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Medicinal Plants 2023

Chá horsetail: what is it for and how to make it

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Chá horsetail: what is it for and how to make it
Chá horsetail: what is it for and how to make it

The horsetail is a medicinal plant, of the Equisetum arvense species, widely used as a home remedy to combat fluid retention, help with weight loss or strengthen bones. In addition, due to its anti-inflammatory and diuretic action, horsetail can be used to help treat kidney stones and urinary tract infections, for example.

Mackerel tea, prepared with the dried stem, is the most used way to consume the plant, which can be found in natural food stores and some manipulation pharmacies. Another way to use horsetail is in capsule form.

Although it has several he alth benefits, the use of horsetail can also cause several side effects, especially when the plant is consumed in excessive amounts or for more than a week, including severe headache or pancreatitis, for example..Therefore, its use should always be done under the guidance of a doctor or other he alth professional with experience in the use of medicinal plants.

What is it for

The horsetail has a diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, healing and remineralizing action, and can be used for different purposes.

The main indications of horsetail are:

1. Fighting fluid retention

Horsetail has a diuretic effect due to the large amounts of flavonoids, such as quercetin and apigenin, phenolic compounds, such as caffeic and cinnamic acids, and mineral s alts, which act by increasing the production and elimination of liquids through the urine, fighting swelling and fluid retention.

A study carried out shows that taking a daily dose of 900 mg of dried horsetail extract in capsule form has a more potent diuretic effect than an over-the-counter diuretic remedy such as hydrochlorothiazide, for example.However, further studies are needed to prove this effect. [1]

2. Help to lose weight

Mackerel helps you lose weight because it has anti-inflammatory, detoxifying and diuretic antioxidant substances, such as flavonoids and caffeic acid, which increase localized fat burning and help eliminate liquids that can cause excess weight.

In addition, the caffeic acid in horsetail has a thermogenic effect, which helps increase metabolism and fat burning, contributing to weight loss.

3. Fighting urinary tract infection

Because it has a diuretic action, horsetail can be useful in fighting urinary infection and other urinary and kidney problems such as cystitis or nephritis, for example. This is because by stimulating the elimination of urine, this plant also stimulates the elimination of bacteria from the urinary tract, which cause these diseases.

4. Decrease blood pressure

Mackerel helps to lower blood pressure due to its diuretic action, which increases the elimination of liquids from the body. This causes the volume of fluid in the blood vessels to decrease, also reducing the effort that the heart has to make to pump blood and, consequently, lowering blood pressure.

5. Keeping bones he althy

Mackerel is rich in minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium which are essential minerals to strengthen, increase resistance and maintain he althy bones.

In addition, some laboratory studies show that horsetail can inhibit bone degradation and stimulate the formation and regeneration of bone cells, preventing the development of diseases such as osteoporosis, osteopenia or rickets, for example.

Other studies show that, due to the high silica content in its composition, horsetail helps to improve the formation, density and consistency of bones and cartilage, in addition to increasing collagen synthesis and improving absorption of calcium through the bones.

However, human studies are still needed to prove these benefits.

6. Improve the appearance of nails and skin

The silica present in horsetail reduces brittleness and the formation of curls in the nails, in addition to improving hydration, hardening and strengthening, helping to improve the appearance and growth of nails.

In addition, horsetail has an astringent, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action, contributing to improve skin quality, as it fights free radicals that damage cells and can cause premature aging, in addition to reducing skin oiliness. skin fighting and preventing the appearance of acne.

7. Eliminate fungi and bacteria

Some studies show that horsetail has essential oils, such as thymol and cineole, which are capable of eliminating fungi, especially skin fungi, such as Candida sp. and bacteria like:

  • Escherichia coli causing urinary tract infection;
  • Staphylococcus aureus that cause lung, skin and bone infections.

However, human studies are still needed to prove this benefit.

How to make horsetail tea

The horsetail tea is the main form of consumption of this plant, made with the dry stem, and can be used as a diuretic to help in the treatment of urinary infections, help to lose weight or fight high blood pressure.


  • 1 tablespoon of dried horsetail stalk;
  • 1 cup of boiling water.

Preparation mode

Place the dried horsetail stalk in a cup of boiling water and let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and drink up to 2 cups a day, preferably after the main meals of the day.

This tea should not be used for more than 1 week in a row, to avoid dehydration and elimination of some essential minerals for the body.

Other ways to use horsetail

In addition to tea, horsetail can be found in the form of a supplement, the recommended dose being between 500 and 570 mg, 3 times a day, and should always be used under the guidance of a doctor or a he alth professional with experience in medicinal plants.

Another way to use horsetail is to take a sitz bath which can help in the treatment of urinary infections. To make the sitz bath, simply place 3 handfuls of dry stalks in the bath water and remain immersed in the water for 5 to 10 minutes. Check out other sitz bath options for urinary tract infections.

Possible side effects

Mackerel is safe for most adults when consumed for a short period of time, up to a week, or as directed by a physician, nutritionist or herbalist.

However, when consumed in large quantities, and for a long time, it can cause loss of important minerals for the body, which can result in diarrhea, severe headache, dehydration, weight loss, pancreatitis, change in heart rate and muscle weakness, for example.

Who should not use

The consumption of horsetail is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women, as well as for children under 12 years old and people with heart failure, low blood pressure and kidney diseases, for example, due to its ability to lower blood pressure and having a strong diuretic effect.

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