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June 2012 - Herbs for Healing Newsletter in association with Transition Tradition:

horsetail and its medicinal benefits

Natural remedy of the month: honey

Never have I seen as much horsetail growing in one place as at the Coldharbour allotment in Salisbury.

Curse or blessing? Weed or medicinal herb? The answer is all of these and more.

Horsetail is a living fossil, a prehistoric plant. It has been growing on our planet for over 400 million years. It has a perennial rootstock that reaches up to 2 meters below the ground.

Horsetail can be used as a plant food for tomatoes and many other plants. Mix it with nettles and comfrey leaves for a particularly potent brew that can be diluted with water in the watering can and
applied frequently.

Horsetail strengthens the cell membrane in plant cells, which makes it more difficult for garden pests to get into the plant and weaken it.

No other plant contains as much silica as horsetail. It absorbs this mineral from the earth. The young plant has the highest amount of silica.

Silica facilitates the absorption of calcium by the human body, both of these minerals are necessary for teeth, bones, hair, nails and other connective tissues like tendons and ligaments.

It is a valuable herb for preventing or slowing down osteoporosis, a condition where bones become brittle and breaks down too fast.

Can horsetail be used as a medicine?

Silica in horsetail strengthens all connective tissues in the body. It is specifically used to treat incontinence because it strengthens the sphincter muscle of the bladder.

As a mild diuretic it can be used to deal with urinary problems such as bladder and kidney infections. Since horsetail increases elasticity of connective tissue it can be very helpful in preventing and
healing chapped skin on the fingers and hands. Use it as a decoction or bathe your hands in it.

When kidneys function better in eliminating normal waste products, the health of many other areas of the body, in turn, improve.

This, I believe, is the reason why the famous Swiss herbalist Abbe Kuenzle stated: ‘all pain caused by rheumatism, gout and nerves would disappear....’ if everyone drank a cup of Horsetail tea every day.

Horsetail is a powerful mending plant because it supplies the body with the building blocks to mend itself more effectively.

It also strengthens the lung tissue in cases of a history of tuberculosis or pneumonia. Each infection in the lungs leads to fibrous scar tissue which reduces elasticity. The lung tissue needs to be elastic to
function well.

This is a regular newsletter written by Luzia Barclay and published in association with the Sturminster Newton Transition Town Group.

Click to download the newsletter in PDF format. If you would like a printed version in the post, or to distribute all or part of the newsletter please contact me on 01722 330663.

I run a number of worshops in the local area, book online here
Email mail@luzia.co.uk.

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