Equisetum

Edit Page
History
Print Page

EQUISETUM - HORSETAIL, SCOURING RUSH


Local Species;

  1. Equisetum arvense - common horsetail [E-flora][TSFTK][PCBC]
  2. Equisetum hyemale - scouring-rush [E-flora][TSFTK][PCBC]
  3. Equisetum fluviatile - swamp horsetail [E-flora]
  4. Equisetum palustre - marsh horsetail [E-flora]
  5. Equisetum pratense - meadow horsetail [E-flora][PCBC]
  6. Equisetum telmateia - Giant Horsetail [E-flora][TSFTK][PCBC]
  7. Equisetum variegatum - northern scouring-rush [E-flora][TSFTK]

Common Horsetail - Equisetum arvense

Equisetum arvense is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The seeds ripen in April.[PFAF-2]
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.[PFAF-2]
Origin Status: Native [E-flora-2]
General: Perennial from a felty-hairy, tuber-bearing rhizome. Stems: 10-80 cm tall, 3-5 mm thick, with their central cavity less than 1/2 the stem diameter, regularly branched, the sheaths with 10-16 pointed teeth; branches in regular whorls, triangular in cross-section; the 1st internode of branches longer than the corresponding stem sheaths; fertile stems appearing in spring before sterile stems, about 10-15 cm tall, pale brown, unbranched, dying after the spores are shed, the sheaths 4-6, pale brown with 6-12 darker teeth.
Cones: 1-4 cm long, with solid centres, rounded on the tops. [IFBC-E-flora-2]
USDA Flower Colour: Green
USDA Blooming Period: Spring
USDA Fruit/Seed characteristics:

Colour: Green
Present from Spring to Fall

[USDA-E-flora-2]
Habitat / Range Wet to mesic sandy or disturbed sites, streambanks, open places and shady forests from the lowland and steppe to alpine zones; common throughout BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to SC, GA, AL, MS, TX, NM, AZ, CA and MX; Greenland, Eurasia, N. Africa, New Zealand. [IFBC-E-flora-2]
Open fields, arable land, waste places, hedgerows and roadsides[9], usually on moist soils[4]. Arctic and temperate regions of Europe, including Britain, N. America and Asia.[PFAF-2]
Ecological Indicator Information
A shade-tolerant/intolerant. submontane to subalpine. circumpolar horsetail (transcontinental in North America). Grows on nitrogen­medium soils within tundra, boreal, temperate,. and mesothermal climates. Common on water-receiving (floodplain. Seepage, springs and ephemeral streams) sites, frequently dominant in early-seral communities and forest openings. Characteristic of disturbed sites. [E-flora-IPCBC]


Swamp Horsetail - Equisetum fluviatile

Equisetum fluviatile is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.2 m (4ft). It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The seeds ripen from Jun to July.[PFAF] Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can grow in water.[PFAF-3]
General: Perennial from a smooth, shiny, often reddish rhizome. Stems: 30-150 cm tall, 2-10 mm thick, their central cavity more than 4/5 the stem diameter, simple or with a few whorled branches, the sheaths with 12-30 narrow, dark pointed teeth. Cones: 1-2 cm long, rounded on the top. Notes: A hybrid with E. arvense (E. x litorale Kuehl ex Rupr.) is frequent in places where both species occur. [IFBC-E-flora]
USDA Flower Colour: Green
USDA Blooming Period: Late Spring
USDA Fruit/Seed characteristics:

Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer

Habitat / Range
Shallow water at lake margins, marshes, bogs and wet ditches in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent throughout BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to VA, IN, IA, NE, WY, ID and OR; Eurasia. [IFBC-E-flora]
Shallow water in lakes, ponds and ditches[17]. Arctic and temperate regions of Europe, including Britain, N. America and Asia.[PFAF-3]
Origin Status: Native [E-flora]
Synonyms
Equisetum fluviatile var. limosum (L.) Gilbert
Equisetum limosum L.[E-flora][PFAF]
E. heliocharis.[PFAF-3]


Tall Scouring-rush - Equisetum hyemale

Description

Equisetum hyemale is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. The seeds ripen from Jul to August. [PFAF]
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.[PFAF-7]

Ecological Indicator
"A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to montane, circumpolar horsetail (transcontinental in North America). Occurs on fresh to moist, calcium-rich and nitrogen-rich soils (Moder or Mull humus forms) within boreal, temperate, cool semiarid, mesothermal, and tropical climates; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation. Inhabits exposed mineral soil; scattered in broad-leaved forests on water-receiving (floodplain and stream­edge) sites, frequent in non-forested, early­seral communities. Characteristic of alluvial floodplain forests." [IPBC-E-flora-7]


