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Plant Type: Forb

Domestication Type: Wild

Edibility: The 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.

Medicinal: The 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.

Poisonous: The 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.

Utilitarian Uses: Contains 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 Notes: This 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.