used for diuresis, edema, kidney and bladder stones, urinary
tract infections, incontinence and general disturbances of the
kidney and bladder. It is also used for hair loss;
tuberculosis;jaundice; hepatitis; brittle fingernails; rheumatic
diseases; gout; osteoarthritis; osteoporosis; frostbite; weight
loss; menorrhagia; and nasal, pulmonary, and gastric
horsetail is used for treatment of wounds and burns.
...when used orally long-term. Horsetail contains thiaminase, an
enzyme that can cause thiamine deficiency. In Canada, horsetail
products are required to be thiaminase-free, but there is not
enough reliable information to know if thiaminase-free products
LACTATION: Insufficient reliable information available; avoid
enough scientific research has been done on Horsetail to comment
applicable parts of horsetail are above ground parts. Horsetail
constituents include flavonoids such as apigenin, luteolin, and
kaempferol and quercetin compounds; petrosins such as onitin;
caffeic acid derivatives; sterols; tannins; and saponins(6,
7, 9).Horsetail also
contains significant amounts of silicon(4).Horsetail also
contains trace amounts of nicotine(4).Preliminary
research suggests aqueous and hydroalcoholic extracts of
horsetail have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects(8,
extracts might also have vasorelaxant and analgesic
suggests horsetail extracts might have sedative and
petrosin constituents might have hepatoprotective
preliminary research suggests that horsetail might have antiviral
contains thiaminase, an enzyme that destroys thiamine (vitamin
B1). Thiaminase-containing plants have been associated with
neurological toxicity in animals due to thiamine
horsetail (Equisetum) species have diuretic and hypoglycemic
horsetail has these effects is unclear.
may lead to thiamine deficiency with prolonged consumption.
Canadian products are required to be certified as free from
thiaminase-like effect(3).Horsetail has
also been associated with cross allergenicity with carrots(19).
contains tiny amounts of nicotine and may cause nicotine allergy
or theoretically, nicotine toxicity if taken in large
horsetail can cause seborrheic dermatitis(5).
with Herbs & Supplements:
Consuming horsetail with betel nuts might increase the risk of
thiamine deficiency. Areca (betel) nuts reduce thiamine activity,
probably by chemical inactivation(2).Horsetail
contains thiaminase, which breaks down thiamine(13,
HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS: Horsetail contains
(0.0006%) and could increase the risk of chromium toxicity when
supplements or chromium-containing herbs such as bilberry,
brewer's yeast, or cascara(1).
horsetail contains thiaminase, which breaks down thiamine.
Chronic ingestion in animals has been associated with thiamine
Interactions with Drugs:
keeping with all herbs and medications that have a diuretic
action the blood levels of Lithium may be sensitive to the
thought to have diuretic properties. Theoretically, due to these
potential diuretic effects, horsetail might reduce excretion and
increase levels of lithium. The dose of lithium might need to be
with Lab Tests:
with Diseases or Conditions:
species have hypoglycemic activity(18).It
is unclear whether horsetail has hypoglycemic effects. Until more
is known, bear this in mind when using in the context of
diabetes. Monitor blood sugar levels to assess any
species have diuretic activity and can increase the excretion of
potassium(16, 17).Until more is
known, use with caution in patients who are at risk for potassium
horsetail can cause or exacerbate thiamine deficiency(13,
14, 15).No cases have
been reported in humans. For every three continuous use take a
break for three weeks.
Lanca S, Alves A, Vieira AI, et al. Chromium-induced toxic
hepatitis. Eur J Intern Med 2002;13:518-20.
Vimokesant S, Kunjara S, Rungruangsak K, et al. Beriberi caused
by antithiamin factors in food and its prevention. Ann N YAcad
Health Canada. Labelling Standard: Mineral Supplements. Available
(Accessed 14 November 2005).
Piekos R, Paslawska S. Studies on the optimum conditions of
extraction of silicon species from plants with water. I.
Equisetum arvense L. Herb. Planta Med 1975;27:145-50.
Sudan BJ. Seborrhoeic dermatitis induced by nicotine of
horsetails (Equisetum arvense L.). Contact Dermatitis
Oh H, Kim DH, Cho JH, Kim YC. Hepatoprotective and free radical
scavenging activities of phenolic petrosins and flavonoids
isolated from Equisetum arvense. J Ethnopharmacol
Sakurai N, Iizuka T, Nakayama S, et al. [Vasorelaxant activity of
caffeic acid derivatives from Cichorium intybus and Equisetum
arvense]. Yakugaku Zasshi 2003;123:593-8.
Dos Santos JG Jr, Blanco MM, Do Monte FH, et al. Sedative
effects of hydroalcoholic extract of Equisetum arvense.
Langhammer L, Blaszkiewitz K, Kotzorek I. Evidence of toxic
equisetum. Dtsch Apoth Ztg 1972;112:1751-94.
10. Correia H,
Gonzalez-Paramas A, Amaral MT, et al. Characterisation of
HPLC-PAD-ESI/MS and antioxidant activity in Equisetum
Phytochem Anal 2005;16:380-7.
11. Do Monte
FH, dos Santos JG Jr, Russi M, et al. Antinociceptive and
anti-inflammatory properties of the hydroalcoholic extract of
stems from Equisetum arvense L. in mice. Pharmacol Res
12. Husson GP,
Vilagines R, Delaveau P. [Antiviral properties of various
extracts of natural origin]. Ann Pharm Fr 1986; 44:41-8.
13. Ramos JJ,
Ferrer LM, Garcia L, et al. Polioencephalomalacia in adult
pastures with prostrate pigweed. Can Vet J 2005;46:59-61.
JA, Evans EV, McIntosh RA. The antithiamine action of Equisetum.
J Am Vet Med Assoc 1952;120:375-8.
15. Fabre B,
Geay B, Beaufils P. Thiaminase activity in equisetum
extracts. Plant Med Phytother 1993;26:190-7.
Gutierrez RM, Laguna GY, Walkowski A. Diuretic activity of
Mexican equisetum. J Ethnopharmacol 1985;14:269-72.
17. Lemus I,
Garcia R, Erazo S, et al. Diuretic activity of an Equisetum
bogotense tea (Platero herb): evaluation in healthy volunteers. J
MC, Andrade-Cetto A, Islas S, Wiedenfeld H. Hypoglycemic effect
of Equisetum myriochaetum aerial parts on type 2 diabetic
patients. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;81:117-20.
Agustin-Ubide MP, Martinez-Cocera C, Alonso-Llamazares A, et al.
Diagnostic approach to anaphylaxis by carrot, related vegetables
and horsetail (Equisetum arvense) in a homemaker. Allergy