mixed with other herbs, such as myrrh, eventually mixed with essential oils such as rosemary, sage, fennel or peppermint. You can use this powder to brush your teeth instead of regular toothpaste.

Horsetail is also used to efficiently clean up water and soil, as bio-remediation. In nature, it grows spontaneously along river beds, and it removes toxic pollutants and heavy metals present in the water and soil. That means that we must only harvest horsetail for medicinal when we are sure it grows in clean soil. Ideally, the higher up toward mountain tops one can harvest this plant, the better.

One must learn to distinguish between Field Horsetail from Marsh Horsetail (poisonous) !

Here is a video on horsetail that can be useful:

Horsetail - Equisetum arvense -by theutahherbwalker

Here is an extensive and interesting article, for the Dutch speakers:

De Geneeskrachtige Heermoes

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