Marsh Horsetail - Equisetum palustre

Equisetum palustre is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The seeds ripen from May to July.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.[PFAF-4]
General: Perennial from a smooth rhizome.[IFBC-E-flora-4] Stems: 10-60 cm tall, 1-3 mm thick, their central cavitiy less than 1/2 the stem diameter, unbranched or branched with irregular whorls; the sheaths with 5-10 dark teeth with whitish papery margins; branches (when present) in irregular whorls, with 4-6 blunt ridges, their first internodes shorter than the corresponding sheaths. [IFBC-E-flora-4] Cones: 1-3 cm long, rounded at the tip. [IFBC-E-flora-4] Notes: A hybrid with E. telmateia (E. x font-queri Rothm.) occurs rarely in BC (Cody & Britton 1989). [IFBC-E-flora-4]
Habitat / Range
Marshes, swamps, stream banks and wet forests from the lowland and steppe to montane zones; infrequent in BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to VT, CT, MI, IL, MN, ND, MT, ID and CA; Eurasia. [IFBC-E-flora-4]
Bogs, fens, marshes and wet heaths, woods and meadows throughout Britain, ascending to 900 metres[257]. Temperate regions of Europe, including Britain, N. America and Asia.[PFAF-4]
Origin Status: Native [E-flora-4]


Meadow Horsetail - Equisetum pratense

Equisetum pratense is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. The seeds ripen in April.[PFAF]
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.[PFAF-6]
Identification
General: Perennial from a smooth, blackish rhizome. [IFBC-E-flora-6]
Stems: 10-60 cm tall, 1-2 mm thick, their central cavity 1/2 the stem diameter, regularly and abundantly branched, the sheaths with 10-20 narrow teeth, the teeth dark with white margins; branches in regular whorls, triangular in cross-section, the 1st internodes of each branch shorter than the corresponding sheaths. [IFBC-E-flora-6]
Cones: 1-4 cm long, rounded at the tip. [IFBC-E-flora-6] [IFBC-E-flora]
Habitat / Range
Mesic to wet forests, riverbanks, meadows, bog margins, from the montane to subalpine zones; frequent in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, infrequent in SC BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to MI and S to NJ, MI, IA, SD, MT and WA; Eurasia. [IFBC-E-flora-6]
Grassy stream banks, up to 900 metres[17] Arctic and temperate regions of Europe, including Britain, N. America, central and northern Asia.[PFAF-6]
Origin Status: Native [E-flora-6]


Giant Horsetail - Equisetum telmateia

Equisetum telmateia is a PERENNIAL growing to 2 m (6ft 7in). It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower in March, and the seeds ripen in April.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.[PFAF-1]
SUBTAXA PRESENT IN BC
Equisetum telmateia ssp. braunii.[E-flora-1]
Synonyms

Origin Status: Native [E-flora-1]
General: Perennial from a felty-hairy, blackish, tuber-bearing rhizome. [IFBC-E-flora-1]
Stems: Sterile stems 15-150 cm tall, 5-20 mm thick, their central cavity more than 2/3 the stem diameter, regularly and abundantly branched, the sheaths with 15-30 teeth, the teeth with dark tips; branches in regular whorls; fertile stems appearing in spring before sterile stems, 10-40 cm tall, pale brown, unbranched, dying when the spores are shed, the sheaths 4-8, pale brown with 20-40 darker teeth. [IFBC-E-flora-1]
Cones: 4-8 cm long, hollow, rounded at the tip. [IFBC-E-flora-1]
Habitat / Range
Moist to wet alluvial forests, loamy banks, cliffs, seepage areas, gullies, swamps, and roadsides, in the lowland and montane zones; frequent in coastal BC, rare east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; S to CA. [IFBC-E-flora]
Damp shady banks etc, to 350 metres[17].Europe, including Britain, from Sweden south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia, N.W. N. America.[PFAF-1]
Ecological Indicator Information
A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to montane, European and Western North American horsetail (mainly in the Pacific region, less in the Cordilleran region, marginal in the Central region). Occurs in maritime to submaritime cool mesothermal climates on fresh to very moist, nitrogen-rich soils (Moder or Mull humus forms). Inhabits exposed mineral soil in broad-leaved stands on water-receiving (floodplain, seepage, and stream-edge) sites with fast-flowing groundwater near the ground surface. Its occurrence decreases with increasing latitude, elevation, and continentality. A nitrophytic species characteristic of alluvial floodplain forests. [E-flora-IPBC-1]


