Medicinal plants

Horsetail contraindications

The horsetail plant

Horsetail, better known as horsetail, is a perennial herbaceous plant that produces neither flowers nor seeds. Like ferns, it is a rhizomatous plant, that is, it has the rhizome which is a part similar to a root, as it develops horizontally and is swollen. It is actually a stem that has undergone a process of modification to develop accumulation and reserve functions useful for the survival of the plant. Horsetail leaves are thin and long. When spring arrives, the sterile stems, which are on average 50 centimeters high, are joined by others that are fertile. The latter are easily recognizable because they are only 20 centimeters high, have a greyish color as they are free of chlorophyll and develop a strobile, that is a pine cone in the final part. Once mature, the strobilus releases spores through which the plant multiplies according to the same mechanism used for example by fungi. The horsetail, as we said at the beginning, does not in fact develop flowers.

The history of the use of horsetail

The origin of the horsetail dates back to prehistoric times. This very ancient plant was widespread more than 400 million years ago, when humans had not yet appeared on Earth. In this very long period of time, the horsetail continued to reproduce through the spores spread by its strobili, once it reached maturity. Currently there are only 15 species left, present in the Northern Hemisphere. The therapeutic virtues of horsetail are concentrated only in the fertile branches. The Romans already knew this plant for its restorative effects. The Indians used it to build muscle mass, heal fractures or wounds. Since 1600 in Europe the horsetail was used in case of skin inflammations or for the treatment of kidney stones. Even ancient Ayurvedic medicine mentions it for the treatment of urinary tract disorders. According to magical beliefs, a small bunch of horsetail tied to the bed increased the fertility of couples.

The properties of the horsetail

Horsetail, otherwise known as horsetail, includes various active ingredients including silica, flavonoids, potassium salts. The high silica content gives the horsetail remarkable remineralizing properties. This principle helps to strengthen and fortify the skeletal structure. It is no coincidence that horsetail is currently used both in the treatment of osteoporosis and in the treatment of fractures which accelerate healing. Its re-finalizing properties are also effective in fortifying weak and thin hair or brittle nails. Since ancient times, horsetail was valued for its diuretic effects. Galen already mentioned it as a medicinal plant. It not only fights water retention and proves to be a valid ally in the treatment of cellulite, but it is also an effective adjuvant in the treatment of cystitis. The aerial part of the plant is used for external use to decrease skin inflammations, against nasal bleeding or in the treatment of hemorrhoids.

Horsetail contraindications: Horsetail contraindications

The use of horsetail, like that of any medicinal herb, has contraindications so it is always good to warn your doctor or pharmacist in case you follow medicinal treatments. Due to the active ingredients that characterize it, horsetail is contraindicated in case of edema caused by heart or kidney diseases. Its diuretic effects require precautions if you are already taking drugs with similar properties. The use of horsetail can in fact cause a loss of potassium, which requires its suspension during treatment of bipolar disorders or heart rhythm. Possible side effects include transient digestive disorders, allergic dermatitis and vitamin B deficiency caused by excessive consumption. The Horsetail intake during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It should be emphasized that, to date, true toxic reactions caused by horsetail have been recorded only in livestock, following the consumption of large quantities.

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