Herbs

HORSETAIL, Equisetum arvense

Horsetail Grass Herb

Almost everyone has walked along a trail, or a ditch bank, and picked a strange hollow stalk of grass that seems to be jointed every one or two inches. You pull the stalk apart and it separates at each joint and is hollow, except right at the top of each joint. You pinch this top part off and then you squeeze the soft bottom part together and it flattens out and you blow on this part and it is a kind of a whistle. (So much for whistles).


Horsetail grass is good for many other reasons than whistles. Horsetail grass is a good source of silicon and calcium and, when combined with other herbs, is very healing. A lady told me about her father who was a rancher. He worked hard on the ranch and his back got crippled up. She said she thought he wore out a disc in his lower back. One of the hired hands told the rancher’s wife to boil up some horsetail grass in a tub and have her husband sit in it. Mother sent one of the boys down to the ditch to pick some horsetail grass. It worked very well, so she added some oat straw and alfalfa (too bad they didn’t have some comfrey). Besides the sitz baths, Mother gave Dad a lot of herb teas and would put herb poultices on his back at night. She said it wasn’t long until her father was running the ranch again.


Horsetail, or equisetum, is a perennial plant that grows from a horizontal root stock or rhizome. Two different kinds of stems grow up from this rhizome. One is a single stock that looks like asparagus and the other looks like a little pine tree. That’s why this plant is sometimes called bottle brush.


Horsetail has a history that goes back to the time of the Roman Empire. Throughout the many centuries, it has been used as a diuretic to help those who have kidney or urinary problems. However, others have praised this herb for its ability against lung problems, including mild tuberculosis. And yet, others would swear by it as an aid to stomach ulcers, leg ulcers, female problems, dropsy or water retention and to stop internal bleeding. Maria Treben says horsetail is good for tumors and the Abbe Kneipp says horsetail grass is even good for cancer-like growths.


The Swiss man, Abbe Kuenzle, says that older people should drink a cup of horsetail tea every day all year ‘round and it will help get rid of most pain caused by arthritis and rheumatism. He also says that it will help the gout and improve the nerves.


But, why is horsetail such a good healing herb? The bottom line may be the high content of silicon. According to Lewis C. Kervan, the body changes silicon into useable calcium through biological transmutation. The body uses many different kinds of calcium compounds, and this seems to give the give the body greater choice in greater abundance. Vogel says that horsetail has 60 percent silicon and 15 percent calcium and that’s a whole bunch.


Because of its high calcium content, it is used in many herbal formulas such as Grandma’s herbal Cal-Herb formula.
Horsetail, shave grass, joint grass, bottle brush, equisetum, or whatever you want to call it, is a very common plant. It grows mostly along moist ditch banks. It is grooved up and down the stalk and it feels rather abrasive or coarse. The Native Americans and pioneers used it to clean pots and pans, and early cabinet makers used it for sand paper. What an herb, and so handy!


The good Lord put all these wonderful herbs here on earth for our benefit, but most of us do not have the faith to use them.
It folks with arthritis and back problems would have a little faith and take herbs seriously, they would less pain.
 

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