August 11, 2012

Equisetum arvense
Activate: Determination
Message: Make it happen.

I discovered this 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.

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.

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 LOTUSWEI flower essences

Why it's Special

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.

Horsetail contains the highest amount of silica than any other plant on the Earth - 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 LOTUSWEI flower essences

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:

horsetail tea LOTUSWEI flower essences

Calm the Nerves + Age Gracefully Herbal Tea*
Put 1 oz (weight) of each of the following herbs into a cotton muslin bag:

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.

Horsetail LOTUSWEI flower essences What it Reveals

If you're attracted to Horsetail, lately you may have been feeling tired, overexerted  and stretched thin ~ in your work, your relationships, your health, or simply just your day to day responsibilities.

Perhaps there is a large project or endeavor you want to accomplish, and you're doubting whether you have what it takes. You might be finding yourself slouching with exhaustion, getting stuck in the little details or not able to finish a task. 

What the Elixir Catalyzes

The Horsetail essence helps bring clarity, strength, and momentum, perfect for those days when you feel like you don't have what it takes. Horsetail lights a fire, giving you the strength and determination to make anything 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?

Experience the magic of Horsetail!

In Essence

{Magnifies}: Unwavering determination and momentum; tenacity; 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, 

Katie Hess LOTUSWEI signature

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