Horsetail is a living fossil, the sole descendent of primitive plants that served as dinosaur snacks 100 million years ago. Horsetail contains unusually high levels of the element silicon, making the herb so abrasive that it can be used for polishing. In addition, the plant can incorporate dissolved gold and other minerals into its structure.

Medicinally, horsetail has been used for treating urinary disorders, wounds, gonorrhea, nosebleeds, digestive disorders, gout, and many other conditions.1

Silicon plays a role in bone health,2 and for this reason, horsetail has been recommended to prevent or treat osteoporosis, and to strengthen brittle nails. The famous German herbalist Rudolf Weiss also suggests that horsetail can relieve symptoms ofrheumatoid arthritis.3 However, there is no real scientific evidence for these proposed uses.