Horsetail is a plant that has been familiar to man for more than one hundred years due to its characteristic appearance and, most importantly, truly unique beneficial properties. It turns out that it can be used to relieve the condition in many diseases. But not only: the plant is able to improve hair, skin, useful in the difficult task of losing weight. It is only necessary to get acquainted with the beneficial properties and contraindications of horsetail.
Stocking up horsetail
In addition to the field, in nature there are several varieties of horsetail (marsh, meadow, and others) that are not used in traditional medicine, as they contain certain toxic substances. Horsetail grows not only in Eurasia, but also in Latin America, where its height sometimes reaches a truly gigantic size - more than 10 m!
The first brown-red shoots of horsetail appear almost immediately after the snow melts. The stems have characteristic oval cones at the top. Knowing what a field horsetail looks like, you can easily stock up on this wonderful plant for the future. You can distinguish between field and meadow varieties by their twigs. In the first they are horizontal, directed downwards, in the second - oblique, directed upwards. In early spring, the stems of the horsetail have a whitish-pink or brown shade, and with the onset of summer green needles appear on them.
Tubers and young green shoots with knobs are valuable medicinal raw materials. The collection time of the plant also plays an important role in the preservation of beneficial substances. When to collect horsetail? For the first shoots and rhizome, you can go from late April to mid-May. The horsetail grass, which can be harvested in July-August, also has healing properties. Experienced herbalists recommend collecting shoots and grass in dry weather, and dry them in the shade, spreading a thin layer on a natural fabric. It should be noted that the shoots of the plant can be used fresh as well - added to fresh vegetable salads, omelets, soups and okroshka. There are many recipes in which shoots and tubers are used as a tasty filling for baking and healthy kissels.
Useful properties of horsetail and contraindications
The composition of this gift of nature includes:
- vitamin C, provitamins;
- certain types of acids, in particular, oxalic and silicic;
- calcium salts,
- fixed oils;
- proteins, carbohydrates and other substances.
Most often, shoots are used in informal medicine as an effective wound-healing, antiseptic agent, which has the ability to stop the blood.
In traditional medicine, decoctions of plants are used as an additional therapy for inflammation and edema caused by impaired blood flow. Horsetail is used in the treatment of diseases of the heart, blood vessels, in particular, to reduce blood pressure and strengthen the walls of the veins.
It is also known for its diuretic properties. The substances contained in the shoots of the plant remove stones from the kidneys, reduce the protein in the urine, are used for dysfunction of the adrenal glands and gallstone disease, have a beneficial effect on the restoration of metabolism, elimination of toxins and slags.
This plant also has a tonic and cleansing effect, which makes it indispensable in the period of viral and colds. It is well established as a means to improve the water-salt balance, treatment of beriberi.
If you decide to use horsetail, then not only useful properties, but also contraindications should be known to you. They are:
- gastric or duodenal ulcer;
- nephritis and nephrosis;
- the period of pregnancy and breastfeeding;
- the presence of a number of chronic diseases.
How to cook and how to use horsetail?
In folk and traditional medicine, horsetail is used in the form of tinctures, decoctions, extracts and ointments.
For edema, diseases of the urogenital system, hypertension, atherosclerosis and a number of gynecological diseases, infusion of horsetail is used. To get it, you need 20 grams of dried horsetail (or 30-40 grams of fresh) and 1 tbsp. boiling water. Pour the grass into a glass container and pour boiling water over it, cover with a linen cloth and leave for 2-3 hours. Ready infusion should be taken on 1-2 st.l. before meals for 7-10 days.
Thus prepared infusion is also used for:
- wound disinfection and eczema and furunculosis treatment;
- gargling for sore throats and catarrhal diseases;
- making compresses for rheumatism and gout;
- treating indigestion;
- menstrual disorders;
- diseases of the liver and digestive tract.
For the treatment of a number of skin diseases, an extract based ointment is used. To make it yourself, fresh plant sprouts are evaporated over low heat for 30-40 minutes (the volume of decoction should decrease by 2 times), after which the resulting composition is cooled and mixed with vaseline to the consistency of ointment.
In the treatment of difficult-to-heal wounds, baths and compresses based on decoction are used as an additional therapy, which is prepared on the basis of a proportion of 60 grams of horsetail per 1 liter of water. Crushed grass is poured with cold water and boiled for 30 minutes, then cooled, filtered and added to a bath or used for a compress.
Important: to use for medicinal purposes decoctions and infusions of horsetail should be started only after consulting with your doctor!
In pursuit of a slim figure
How to use horsetail for weight loss? This is a wonderful tool that helps cleanse the body of toxins and get rid of extra pounds. Due to the detoxification and diuretic properties of the plant helps to improve metabolism and reduce puffiness.
However, the duration of receiving decoctions and infusions horsetail for weight loss should not exceed 20-25 days, otherwise they can provoke negative consequences - dehydration and the development of renal diseases. In the period of use of the infusion necessarily drink enough liquid - at least 2 liters of water per day.
For the preparation of decoction for weight loss will need 3 tsp. chopped grass of horsetail and 200 ml of boiling water. Fill it with boiling water and leave to infuse for 30-35 minutes, then strain and divide into 3 parts. Each part of the finished decoction is taken an hour after meals.
To achieve the desired effect we should not forget about proper nutrition and regular physical exertion. It should be noted that leading nutritionists do not recommend the use of such decoctions during the period of active sports.
Horsetail as a remedy for cosmetic problems
Thanks to the active substances, horsetail is successfully applied in cosmetology. Decoctions and infusions are indispensable for oily and porous skin, as they have a drying and cleansing effect. Daily face wiping will eliminate inflammation, acne and irritation.
A decoction of the plant soothes sore and tired eyes, and is also used to make compressed masks when shaving. Horsetail for hair is also a good help, it helps to cope with such phenomena as dandruff and baldness.
To improve the condition of the curls and skin of the head, it is recommended to rinse hair for 5-7 days with an infusion of 3 tbsp. grass horsetail, filled with 1 liter of boiling water and infused for 30-40 minutes. This helps to improve blood circulation, skin toning and regulation of the sebaceous glands. After rinsing, it is recommended to wrap your head with a warm towel for 5-10 minutes. If there is no urgent need, it is better not to use a hairdryer and heating means of installation (straighteners and curling tongs) in the process of hair restoration with horsetail. If necessary, the course can be repeated in 3-4 weeks.
Healing infusion helps with fatigue and sweating feet. For the preparation of a therapeutic bath, you will need a tincture of 2 tbsp. grass for 2 liters of boiling water. The procedure should be done daily for 2-3 weeks. To eliminate unpleasant smell, the skin of the foot should be thoroughly dried and smeared with boric acid between the fingers.
In addition to all the described advantages of the plant, it should be mentioned that its dried stems are often used for decorating and decorating the interior, as well as for polishing wooden furniture and soft stone.
Horsetail is a unique natural gift that has a mass of valuable properties. With it, you can contribute to getting rid of many diseases and ailments, for example, to normalize pressure. Regularly taking the infusion, you can put in shape a figure. External use will allow to solve cosmetic problems, in particular, to strengthen the hair roots. In short, not to take advantage of this generous gift of nature is simply unwise!