Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)
The primary use of the Horsetail is as a diuretic, but in very high doses horsetail is a sedative and an anticonvulsant. Gently stimulating increased urinary flow, horsetail helps "flush" infectious bacteria out of the bladder without altering the body's balance of electrolytes. The powdered form of the herb is better when electrolytes may be depleted.
Horsetail is also the form of the herb being investigated as a treatment for age-related memory impairment.
It is rich in the minerals silicon (10%), potassium, and calcium, which gives it diuretic properties. It is prescribed to care for (cartilage, tendons, and bones) and also polyps, epistasis, and bleeding. The buds are eaten as a vegetable in Japan and Korea in spring time. All other Equisetum species are toxic. In polluted conditions, it may synthesise nicotine.
It was also once used to polish pewter and wood (gaining the name pewterwort) and to strengthen fingernails. Also as an abrasive: it was used by Hurdy-Gurdy players to dress the wheels of their instruments by removing resin build up.
In herbalism it is used to treat kidney and bladder problems, gastro-enteritis, and prostate and urinary infections, and is particularly indicated for enuresis in children. Externally it is used for chilblains and wounds.
Equisetum arvense, is commonly known as the Field Horsetail or Common Horsetail.