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HomeHome and GardenGardening in Costa Rica at a Glance: Horsetail Plant

Gardening in Costa Rica at a Glance: Horsetail Plant

Horsetail, scientifically known as Equisetum, is a unique and ancient plant that has been around for millions of years. It belongs to a primitive group of vascular plants that thrived during the Paleozoic era. Horsetail plants are characterized by their distinctive appearance, resembling the tail of a horse, hence their common name. These plants have a long and fascinating history, and their unique features make them an intriguing subject for botanists and nature enthusiasts alike

Geo-distribution: A primitive plant which is found in many parts of the world and is present in the cooler regions of tropical America. It is found in wet, marshy areas with loam soils.

Botanical description: String-like root stock with roots at the nodes produce numerous hollow stems, which are of two types. A fertile, flesh-colored stem grows first, reaching a height of 10-20 centimeters and bearing on top a cane-like spike which contains spares, this stem dies quickly. A green, sterile stem grows up to 50 centimeters and features whorls of small branches.

Medicinal Uses: Traditionally, this herb has been used as a diuretic in the treatment of kidney and bladder problems. The leaves are also very high in silica and are said to be useful in loss of hair or poor growth of the nails. