Horsetail: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

Horsetail is a popular fern that has been used as an herbal remedy since the times of the Greek and Roman Empires (1Trusted Source).

It’s believed to have multiple medicinal properties and is mostly used to improve skin, hair, and bone health.

This article explores horsetail, including its benefits, uses, and downsides.

Horsetail: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects
Horsetail: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects
What is horsetail?

Field or common horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is a perennial fern that belongs to the genus Equisetaceae (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).

It grows wildly in Northern Europe and America, as well as in other moist places with temperate climates. It has a long, green, and densely branched stem that grows from spring to fall (1Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).

The plant contains numerous beneficial compounds that confer it multiple health-promoting effects. Of these, antioxidants and silica stand out (1Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).

Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in your body to prevent cell damage. Meanwhile, silica is a compound comprised of silicon and oxygen. It’s believed to be responsible for horsetail’s potential benefits for skin, nails, hair, and bones (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).

Horsetail is mostly consumed in the form of tea, which is made by steeping the dried herb in hot water, though it’s also available in capsule and tincture form.

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