HORSETAIL

OTHER NAME(S):

Asprêle, Bottle Brush, Cavalinha, Coda Cavallina, Cola de Caballo, Common Horsetail, Corn Horsetail, Dutch Rushes, Equiseti Herba, Equisetum, Equisetum arvense, Equisetum hyemale, Equisetum telmateia, Field Horsetail, Herbe à Récurer, Horse Herb, Horsetail Grass, Horsetail Rush, Horse Willow, Paddock-Pipes, Pewterwort, Prele, Prêle, Prêle Commune, Prêle des Champs, Queue-de-Chat, Queue-de-Cheval, Queue-de-Rat, Queue-de-Renard, Scouring Rush, Souring Rush, Shave Grass, Shavegrass, Spring Horsetail, Toadpipe.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Horsetail is a plant. The above ground parts are used to make medicine.

Horsetail is used for “fluid retention” (edema), kidney and bladder stones, urinary tract infections, the inability to control urination (incontinence), and general disturbances of the kidney and bladder.

It is also used for balding; tuberculosis; jaundice; hepatitis; brittle fingernails; joint diseases; gout; osteoarthritis; weak bones (osteoporosis); frostbite; weight loss; heavy menstrual periods; and uncontrolled bleeding (hemorrhage) of the nose, lung, or stomach.

Horsetail is applied directly to the skin to treat wounds and burns.

There have been reports of horsetail products being contaminated with a related plant called Equisetum palustre. This plant contains chemicals that can poison cattle, but toxicity in people has not been proven.

How does it work?

The chemicals in horsetail may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Plants related to horsetail contain chemicals that work like "water pills" (diuretics) and increase urine output. But it isn't clear whether horsetail has this effect.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of horsetail for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Horsetail is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth long-term. It contains a chemical called thiaminase, which breaks down the vitamin thiamine. In theory, this effect could lead to thiamine deficiency. Some products are labeled "thiaminase-free," but there is not enough information available to know if these products are safe.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking horsetail if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Alcoholism: People who are alcoholics are generally also thiamine deficient. Taking horsetail might make thiamine deficiency worse.

Diabetes: Horsetail might lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use horsetail.

Low potassium levels (hypokalemia): Horsetail might flush potassium out of the body, possibly leading to potassium levels that are too low. Until more is known, use horsetail with caution if you are at risk for potassium deficiency.

Low thiamine levels (thiamine deficiency): There is a concern that horsetail could make thiamine deficiency worse.

Interactions

Interactions?

Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

!
  • Lithium interacts with HORSETAIL

    Horsetail might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking horsetail might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

Dosing

Dosing

The appropriate dose of horsetail depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for horsetail. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Corletto F. [Female climacteric osteoporosis therapy with titrated horsetail (Equisetum arvense) extract plus calcium (osteosil calcium): randomized double blind study]. Miner Ortoped Traumatol 1999;50:201-206.
  • D'Agostino, M., Dini, A., Pizza, C., Senatore, F., and Aquino, R. Sterols from Equisetum arvense. Boll.Soc Ital.Biol Sper. 12-30-1984;60(12):2241-2245. View abstract.
  • Graefe, E. U. and Veit, M. Urinary metabolites of flavonoids and hydroxycinnamic acids in humans after application of a crude extract from Equisetum arvense. Phytomedicine 1999;6(4):239-246. View abstract.
  • Henderson JA, Evans EV, and McIntosh RA. The antithiamine action of Equisetum. J Amer Vet Med Assoc 1952;120:375-378.
  • Maeda, H., Miyamoto, K., and Sano, T. Occurrence of dermatitis in rats fed a cholesterol diet containing field horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.). J Nutr Sci Vitaminol.(Tokyo) 1997;43(5):553-563. View abstract.
  • Nitta, A., Yoshida, S., and Tagaeto, T. A comparative study of crude drugs in Southeast Asia. X. Crude drugs derived from Equisetum species. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 1977;25(5):1135-1139. View abstract.
  • Stajner, D., Popovic, B. M., Canadanovic-Brunet, J., and Boza, P. Free radical scavenging activity of three Equisetum species from Fruska gora mountain. Fitoterapia 2006;77(7-8):601-604. View abstract.
  • Tiktinskii, O. L. and Bablumian, I. A. [Therapeutic action of Java tea and field horsetail in uric acid diathesis]. Urol.Nefrol.(Mosk) 1983;3(1):47-50. View abstract.
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  • Correia H, Gonzalez-Paramas A, Amaral MT, et al. Characterisation of polyphenols by HPLC-PAD-ESI/MS and antioxidant activity in Equisetum telmateia. Phytochem Anal 2005;16:380-7. View abstract.
  • Do Monte FH, dos Santos JG Jr, Russi M, et al. Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties of the hydroalcoholic extract of stems from Equisetum arvense L. in mice. Pharmacol Res 2004;49:239-43. View abstract.
  • Dos Santos JG Jr, Blanco MM, Do Monte FH, et al. Sedative and anticonvulsant effects of hydroalcoholic extract of Equisetum arvense. Fitoterapia 2005;76:508-13. View abstract.
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  • Health Canada. Labelling Standard: Mineral Supplements. Available at: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodpharma/applic-demande/guide-ld/label-etiquet-pharm/minsup_e.html (Accessed 14 November 2005).
  • Henderson JA, Evans EV, McIntosh RA. The antithiamine action of Equisetum. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1952;120:375-8. View abstract.
  • Husson GP, Vilagines R, Delaveau P. [Antiviral properties of various extracts of natural origin]. Ann Pharm Fr 1986; 44:41-8. View abstract.
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  • Lemus I, Garcia R, Erazo S, et al. Diuretic activity of an Equisetum bogotense tea (Platero herb): evaluation in healthy volunteers. J Ethnopharmacol 1996;54:55-8. View abstract.
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  • Perez Gutierrez RM, Laguna GY, Walkowski A. Diuretic activity of Mexican equisetum. J Ethnopharmacol 1985;14:269-72. View abstract.
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  • Revilla MC, Andrade-Cetto A, Islas S, Wiedenfeld H. Hypoglycemic effect of Equisetum myriochaetum aerial parts on type 2 diabetic patients. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;81:117-20. View abstract.
  • Sakurai N, Iizuka T, Nakayama S, et al. [Vasorelaxant activity of caffeic acid derivatives from Cichorium intybus and Equisetum arvense]. Yakugaku Zasshi 2003;123:593-8. View abstract.
  • Sudan BJ. Seborrhoeic dermatitis induced by nicotine of horsetails (Equisetum arvense L.). Contact Dermatitis 1985;13:201-2. View abstract.
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More Resources for HORSETAIL

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.