Field horsetail

Equisetum arvense

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Field horsetail - Author:  MPF  


Equisetum Arvense, or horsetail, is a creeping perennial propagated through spores. It grows in moist soil, preferring open fields, wastelands, and arable land. Horsetail is distinctive for its strobil, the fertile shoots, which grow brown to white with a large white cone at the tip. 

Horsetail is very astringent - making it a useful clotting agent. It can be eaten (the strobil being used as an alternative to asparagus) but severe caution should be used. Horsetail contains equisetic acid, which is a heart and nerve sedative. Additionally it contains the enzyme thiaminase, which robs the body of vitamin B. If used horsetail strobilus should be boiled, with the water changed 3-4 times.