horsetail herb

Commonly known as horsetail, shavegrass is a sterile perennial plant that is possibly the most abundant source of silica in the entire plant kingdom. It is in the Equistaceae plant family and also known as candock, paddock pipes, bottle brush, horsetail fern, field horsetail, common horsetail, or giant horsetail. This is a prehistoric plant that has been used for medicinal purposes by Chinese herbalists, ancient Greeks, and Romans for centuries. Used traditionally to stop bleeding, healing ulcers, and wounds, this huge, tree-like plant thrived 400 million years ago during the Paleozoic era, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center

Shavegrass is a close relative of the fern and this nonflowering weed can be found throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. It has hollow stems and shoots that look like asparagus and is found in or near watery areas like marshes, rivers or streams. It has no leaves or flowers and grows in two stages. The first stage occurs during spring when a fertile hollow stem appears. Once the stems have withered and died the second stage begins during summer where the green barren stems brand out from the plant and this is when the horsetail is gathered for medicinal use.

Benefits of shavegrass (horsetail)

Shavegrass is revered for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, astringent coagulant, demulcent, and diuretic properties. The list of its uses is extensive from aiding brittle bones to acne and frostbite. It contains valuable minerals and nutrients like calcium, caffeic acid esters, flavonoids, iron, fatty acids, phytosterols, glycosides, phenolic acids, aconitic acid, saponins, tannins, and silica. With similarities to the alfalfa plant, shavegrass is capable of absorbing exceptional minerals and nutrients from the earth like its prized ingredient silica.

How does shavegrass benefit hair?

With the impressive list of minerals and nutrients, it is no wonder why people seek horsetail as a natural method to combat hair loss. The most impressive ingredient would be silica as it is believed to boost hair growth and even the health of hair while also combatting dandruff. This trace mineral helps to strengthen blood vessels and improve circulation, which in turn stimulates the blood flow to the scalp and encourage hair growth. It binds protein molecules to many tissues in the body and this makes it perfect for brittle, damaged, weak strands by giving it strength and vitality along with shine. It is a necessary component of the skin’s connective tissues so it helps to strengthen your bones and nails as well and it improves the elasticity of skin and hair making it more durable to manipulation. Shavegrass has selenium, which is essential for the proper growth of the hair because it helps the body to process iodine, which regulates hair growth. A deficiency in selenium can lead to slower growing hair.

Its antiseptic properties make it great for adding to your DIY scalp rinses and elixirs for an oily scalp. Whether used as tea, tried or extract this amazing herb is just what the doctor ordered for strengthening hair, fighting dandruff and hair growth. Here are some DIY recipes that are great for all three and for the non-DIYers we’ve got a few products with the magical shavegrass in them that will do the trick too.

Horsetail Dandruff Hair Rinse

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp. dried horsetail

Pour boiling water over the dried horsetail and steep for 15 min. Allow to cool and strain prior to pouring over hair after cleansing. Massage gently into scalp and leave on as a final rinse. Style as usual.

Horsetail Hair strengthening Hair Rinse

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup dried horsetail

Pour boiling water over dried horsetail and steep for at least an hour. When cooled, strain and use as a final hair rinse after cleansing.

Horsetail + Olive Oil Scalp oil

Massage 3 to 4 drops of horsetail extract mixed with 2 tbsp. of olive oil (or coconut oil) into the scalp gently and in circular motions. Will aid in stimulating the blood flow to the hair follicles and strengthening them while also decreasing dandruff.

Products with horsetail