Horsetail- Schachtelhalmkraut

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Postby northernlight » Wed Jan 14, 2004 3:23 pm

anybody know why horsetail cant be used by pregnant/nursing women?
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Postby desertmedicinewoman » Wed Jan 14, 2004 3:28 pm

Nicotine in small amounts in horsetail..probably wouldn't be good for a growing fetus, even in small amounts.
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Postby wildflower » Thu Jan 15, 2004 3:43 am

good point, I never thought of that. lol

I wonder if the nicotene chemically reacts with something else in the plant, so it doesn't affect us too much.
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Re: Horsetail- Schachtelhalmkraut

Postby Leaf » Fri May 21, 2010 6:14 am

Well, I guess it was time for me to reconnect with horsetail....
A friend weeded her garden and shared some of her weedy treasures with me :)
I have been using it fresh in stews and soups, the same way I would use laurel leaf, so I don't eat the herb ("the skeleton herb", I like to call it) itself, but let it leak all its good minerals into the food.
It makes an ordinary soup or stew very, very nourishing... my one year old kids love it as well... (well, I have been drinking horsteail tea during my pregnancy, so they must remember this one).

I also found out this is a great herbal ally to connect with ancestors, as horsetail is such an ancient organism...
Down here it's everywhere right now... speaking out loud...
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Re: Horsetail- Schachtelhalmkraut

Postby LadyB » Tue May 25, 2010 10:38 am

What an intriguing thought, Leaf! I do wonder what it has to say about the massive earth changes we're seeing now, as it has survived so very very long......LadyB
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Re: Horsetail- Schachtelhalmkraut

Postby Green Raven » Wed May 26, 2010 3:04 am

I'm getting confused now. I've been searching, and finding info on fertile and sterile stalks. However, the descriptions don't sound like what I see. I've always seen two forms of the horsetail: one looks like a bushy little pine tree, and the other looks like a taller, jointed stem (the sections you can pop apart.) Which is the fertile and which is the sterile? Which is used medicinally?
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Re: Horsetail- Schachtelhalmkraut

Postby LadyB » Wed May 26, 2010 9:14 am

Here we go! The fuzzy one (Equisetum arvensis) HAS fertile stalks that show up BEFORE any fuzzy ones come up. These fertile stalks LOOK like the other, bald, jointed-stem one, but shorter and somewhat apricot in color. As far as I know, we use the fuzzy ones medicinally.

The other one, Equisetum hyemale,(with the tall, jointed reeds and no side-needles) I'm not AS familiar with, but I believe the fertile shoots also come up FIRST, before the tall stalks appear.

And yes, according to Michael Moore, it's the sterile parts we use and while hyemale CAN be used like arvensis, it seems to be less soluble as a tea (who knew).

Actually, Michael Moore has LOTS of great info. We pretty much know about horsetail for UTI's, but using it properly involves small doses many times a day (teaspoon-tea 4x) until the UTI inflammation ceases. If LARGE doses are taken, or if it is taken consistently for many weeks, it can actually CAUSE irritation of the UT tissues and intestines.

But here's the interesting part about the 'bio-available silica' making regenerated/healed tissues much stronger, so, someone working with Milk Thistle to regenerate their liver, will actually re-build a STRONGER liver by adding horsetail. Joint repair, which depends on making GOOD COLLAGEN, needs horsetail plusmethionine (from grains) plus cysteine (from legumes) and a good vitamin C source - so he offers a bean burrito with plenty of salsa.
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Re: Horsetail- Schachtelhalmkraut

Postby LadyB » Wed May 26, 2010 9:37 am

Had to split my post, I hate it when the text box begins to jump. I had heard, perhaps from Susun herself, that we do not gather horsetail when the 'needles' are drooping lower than 90* from the stem. (usually by July in NY) Earlier is better as older horsetail would have bigger silica crystals which could be irritating to an already irritated bladder. I have since heard that silica crystal theory disputed. But M. Moore touches on the nicotine content as a contamination if horsetail is gathered 'from a watershed draining from upstream agribusiness. This 'can result in plants containing toxic alkaloids like nicotine'....now isn't THAT interesting! So perhaps ALL horsetail doesn't CONTAIN nicotine (and yes, he does NOT list it as a 'primary constituent') but perhaps the samples analyzed (by the folks with the nicotine concerns) WERE gathered in polluted water!

Externally, it's a great hair rinse for STRENGTHENING the hair. (using 2-4 oz of 'standard infusion' - which is 1 wt oz of herb to 1 quart of water steeped for 20-30 min - but he notes to replace the water that evaporates in that time to bring the volume back up to 32 oz by pouring the additional water THROUGH THE STRAINED herb into the container - interesting)

Fascinating stuff......
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Re: Horsetail- Schachtelhalmkraut

Postby Green Raven » Thu May 27, 2010 8:26 pm

Thanks for the info. I DID use the fuzzy stuff when I made a tincture.

I had trouble finding good information about the nicotine content, but it looked like horsetail produces some nicotine, but much more when certain pollutants are taken up by it.
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Re: Horsetail- Schachtelhalmkraut

Postby cricketwings » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:48 pm

Can you make an infusion with fresh horsetail? Or must it be dried?
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Re: Horsetail- Schachtelhalmkraut

Postby LadyB » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:44 pm

While we wouldn't drink a serious infusion OF Horsetail (A 'SusunFusion'.....1oz to 1qt boiled water, steep for between 4 hrs./overnight,) as it's not a NOURISHING herb, we'd be more apt to add just a pinch to some OTHER nourishing infusion......the difference between fresh and dried horsetail is very slight. Especially if you were making it for a hair rinse, I'd say go ahead.
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Re: Horsetail- Schachtelhalmkraut

Postby cricketwings » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:06 am

Thanks. I did not know it was not a nourishing herb. I have a 2 year old with a suspected UTI and constipation (although that's easing up this morning) and I thought small sips of some horsetail might help.
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Re: Horsetail- Schachtelhalmkraut

Postby LadyB » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:41 am

Go ahead and make some TEA, just not the heavy 4+ hour INFUSION.
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Re: Horsetail- Schachtelhalmkraut

Postby teratorn » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:46 am

Where I live I've only been able to find smooth scouring-rush (equisetum laevigatum). My understanding is that this variety of horsetail only produces the fertile stalks, never the branchy infertile ones. So I'm assuming that means smooth scouring-rush is not particularly medicinal? Does it seem reasonable to think it would still be quite mineral-rich and nourishing? I'm still hoping to find E. arvense here somewhere.
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Re: Horsetail- Schachtelhalmkraut

Postby nutmeg » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:28 pm

Good question. It seems that those 2 species are used interchangeably in herbalism as "horsetail".

I double checked on a few sites and they both were listed under the horsetail heading and followed by a list of the same properties and uses. But likely there are differences, which I'd want to hear about from someone who's used both of them for a while and knows them deeply.

Anyone?
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