Horsetail, or Equisetum varieties, can be found in riparian habitats. As you can see here in the photos this dense community of Horsetail is growing prolifically on an island in Oak Creek. It likes wet feet and or moist areas, so look for it when you are near water. This variety we found is Equisetum hyemale, which is a non-leafy variety of Horsetail. Finding a lush, healthy and productive grouping is one key in wildcraft protocol. Also be sure the plant is free from toxic habitat or treatment before wildcrafting for usage.
This particular grove of Horsetail was very green and healthy. It's vertical, hollow stems are unique in the plant world, making it one of the easier plants to readily identify. When harvesting Horsetail you want the aerial parts, and specifically newer growth where the medicinal values are strongest. The young shoots of Horsetail contain higher concentrations of silica, an important nutrient for bone and tooth formation, and well-nourished skin, hair and nails.
Supplementing the diet with a horsetail tea or tincture can be helpful in building bone density and strength, and healthier joints, ligaments and connective tissues. Much like the appearance of Horsetail is fluid and rigid, it effects the human body likewise. This is a great plant to utilize for mending broken bones, deteriorating joints, and osteoporosis. Horsetail has an extremely high density of silicon, and due to its nutritive values is effective in supplying the body with essential vitamins and minerals.
Like most herbs the medicinal values in Horsetail are multi-faceted. It is a cleansing herb and is helpful with urinary and kidney issues, as well as the menses and prostate. Horsetail must be taken continuously over time for it to be effective. A simple tea can be made by steeping in boiled water. Combined with Red Clover, Oatstraw or Dandelion, this plant goes a long way in balancing the body to a healthier state.