Northern Scouring-Rush - Equisetum variegatum

Identification
Equisetum variegatum is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The seeds ripen from Jul to August.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.[PFAF-5]
SUBTAXA PRESENT IN BC
Equisetum variegatum ssp. alaskanum
Equisetum variegatum ssp. variegatum [E-flora-5] General: Perennial evergreen from a branched, shiny, blackish rhizome. [IFBC-E-flora-5] Stems: 10-50 cm tall, 1-3 mm thick, their central cavity 1/4 the stem diameter, unbranched, the sheaths with 3-14 teeth.[IFBC-E-flora-5] Cones: 5-7 mm long, pointed at the tip.[IFBC-E-flora-5]
Notes: A hybrid with E. hyemale (E. x trachyodon A. Braun) was collected on the Queen Charlotte Islands (Calder & Taylor 1968). A hybrid with E. laevigatum (E. x nelsonii [A. A. Eaton] Schaffn.) has not been reported from BC, but can be expected. [IFBC-E-flora-5]
Habitat / Range
Wet lake shores, streambanks, fens, meadows, clearings and roadsides from the lowland and steppe to subalpine and (rarely) alpine zones; frequent in coastal (ssp. alaskanum) and interior BC (ssp. variegatum); circumpolar, N to AK, E to NF and S to NH, CT, PA, MI, MN, WY, CO, UT, ID and OR; Eurasia. [IFBC-E-flora-5]
Dunes, river banks, wet ground on mountains etc, to 480 metres[17]. Arctic and temperate regions of Europe, including Britain, N. America, central and northern Asia.[PFAF-5]
Origin Status: Native [E-flora-5]


Species Mentioned; Common horsetail, field horsetail, running clubmoss, shenjincao (E. arvense); rough horsetail, common scouring rush, and muzei (E. hymale)[Leung ECNI] Horsetail - Equisetum Sp. [Nyerges]


Hazards


Edible Uses

Other Uses

Medicinal Uses


Phytochemicals
E. variegatum, E. telmateia, E. pratense, E. palustre; E. hyemale, E. fluviatile, E. arvense; Horsetails have an unusual chemistry compared to most other plants[238]. They are rich in silica, contain several alkaloids (including nicotine) and various minerals[238].[PFAF]

Selected Activities, Indications & Doses of Equisetum Sp.

HORSETAIL (Equisetum arvense L.)[HMH Duke]

Activities (E. arvense)

  • Antibacterial (1; APA; PED);
  • Antiedemic (1; APA);
  • Antiinflammatory(1; APA; FAD; SHT);
  • Antispasmodic (1; PED; PH2);
  • Aquaretic (1; SHT);
  • Astringent (1; APA; CRC; PNC);
  • Bitter (PED);
  • Carminative (f; PED);
  • Cooling (f; CRC);
  • Diaphoretic (f; PED);
  • Diuretic(2; KOM; PIP; PH2; WAM)
  • Emmenagogue (f; PED);
  • Hemolytic (1; HHB);
  • Hemostat (1; APA;CRC; FAD; PNC);
  • Immunostimulant (1; HHB);
  • Leukocytogenic (1; BGB; HHB);
  • Nephrotonic (f; BGB);
  • Tonic (1; WAM);
  • Vulnerary (2; KOM; WAM).
  • E. arvense; "Horsetail is very astringent and makes an excellent clotting agent, staunching wounds, stopping nosebleeds and reducing the coughing up of blood[254]. It helps speed the repair of damaged connective tissue, improving its strength and elasticity[254]. The plant is anodyne, antihaemorrhagic, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, galactogogue, haemostatic and vulnerary[4, 7, 9, 20, 21, 46, 61, 165, 172, 218, 240]." [PFAF]
  • E. arvense corrects and mantains the organic calcium equilibrium. This abilty rests especially upon the transmutation of silicon into calcium. [Junius PHPA]
  • E. arvense;Vasorelaxant [233]; highly recommended as hemostatic [220]. Documented Inhibitory activity on platelet aggregation [220]; IC50 ~ 6 mg/mL. [Kuete MPRA]
  • "Equisetum arvense L. (Eq.arv), ... possesses high anti-oxidant activity in-vitro and in-vivo (Myagmar and Aniya, 2000). " [UNIDO Asia]

