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The horsetail plant Equisetum arvense L. is a perennial herbaceous plant in the Equisetaceae family. Equisetum, the only genus in the Equisetaceae family, was described by Linnaeus in 1753. Native to Europe, Northern Africa, Southern Asia and America, this plant grows in siliceous clay soils, in moist, shady locations. Its sterile aerial parts are commonly used.
The horsetail plant mostly contains minerals (particularly silicon, potassium and magnesium), flavonoid glycosides, tannins, vitamin C, phenolic acids, mannitol and inositol. This plant contains a large amount of silicon and smaller amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium and tannins, amongst other substances.
The horsetail plant has the following properties:
• Strengthens connective tissue;
• Boosts the body’s immune defences;
• Astringent in the urinary tract;
• Useful for treating urinary infections and preventing lithiasis;
• Promotes bone health by increasing calcium absorption;
• Stimulates skin metabolism;
• Strengthens the hair and nails;
• Useful for treating wounds and burns, when applied topically.