Horsetail: properties, how to prepare it and contraindications

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Also known as Equisetum weed or lesser horsetail, Horsetail is not simply a plant, but rather an entire family called Equisetáceas. There are different variants such as E. hiemale wave E. maximum, but all of them contain beneficial properties for the organism. Although it stands out for treating fluid retention or urine leakage, its properties go further. The use of horsetail in medicine is very old, and the Greek writer Dioscorides already recommended it to be able to stop bleeding and heal sores of the bladder and intestine. In the same way it happened in ancient Arab medicine, where it was used as an effective tonic in cases of liver disorders.

In this Green Ecologist article you will be able to know the properties of horsetail, how to prepare it and its contraindications.

Horsetail properties

Horsetails, commonly known as horsetail, have therapeutic properties Through the chemicals they contain, such as silicic acid or flavones. Hence, we find that it has properties like:

  • Diuretics
  • Remineralizers
  • Purifying
  • Astringents
  • Hemostatic
  • Healing

Between the horsetail benefits and its functions, we can highlight that:

  • It allows to improve urinary tract processes such as cystitis, lithiasis or incipient kidney failure thanks to the elimination of toxins from the kidney and liver.
  • It makes it possible to treat bone fractures with recalcification problems thanks to its mineral content such as potassium, phosphorus and calcium.
  • It helps to take care of dry and damaged skin, to strengthen the nails or, also, to regenerate the scalp.

How to prepare an infusion of horsetail

Preparing a horsetail infusion, or even a tea, is easier than it sounds. We just have to calculate the amounts of the ingredients well and follow the steps well. To do this, we will need:


  • 1 stem of horsetail - it doesn't matter if it's fresh or dry
  • 4 horsetail leaves: it doesn't matter if they are fresh or dried
  • 1 liter of water

Steps to make a horsetail tea

  1. To start with, we put Boil 1 liter of water over medium heat for about 5 or 10 minutes about.
  2. When the water is hot enough, add the horsetail stem and leaves, well chopped, and boil for a period of 2 to 5 minutes. In this way, we can take advantage of all the benefits and properties of the plant.
  3. Once this time has passed, you have to put out the fire and leave steep the infusion for about 5 or 10 minutes before you can consume it.
  4. Strain the infusion after having left it resting and serve it. To add a little more flavor, we can sweeten it with a little honey, for example.

The infusion or tea of horsetail can be taken both hot and cold, although it is preferable to do it the first way. It can take up to 4 times a day, but the best way to obtain its properties is by taking it only 2 times a day.

Another way to ingest this medicinal plant is by taking horsetail capsules, always following the recommendations of our doctor and the indications on the product packaging. Its daily consumption varies from that of the infusion, since horsetail capsules in adults and adolescents over 12 years of age are taken in a glass of water up to 3 times with each meal. That is, 3 capsules at breakfast, 3 capsules at lunch and 3 capsules at dinner. It is also not recommended for use in children under 12 years of age.

It must be borne in mind that its consumption in excess, both in infusion and in capsules, can carry health risks that we will mention below.

Side effects and contraindications of horsetail

Know that there are interactions between horsetail and other medications, herbs, and supplements. We have to be careful when consuming it so as not to subtract the benefits and health properties of horsetail. For this reason, we previously suggest consult a specialist doctor before starting to take the infusion of horsetail.

Horsetail side effects

  • Nervous disorders such as palpitations.
  • Headaches
  • Ventral pain.
  • Colic.
  • Allergy to any of its active ingredients.

Contraindications of horsetail

  • During pregnancy and lactation.
  • Children under 3 years old.
  • In case of suffering from gastritis or irritable bowel syndrome, as it can cause more irritation in the stomach.
  • People with hypokalemia who have a low level of potassium in their blood. Because of this, the medicinal plant can be a risk because it increases the elimination of potassium through the urine.
  • Patients with heart problems because it can alter the body's blood pressure.

If you are interested in food and natural remedies, do not hesitate to read these other Green Ecologist articles.

  • Kuzu: properties, benefits and how to take it.
  • Caraway: what it is, properties and how to drink it.
  • Phytotherapy: what is it and how to use medicinal plants?

If you want to read more articles similar to Horsetail: properties, how to prepare it and contraindications, we recommend that you enter our category of natural remedies.

  • Cebrián, J., (2012), Dictionary of medicinal plants, Barcelona, Spain, Integral RBA Libros.
  • Berdonces i Serra, J., (1985), Natura Medicatrix, Summer 1985 (n.0 JO) - 25.
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