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Equisetaceae (Horsetail Family)



Plant TypeForb
EdibilityThe tea is very healthful. It is good by itself, or as a base with other plants. It can also be used as cooking water to add nutrients to rice, soups, etc.
ToxicityThe fresh plant contains thiaminase, an enzyme that destroys vitamin B-1. Cooking destroys this enzyme. These plants will accumulate heavy metals and other chemicals from soil, if present.
Medicinal UsesThe tea is high in vitamins, minerals, and is a good tonic. The silica is good for the hair and fingernails. It is somewhat diuretic and astringent.
Utilitarian UsesContains silica and silicic acids (5-8%) and saponins, making it useful for as an abrasive. The classic example is its use for scouring and cleaning cookware.
Other NotesThis is one of the more ancient plants on earth. It is from the first family to appear on earth after the mosses. It reproduces by spore.