Horsetail is used internally to increase the strength of bones, teeth, nails, and hair. It has also been used internally as an antiinfective, diuretic, and anticancer treatment, as well as to decrease gout, prevent urinary stones, treat menorrhagia, and increase strength. It is used externally to promote wound healing. [Skidmore-Roth MHH]

This herb exerts mild diuretic activity but is not recommended to treat any condition. Horsetail may increase sodium and water excretion. Anecdotal reports characterize it as an astringent used to stop bleeding, decrease infl ammation, and promote wound healing. However, no evidence supports any of these claims. One study (Radulovic et al, 2006) identifi ed antimicrobial actions against a panel of microorganisms. Another study (Dos Santos et al, 2005) found that horsetail possesses sedative and anticonvulsant effects when studied in the laboratory. [Skidmore-Roth MHH]

"Calcium-containing herbs, such as comfrey, horsetail (Equisetum arvense), kelp (Fucus vesiculosus), marshmallow (Althea off.), meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), nettles and skullcap (Scutellarria laterifolia), used regularly in teas or tinctures are also good for nursing mothers." [McIntyre AHTC]

Indications (E. arvense)

  • Alopecia (f; APA; PHR; PH2);
  • Arthrosis (f; APA; DEM; SKY);
  • Bacteria (1; APA; HHB; PED);
  • Bladder Stone (2; PHR; PH2);
  • Bleeding (1; APA; CRC; FAD; PNC); BPH (f; BGB);
  • Brittle Nails (1; SKY);
  • Burn (2; APA; PHR; PH2);
  • Cancer, abdomen (f; CRC);
  • Cancer, bone (f; CRC; JLH);
  • Cancer, breast (f; CRC);
  • Cancer, colon (f; JLH);
  • Cancer, intestine (f; CRC);
  • Cancer, kidney (f; CRC);
  • Cancer, lip (f; CRC);
  • Cancer, liver(f; CRC);
  • Cancer, oral (f; CRC);
  • Cancer, stomach (f; CRC);
  • Cancer, tongue (f; CRC; JLH);
  • Cramp (1; PED; PH2);
  • Cystosis (2; BGB; KOM; PH2; PNC);
  • Dysuria (f; BGB; CRC; DEM);
  • Enuresis (f; BGB; PNC; WAM);
  • Fracture (f; APA; PHR; PH2; WAM);
  • Gastrosis (f; CRC; FAD; PH2);
  • Gonorrhea (f; BGB; CRC; FAD);
  • Gout (f; CRC; FAD; PH2);
  • Gravel (2; CRC; KOM; PIP);
  • Incontinence (f; BGB; PED);
  • Infection(1; HHB; KOM);
  • Inflammation (2; APA; FAD; KOM; SHT);
  • Kidney Stone (2; APA; PHR; PH2; X7860196);
  • Nephrosis (1; FAD; KOM; PH2; PIP);
  • Osteoporosis (f; APA; SKY);
  • Poison Ivy (f; DEM);
  • Polyp (f; CRC; JLH);
  • Poor Bone Development (f; PHR);
  • Poor Hair (f; PHR);
  • Prostatosis (1; KOM; PNC);
  • Pulmonosis (f; CRC; PH2);
  • Rheumatism (f; APA; CRC; PH2; SKY);
  • Rhinosis (f; JLH; PH2);
  • Sore (f; BGB; PH2);
  • Stone (2; PHR; SHT);
  • Swelling (1; APA; CRC; PHR; PH2);
  • Tuberculosis (f; APA; CRC; FAD; PH2);
  • Urethrosis (2; CRC; KOM; PNC);
  • UTI (2; APA; KOM; PH2; SHT);
  • Water Retention (2; KOM; PIP; PH2; WAM);
  • Wound (2; KOM; PHR; PH2; WAM).

