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(Equisetum arvense - a.k.a. Shavegrass)

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HORSETAIL (Equisetum arvense - a.k.a. Shavegrass)

Horsetail a.k.a. Shavegrass

DESCRIPTION: Rich in silica, other minerals, nutrients and phytochemicals, horsetail facilitates the absorption of calcium from the diet. This herb nourishes nails, hair, skin, bones and the body's connective tissue.

POTENTIAL BENEFITS: Supports healthy bone and tissue development. Nutritional support for nails, hair and skin. bladder problems, internal bleeding, circulation problems, glandular disorders, brittle nails, nose bleeds, urinary ulcers and suppressed urination. Horsetail is used orally to treat diuresis, edema, and general disturbances of the kidney and bladder. It's used topically for supportive treatment of burns and wounds. Horsetail has also been used to treat brittle fingernails, rheumatic diseases, gout, frostbite, and profuse menstruation.

POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects include electrolyte imbalance, skin irritation from topical use, thiamine deficiency from long-term use, and symptoms of nicotine poisoning and toxicity including nausea and vomiting, muscle weakness, abnormal pulse rate, fever, and ataxia. Use of horsetail with benzodiazepines, disulfiram, or metronidazole may cause a disulfiram-like reaction. Horsetail may increase digitalis toxicity as a result of potassium loss with diuretic effect. When it's used with potassium-wasting drugs (including corticosteroids, diuretics, and laxative stimulants), there's an increased risk of hypokalemia. Overuse of licorice with horsetail may increase potassium depletion and risk of cardiac toxicity. Excessive alcohol consumption while horsetail is being used may lead to thiamine deficiency. Pregnant patients, breast-feeding patients, those with impaired heart or kidney function, those with liver problems, those who are taking a cardiac glycoside, and those who have a history or potential of thiamine deficiency (for example, alcoholic patients) should avoid using horsetail.

PARTS USED: Stems (the herb)

GENERAL USAGE: Use as directed. Diuresis - Dosage is 6 g of the dried stem by mouth every day with plenty of fluids, or 1 cup of tea taken several times between meals, or 1 to 4 ml ofliquid extract by mouth three times a day. Infusion - place 1.5 g of dried stem in 1 cup of water; dosage is 2 to 4 g by mouth every day. Tea - pour boiling water over 2 to 3 g of the herb, boiling for 5 minutes, and then straining after 10 to 15 minutes; consumed several times a day between meals. Used as a topical for burns or wounds. A compress containing 10 g of stem/L of water may be applied to affected areas.

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**This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.