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Medicinal Herbs: Horsetail
Plants have long been used for disease prevention and as natural remedies, by humans, other animals, and even by plants. Much of what we have learned so far, has come to us by watching dietary habits of animals in the wild, from personal experience, and second-hand knowledge passed down from others. Today, herbalism is common, and more is known about the medicinal properties of plants. There is in fact, so much data about so many plants, and so much yet to come, that I felt it necessary to limit the number of plants in the following list of medicinal herbs. I therefore decided to focus on a handful of plants, which grow best in the wild in my local area, or are easy to find, propagate and grow indoors.
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)Parts Used: roots, stems
Nutrients: vitamins (vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B9, inositol, C, D, E, P), minerals (calcium, chromium, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sulfur, zinc)
Medicinal Properties: analgesic, antibacterial, anticonvulsant (in high doses), antifungal (stems), hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, antilithic, antioxidant, antiperspirant, antipurine, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, appetite suppressant, astringent, bronchodilator, cardiotonic, carminative, decongestant, demulcent, detoxifer, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, exfoliant, expectorant, haemostatic, hepatic, hypertensive, hypoglycemic, hypotensive, immunostimulant, nervine, pectoral, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, vasoconstrictor, vulnerary
Phytochemicals: ephedrine, saponins, silicic acid
Safety Precautions: not for use during pregnancy, while nursing, or by children under 2; should not be taken in large doses (standard dose is 1/4tsp in tea form; no more than 3tsp dried, 1 1/3tsp powdered), or for extended periods of time; toxic to animals due to thiaminase (an enzyme horsetail contains that depletes vitamin B1); not toxic to humans, but to prevent side effects, heat to over 118 degrees for 10 minutes before use to neutralize the thiaminase, or increase vitamin B1 (thiamin) intake while taking horsetail
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