Horsetail is also known as Bottlebrush, shave grass, corncob plant, scouring rush, field horsetail, pewterwort, paddock-pipes, Dutch rushes, snake pipes, small scouring rush, åkersnelle (Norwegian), cola de caballo (Spanish), prêle des champs (French), Acker-Schachtelhalm (German). Because of its large quantity of silica, it was used to clean metal.
Horsetail contains silicic acid, saponins, flavonoids, sterols, tannins, potassium, aluminum salts, manganese, magnesium, sulfur and calcium. Historically, horsetail has been used to stop bleeding, repair broken bones and as an herbal remedy for arthritis.
It has also been beneficial in the treatment of dropsy, gravel and kidney infections, including ulceration and ulcers in the urinary passages.
Because horsetail has the ability to increase urine production, (a diuretic), it gained popularity as an herbal treatment of kidney stones, edema and urinary tract infections as well as cystitis. This property can be attributed primarily to the presence of flavonoids.
To prepare as a tea, pour 8 oz boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of herb. Cover and steep for 5-10 minutes, strain and serve immediately.