Extracts and other preparations of E. arvense have served as herbal remedies, with records back to ancient Greek and Roman times. It has been used as an herbal medicine for the treatment of brittle fingernails, loss of hair, poorly healing wounds, ulcers, swelling, skin inflammation, kidney stone, fractures, rheumatic diseases, gonorrhoea, prostatitis, and urinary incontinence. Horsetail extracts are reported for their good antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antitumor, cytotoxic and anticonvulsant activities. One of the key advantages of horsetail extract is due to its high level of water soluble silica content. Because of this fact horsetail based extracts are recommended when it is necessary for the body to repair bony tissues. Silica also assists in assimilation of calcium and promotes mineral balance which is essential for hormonal balance, repair of bones, collagen and other body tissues. Some of the key health benefits of horsetail extracts are listed below.
Hair health: Horsetail improves the texture and tone of hair. The extracts showed hair growth-stimulating effect in an aged man with alopecia. Hair conditioners containing cationic surfactants, silicones, and plant components including Equisetum arvense extract provides smoothing and conditioning effect to hairs.
Mineral balance: Natural source of silica help promotes absorption of key minerals (e.g. Calcium) essential for tissue repair and bone and cartilage development. Silica obtained from horsetail extract may replace lost silica in the affected bones thus is essential for the treatment of arthritis and osteoporosis.
Cardiovascular problems: Equisetum's silica content encourages the absorption and use of calcium by the body and also helps to protect against fat deposition in arteries. Silica has an influence on lipid metabolism which demonstrates potential benefit for cardiovascular problems.
Anti-Inflammatory activity: Natural source of silica supplementation helps repair and maintain vital lung tissues and provide immunity against lung disorders and tuberculosis. Silica assists in maintaining or restoring the elasticity of lung tissues and reduces inflammation in bronchitis. Additionally, the presence of sufficient silica in the intestines reduces inflammation of the intestinal tract.
Astringent: E. arvense is an excellent genitourinary system astringent. It can be applied to such conditions as urethritis or cystitis with haematuria and haemorrhage.
Antioxidative and antiproliferative activities: Water and ethanol based extract from field E. arvense has shown high anti-oxidative activity against superoxide anion radical, hydroxyl radical and anti-proliferative activity based on in-vitro studies.