When we think of “horsetail,” the first thing we think of is, literally, the hairs from the tail of a horse! And when we think of “horsetail” and “skincare” in the same sentence, we might get some pretty funny ideas. Thankfully, we’re talking about something entirely different when we refer to the health aspects and skincare benefits of horsetail.
“Horsetail” is actually a type of weed. It might not be that well known to the layman, but this weed has been around for a long time and it’s been in use for a long time too. In fact, horsetail plants have been used in medicine for thousands of years. And you may have actually seen this plant at some point too, and just not recognized it as a holistic medicine plant. For example, if you’ve ever strolled through any wetlands region in North America, you’ve probably seen horsetail plants on the edges of marshes and ponds. It looks kind of like a horse’s tail, hence the name.
Horsetail is a part of the fern family and is sometimes colloquially referred to as “bottlebrush,” “mare’s tail,” “scouring rush,” and “shave grass.”A favorite in the holistic remedies of Native American medicine men, Roman healers, Greek doctors, and ancient Chinese medical experts, the medicinal benefits of horsetail are certainly not a new discovery. But only recently are scientists figuring out what about horsetail gives it its healing properties. For example, it was recently discovered that this indigenous plant is rich in bioavailable silicon. The silicon-rich nature of horsetail is the primary element within the plant that gives it its healing properties.
What is Bioavailable Silicon?
New studies indicate that horsetail contains the trace mineral silicon in the form of silica and silica acids. In fact, not only does horsetail contain more of this substance than any other known herb, but it contains the element in a form that is highly absorbable by the human body. That’s why this funny-looking weed is often sought after as a health supplement.
To be clear, Silicon1 is not silicone. Silicon is a mineral essential to human health, while silicone is a man-made substance derived from silicon.
Bioavailable silicon is rich in nutrients like calcium, iron, manganese, and antioxidants. Those properties, in turn, make silicon a natural anti-microbial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
Because of its intrinsic properties, horsetail offers a wide variety of health benefits. According to WebMD2, horsetail can be used to treat conditions like:
- Brittle fingernails
- Joint diseases
- High cholesterol levels
While most of the health benefits of horsetail have been known for some time, it wasn’t until recently that the skincare benefits of horsetail were discovered. Horsetail can treat skin wounds and burns when applied directly to the skin in the form of a topical cream. The extract of the plant can also soothe and relieve dry, irritated, red, and itchy skin conditions. The plant’s healing properties are best-utilized when horsetail extract is synthesized into a skin lotion or face cream, as that is how one gets the maximum benefits of the plant while using the least amount of it.
Horsetail and Your Skin
The primary reason why horsetail extract benefits the skin is because the plant’s bioavailable silicon promotes the growth and retention of collagen. That slows the effect of the aging process on the skin. When applied as a cream, horsetail extract can enhance the luster and shine of the skin, giving it a full, youthful texture and glow.
- When used as an organic skin lotion, horsetail extracts also have antioxidant properties. That further reduces skin aging.
- Horsetail is an excellent additive to topical skin moisturizers because of the anti-microbial nature of the extract. Such a characteristic serves to clean the skin while also moisturizing it.
- The anti-inflammatory nature of horsetail is perfect as a psoriasis lotion or eczema cream. That’s because most skin problems such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema are usually the result of chronic inflammation3.
Horsetail extract is not just a fantastic skincare remedy either. An article on Stylecraze4 talks about how horsetail supplements, creams, and ointments can also:
- Control hair loss
- Treat kidney stones and diarrhea
- Strengthen nails
- Heal wounds
- Promote better bone health
- Prevent blood clotting
- Reduce inflammation
Next time you’re shopping for an organic face moisturizer, consider buying one that has horsetail extract as one of the primary ingredients. The benefits of this ancient weed make it a must for anyone’s skincare regimen!