what is horsetail extract?
Posted April 22, 2020
What is horsetail extract and what can it do for my skin?
The benefits of horsetail extract have been known since ancient Greek and Roman times. Horsetail is a member of the Equisetaceae family and is actually a “living fossil”. It contains an enormous amount of evolutionary intelligence through its long lifetime of over one hundred million years!
Horsetail has been a herbal remedy for centuries. Ancient horsetail plants were over thirty metres tall, as tall as modern palm trees, and the plant is a perennial with a stem that resembles a horse’s tail, hence the name.
It does not reproduce with seeds, making it sterile, it reproduces with spores instead. It goes by many different names, including Shavegrass, Bottle Brush and Scouring Rush. The last is because its stem is covered in silicates that are abrasive enough to scour metal pots. Horsetail is commonly found in North America as well as temperate areas of Asia and Europe.
Horsetail has the highest amount of silica in the plant kingdom, a powerful healing herb which was used as far back as ancient China and Europe for inflammation, cooling fevers, for fluid retention, to heal skin conditions and to strengthen hair and nails. It also contains calcium, iron, manganese and antioxidants. Besides being an antioxidant, horsetail is also an antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory herb.
The numerous benefits of Horsetail
Horsetail is known for its many beneficial properties. Science continues its research to bring the unique abilities of Horsetail to light. However ancient civilisations have been using horsetail as a healing remedy for many reasons:
When damage occurs to body tissues or as we age, this creates oxidative stress and our oxygen molecules split into single atoms. These atoms have unpaired electrons which is not their natural state, and they want to be paired. They are called free radicals because they go on a mission to scavenge the body and find other electrons to become a pair. This causes a chain reaction of damage, damaging healthy cells which in turn damages more heathy cells, which in turn damages proteins and DNA. As our skin is one of the largest organs of the body, free radicals cause wrinkles and sagging.
Applying antioxidants to your skin helps to protect the body by donating electrons to stabilise these free radicals.
Along with free radicals, when the body’s tissues are damaged, this also creates inflammation. This is the redness and puffiness associated with wounds. Inflammation is a red flag, calling the immune system to the scene for help. Inflammation can also cause the formation of free radicals, starting a cycle of damage: damage causes inflammation, which causes free radicals, which causes damage, which creates more inflammation and free radicals. Reducing inflammation breaks this cycle. Skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and eczema are all results of inflammation.
Horsetail has been used for centuries to treat many different maladies. Taken internally, it can help with bronchitis (inflammation of the bronchial tubes), tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils), gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), foot infections (a result of inflammation and bacteria), sore throat (inflammation), as well as many other issues.
Hair and Nail Benefits
Horsetail is very beneficial for nails and hair because of its high silica content. The minerals in horsetail can help strengthen brittle fingernails when horsetail extract is taken daily. Soaking the nails in an infusion of dried horsetail and water up to four times a week will also help strengthen them.
The silica in horsetail can help to grow strong healthy hair. Ingesting horsetail extract as a tea or supplement as well as applying it straight to the hair can have beneficial effects. Mixing horsetail extract with olive oil or coconut oil, then massaging it into the scalp will stimulate hair growth and improve circulation. It can also be used as a conditioner – pour horsetail tea over hair and wash it out. This conditioner will make hair shiny and less frizzy.
Along with the antioxidant benefits of anti-ageing, and the anti-inflammatory benefits for acne and irritation, horsetail extract has other skin benefits. When applied to the skin, it can help heal rashes, burns and wounds thanks to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Another anti-ageing benefit is the silica in horsetail which contains collagen. Collagen is an important part of the skin, keeping it taut and wrinkle free. Silica supports collagen production, especially was the production is slowed with ageing. Horsetail extract is used in skin products for this reason as well as for combating inflammation.
Horsetail tea can also be used as a toner to calm the skin. After cleansing the skin, swipe on cooled tea with a cotton ball or swab. Horsetail can shrink pores when used this way.
Our Replenishing Moisture Cream contains horsetail extract to strengthen the skin along with other moisturising and nourishing ingredients including:
- Our signature Certified Organic Rosehip Oil rich in essential fatty acid, vitamins and antioxidants to promote skin health
- Carrot oil which is high in vitamin A for anti-ageing
- White tea extract is a strong antioxidant for preventing premature skin ageing
- Shea butter which is deeply nourishing
Skin will look visibly younger, plump and radiant with continual daily use.