August 11, 2012


What I LOVE about Horsetail is that it’s a living fossil! It’s ancient and goes back over three hundred million years! It’s one of the only plants that was around in the days of the dinosaurs and it’s still around today. In fact its the only plant genus still alive that’s in its class (plant family). Think about what the personality of the plant must be like to have the tenacity to stick around for so long!

Horsetail doesn’t have any seeds and flowers, reproducing instead with spores, with its nearest living plant relative as the fern. In the days of the dinosaurs, Horsetail was more like a palm tree, reaching heights of over 100 feet tall! Now depending on the variety it comes up to around as tall as your knee, unless it’s a giant Mexican horsetail, which can grow as tall as 25 feet.

When I was a small child and living in the upper peninsula of Michigan, I remember playing with Horsetail. It’s also called Snakegrass, and Puzzlegrass. As kids, we used to pull all the sections apart and then try to put them all back together in the proper order, like a puzzle.

Horsetail contains the highest amount of silica than any other plant on the Earth, so much that it can actually be used to polish metal! In India it’s used it to polish wooden tools and in Japan it’s used as the finest of sandpapers in woodworking. Horsetail stalks have been made into whistles to call spirits and the leaves are used in botanical dyes to make a pastel green color. There are some species of Horsetail that are eaten as vegetables, like the Japanese dish ‘tsukushi’, which is a bit like asparagus.


Horsetail is poisonous to livestock but has been used as an herbal tea and folk remedy in both North America and Europe for many years. In its herbal form, horsetail is a treasure that’s used for so many different ailments, like: skin boils and infections, water retention, gingivitis, excessive bleeding, respiratory infections, bladder weakness and kidney stones. Horsetail is also recommended in cases of physical weakness.

Horsetail is abundant in nourishing minerals. For example its high amounts of silica are said to strengthen nails, hair and bones. Drinking horsetail in a tea form is known to have anti-aging effects due to its anti-inflammatory effects on the skin.

Horsetail also contains naturally-occurring calcium, which is important for reproductive health, bone health and preventing hot flashes. Adequate amounts of calcium and magnesium in the diet prevent nervousness, cramps, irritability, restless sleep and hyperactivity.

I’m not a huge fan to taking calcium in supplements, because it can get lodged in the veins and harden the arteries, especially when not combined with the proper amounts of magnesium. I’d much rather see people getting calcium through their diet in seaweeds (on average over 10x the amount of calcium than milk), dark leafy greens or through teas like this one:


Calm the Nerves & Age Gracefully Herbal Tea*

Put 1 oz (weight) of each of the following herbs into a cotton muslin bag: 1 oz Horsetail
1 oz Oatstraw
1 oz Nettle Leaves

Put the muslin bag into a quart-size mason jar. Bring one quart of water (four cups, or use the ball jar to measure out a quart of water) to a boil and then pour the just-boiled water into the bell jar with the herbs.

Let the herbs infuse in the hot water for 30-60 minutes or until it cools sufficiently enough to drink it. Drink this quart throughout the day and refrigerate it if you don’t drink it within the first few hours after making it. You can make a quart each day. Or in the summertime when it’s hot, you can make it at night, refrigerate it and have ice tea ready to go for the next day. This tea may be consumed for up to two months continuously.

*Not for pregnant or lactating mothers.

Herbalists are divided about whether or not to give horsetail to children. Some herbalists say it’s a helpful remedy for children wetting the bed or for incontinence, because of its tonifying and astringent properties. Others recommend against giving it to children due to the tiny amounts of nicotinic acid contained in the horsetail.

I discovered Horsetail in a very wet, marshy area outside of Whistler in British Columbia in Canada. I recognized it from my childhood and fell in love with the vibrant green strength of the plant and made an essence from the shoots.

horsetail essence

Horsetail essence is for those days when you feel like you don’t have what it takes. If you find yourself slouching with exhaustion, getting stuck in the little details or not able to finish a task. Horsetail lights a fire under your rear end and gives you the strength and determination to make something happen. Anything that you’ve felt stuck in or felt that you don’t have what it takes – now is the time to re-visit what’s most important to you. What are you determined to accomplish?

Here’s what Caitlyn, from our #flowerpower community, has said about this essence:

“Horsetail flower essence brings undisrupted clarity and strength to a task that may have seemed vast and cumbersome. It unleashes a force of focus and drive usually subdued by monotony. When I am sitting down to work on a big project, it helps me to prioritize, strategize and attack the monster project in my mind.” – Caitlyn McLelland, Educator & Entrepreneur

Experience the magic of Horsetail!

Horsetail Elixir

{Magnifies} Unwavering determination and momentum; the sense of a strong foundation; energy and vitality to move forward; spinal column strength; radiance in the face

{Dissolves} Stagnant energy; feeling stuck; feeling like you can’t go on or that you don’t have what it takes

Love + flower petals,




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