Field horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.)
Farmer horsetails are widespread all over the world and are “living fossils” from prehistoric times, when entire horsetail forests with trees up to 30 m high covered the earth. From a botanical point of view, horsetails belong to the ferns. The field horsetail, which occurs in our country, is usually only perceived as a field weed, although it is a valuable medicinal plant.
The plant, also known as pewter weed, has an abrasive effect due to its silicic acid content and was therefore used in the past as a scouring agent for cleaning pewter dishes.
Up to 10 percent silicic acid and flavonoids, many minerals and a small amount of alkaloids are among the value-determining ingredients of field horsetail. They have a weak diuretic effect, strengthen connective tissue, stimulate skin metabolism, are antioxidant and liver-protective.
The medicinal herbs are therefore primarily used in flushing therapies against inflammations of the laxative urinary tract as well as kidney gravel, oedema and poorly healing wounds. In traditional medicine, the plant is also used for mild catarrh of the respiratory tract, gout and rheumatism, to stop bleeding, scabies, flatulence, diarrhoea – and in the past also for tuberculosis.
Studies have shown antimicrobial effects, e.g. on parainfluenza viruses. Strengthening effects on the immune system have also been proven.
Modern natural cosmetics are increasingly using field horsetail to strengthen skin, hair and brittle fingernails.