Horsetail is a large plant with hollow stems that has survived for more than 100 million years. People have used horsetail for medicinal purposes throughout history, mainly for its diuretic and bone-building properties. Before taking horsetail extract, you should talk with your doctor to discuss any potential side effects or interactions with medications that you’re taking.
Horsetail gets its name from the plant’s upright stems that resemble horse’s tails. The horsetail plant has been used since ancient times throughout the Northern Hemisphere for its medicinal properties in treating wounds, urinary and kidney problems, tuberculosis, digestive problems, gout and gonorrhea, as well as to staunch bleeding. Horsetail contains large amounts of silicon, and due to its abrasiveness, horsetail has been used for scrubbing cooking pots and polishing, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. For this reason, horsetail has also been called scouring rush, shave grass and bottlebrush plant, notes the University of Michigan Health System.