(E. arvense)Preparation: To make a tea. pour 200 ml boiling water over 2 to 3 gm drug and boil for 5 minutes. Strain after 1 0 to 1 5 minutes. To make an infusion, use 1.5 gm drug per 1 cup water. A liquid extract is prepared in a 1:1 ratio in 25 % alcohol. [PDR]
Daily Dosage: Daily dose of Horsetail is 6 g drug. The drug should be administered with plenty of fluids.
The internal dosages are as follows:
Infusion — 2 to 4 g
Liquid extract — 1 to 4 ml 3 times daily
Tea — 2-3 g per cup repeatedly during the day between mealtimes
External use:
Compresses: 1 0 g drug to 1 liter
Homeopathic Dosage: 5 drops, 1 tablet or 1 0 globules every 30 to 60 minutes (acute) or 1 to 3 times a day (chronic); parenterally: 1 to 2 ml sc 3 times daily (HAB1).
Storage: Horsetail must be protected from light in wellsealed containers.[PDR]

Dosages (E. arvense)

2–4 tbsp (2–4 g) fresh herb (APA; PED); 1–4 g herb/cup water (SKY; WIC); 3–6 g dry herb (PED); 4.5 g dry herb:22 ml alcohol/23 ml water (PED); 1.5 g/cup tea (HHB); 6 g/day (KOM; PH2; SHT); 2–4 ml liquid extract (PNC); 2–6 ml tincture/day (SKY); 3 (~350 mg) capsules 3 ×/day (APA); 3 (355 mg) capsules 3 ×/day; 1 (505 mg) StX 2 ×/day.

Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (E. arvense)

Contraindicated in cardiopathy or nephrosis. Powdered herb not recommended for children or long-term use. Toxicity is reportedly similar to nicotine poisoning in children who have chewed the stem (AHP). “Hazards and/or side effects not recorded for proper therapeutic dosages” (PH2). Despite reported benefits of silicon, it seems prudent that infants, young children, and pregnant women not ingest horsetail for extended periods, unless its thiaminase enzyme has been deactivated (Reichert, 1994). Not for use during pregnancy, or with kidney or heart disease (WAM). Raw use depletes thiamine (vitamin B1). Should not be used more than 7 days (WAM). Said to induce seborrheic dermatosis (Reichert, 1994). There’s an inconsistency in an AHP quote, “daily use of the herb should not exceed 2.0 grams ... doses in excess of 5.0 grams of the herb powder should be taken during meals.”

GREAT SCOURING RUSH (Equisetum hyemale L.)[HMH Duke]

Activities (E. hyemale)

  • Abortifacient (f; DEM);
  • Astringent (f; CRC);
  • Depurative (f; CRC);
  • Diaphoretic (f; CRC);
  • Diuretic (f; CRC; DEM);
  • Hemostat (f; CRC)

Indications (E. hyemale)

  • Cancer (f; CRC);
  • Carcinoma (f; JLH);
  • Cataract (f; DEM);
  • Cold (f; DEM);
  • Conjunctivosis (f; DEM);
  • Constipation (f; DEM);
  • Cystosis (f; CRC);
  • Dermatosis (f; DEM);
  • Diarrhea (f; DEM);
  • Dysentery (f; CRC);
  • Dysmenorrhea (f; CRC; DEM);
  • Dysuria (f; CRC; DEM);
  • Embolism (f; CRC);
  • Fever (f; CRC);
  • Fistula (f; CRC);
  • Gonorrhea (f; DEM);
  • Hemorrhoid (f; CRC);
  • Incontinence (f; CRC);
  • Ophthalmia (f; CRC; DEM);
  • Syphilis (f; DEM);
  • Tuberculosis (f; CRC);
  • VD (f; DEM);
  • Water Retention (f; CRC; DEM)
Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (E. hyemale)

Classified by the FDA as an Herb of Undefined Safety: Infusion of whole plants used sometimes in dropsical and renal diseases but the diuretic action is very feeble. Cattle overdosed for diuresis have voided blood. Said to have caused poisoning in California. Horsetails are said to develop a powerful nerve poison, aconitic acid. Sheep and cattle are poisoned by grazing the fresh plant; horses, usually by eating the dried plant in hay. It produces, especially when dried, sudden symptoms of weakness and loss of appetite followed, after a few weeks, by loss of muscular control, excitement, and falling, and in acute cases, labored respiration, rapid, weak pulse, diarrhea, convulsions, coma,and death (CRC)

E. arvense;
Flavonoids: (0.6 to 0-9%): apigenin-5-0-glucoside, genkwanin-5-O-glucoside, kaempferol-3,7-di-0-glucoside, kaempferol-3-0-(6'-0-malonyl-glucoside)-7-0-glucoside, kaempferol-3-O-sophoroside, luteolin-5-O-glucoside, quercetin-3-O-glucoside
Caffeic acid ester (up to 1%): including chlorogenic acid, dicoffeoyl-meso-tartaric acid
Silicic acid (5 to 7.7%): to some extent water-soluble
Pyridine alkaloids: nicotine (traces), palustrine (in the gamatophytes and in the rhizome styrolpyrone glucosides, including equisetumpyrone) [PDR] Trace amounts of nicotine have been found in E. arvense. [Leung ENCI]



