Horsetail is a shrub whose leaves are used to prepare an infusion to which all kinds of health benefits are attributed.
It has always been used to treat all kinds of ailments and diseases such as bleeding, vomiting, stones and bladder or kidney infections. Now, do these uses and customs have any scientific basis? Next, we will tell you everything about horsetail infusion.
The horsetail plant
Originally from the Northern Hemisphere, mainly from humid areas and close to water, it can be found naturally in Spain, mainly in the Balearic Islands, the Valencian Community and, in general, the Spanish coast.
Horsetail or Equisetum arvense stands out for its shape and way of reproducing, in addition to its health properties.
As it belongs to the equisetaceae family, this plant has a creeping rhizome from which secondary roots emerge. It is a curious shrub, as it grows in two different ways in the course of the same year.
In late winter and early spring in Europe, fertile brownish-yellow stems grow with brown leaves and tips that release greenish spores: these are the fertile stems that will give rise to new horsetails.
In midsummer, sterile stems appear with a thicker central stem and small, thin, open leaves reminiscent of a horse’s tail.
Horsetail health properties
As we have already pointed out, horsetail infusion has been used for hundreds of years to relieve all kinds of discomfort that occur throughout the entire digestive tract, from digestion itself to evacuation. Let’s see, below, what scientific research says about each of its uses.
Horsetail contains phenolic compounds; that is, substances with a proven antioxidant effect. Let us remember that antioxidants are molecules that prevent oxidative stress caused by free radicals and that can lead to the development of premature aging and diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s or cardiovascular diseases.
Among the most satiating infusions, horsetail is always mentioned. In fact, its inclusion in diets to lose weight is recommended, since it would contribute to weight loss.
How? It is believed that its fiber content would be responsible for this benefit. When mixed with gastric juices, the fiber would swell, generating a feeling of satiety.
Traditional medicine has used horsetail for centuries to alleviate inflammatory processes, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Its compounds are believed to relieve pain and help reduce inflammation .
calm the pain
Its well-known analgesic effect would help combat pain such as migraines, headaches, muscle aches, menstrual cramps and those discomforts associated with physical exertion or blows.
Eliminate excess fluids
Undoubtedly, this is the most widespread use of horsetail infusion. Different studies have confirmed that drinking it regularly helps to eliminate the liquid retained in the body.
In this way, consuming this infusion would help you lose weight and, at the same time, improve the symptoms of circulatory diseases.
As it is diuretic, it not only helps to eliminate fluid retention as we have seen before, but it also allows to eliminate the bacteria that cause diseases such as cystitis. How? By encouraging urination, it helps rid the body of pathogens through urine.
protect the bones
Did you know that horsetail is rich in silicon? This mineral helps strengthen bones, which is why regularly drinking horsetail would help maintain strong bones. Moreover, it is indicated as an adjuvant treatment for those who suffer from osteoporosis.
Contributes to heart health
One of the main risk markers for heart disease is hypertension and this is associated with fluid retention, since edema prevents the correct circulation of blood flow, contributing to cardiac recharge. For this reason, drinking an infusion that helps combat fluid retention would ultimately favor cardiovascular health.
Prepare a perfect cup of horsetail tea
Making this infusion at home is not a complex task. If you have been reading Infusionism for a long time, you probably already know how to prepare it. However, we will give you some advice.
- 5g horsetail
- 1 cup of water
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Add the 5 grams of horsetail.
- Let stand 8 minutes.
- Strain and serve.
You can drink it alone or with a teaspoon of honey, as you like. Of course, you can also combine horsetail with other herbs.
If you want to start taking horsetail tea on a regular basis, we recommend that you consult your doctor about it. Its long-term oral consumption may not be safe due to its content of thiaminase, a substance that breaks down thiamine and that could generate a deficiency of this vitamin.