  • Selected chemical constituents from [DukePhyt-1]
[DukePhyt-2]

E. palustre ;"[The alkaloid] Palustrine (19), from Equisetum palustre (Equisetaceae), also was reported quite early (Badwani et al., 1973)." [Seiger PSM]


Nutritional

[Turner&Kuhnlein]

E.arvense & E. telmateia; "The tender young shoots of both these species were eaten raw or boiled by the Saanich (Paul, 1968) and undoubtedly by the other groups too. They were thought to be "good for the blood" as well as nourishing (Harry, 1969)..." [Turner&Bell1]


Pharmacology


Cultivation
Horsetails are perennials, and although they can be gathered year-round for their practical uses, they are best gathered in the spring for their medicinal uses. [Nyerges]

Element Accumulating Plant

The Sphenophyta, syn. Equisetophyta, is represented by the monotypic genus Equisetum (horsetails), consisting of 15 species which, apart from Australia, have an almost cosmopolitan distribution. Its members have a great affinity for accumulating and concentrating gold in solution, albeit only 0.25 g gold kg-! stems and rhizomes. Although the commercial extraction of the gold is not economically viable, the presence of horsetails is seen by prospectors as an indicator plant for gold ore. [Wickens, EB]

E. arvense; The plant also contains more than 10% inorganic constituents of which two thirds are silicates (which can constitute as much as 15% (17)) and potassium salts (5). Small amounts of gold (0.03–0.075 ppm) and silver (0.23 ppm) and lanthanides have been reported (38) traces of alkaloids, including nicotine and spermidine-type bases, and palustrine. The sterols B-sitosterol, campesterol, isofucosterol and cholesterol are present (37). [WHO NIS]

"The intentional burning of plant biomass to both produce energy and release metals for recovery will require demonstration that the pollution control equipment is highly effective in recovering the metals. In this regard, plant species which accumulate Si, such as rice (Oryza sativa), horsetail (Equisetum arvense), and many other species, would cause significant problems in element recovery from the plant ash. Not only may the Si dilute the metals in the ash substantially, the presence of high Si levels may cause formation of a glass or slag from which recovery of metals may be very difficult."[PCSW]


Propagation
E. variegatum, E. telmateia, E. pratense, E. palustre; E. hyemale, E. fluviatile, E. arvense; Spores - best collected as soon as they are ripe in the spring and surface-sown immediately on a sterile compost. Keep moist and pot up as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Very difficult[200]. Division. The plants usually spread very freely when well sited and should not really need any assistance.[PFAF]


Use of Other Related Species

From a field study with 12 emergent-rooted wetland plant species including different populations of...Juncus effusus and Equisetum ramosisti, Deng et al. (2004) proposed that these plants can be used in constructed wetlands for effective removal of toxic metals like Pb, Zn, Cu, and Cd. [Hasegawa ERTMCS]

"Loffler et a1. (1989) purified the PC synthase (-y-GluCys dipeptidyl transpeptidase) to homogeneity in cell cultures of ...Eschscholtzia californica (Papaveraceae... and Equisetum giganteum (Pteridophyte, Equisetaceae). This enzyme catalyzes the formation ofmetal chelating peptides (PCs) from glutathione in the presence ofHM ions. Incubation of PC synthase under standard conditions in the absence of HM ions does not lead to the formation ofPCs (LOffler et a1. 1989), However, addition of Cd to the incubation mixture instantaneously reactivated the enzymes (Kneer and Zenk 1992)." [Prasad MHSP]


References


Caution
The information presented on this site is provided for educational purposes. Self diagnosis and treatment, without due diligence, could be harmful and is not encouraged. Some information & images may be copyright. Every effort has been made to present the information in the spirit with which it was originally presented. Some data has been omitted for legal and/or practical consideration. There is some data not covered in the scope of this project, including, but not limited to, cell culture and large-dose animal studies. I have made comparisons and links between related species which may later prove erroneous. I have not verified the information for accuracy and I accept no responsibility for its authenticity. Many of the plants presented are poisonous, have poisonous properties, or could cause illness through misuse, allergic reaction, drug interactions and environmental contaminants. Please use caution and mindfulness when harvesting plants for any use.

Page last modified on 02-10-2016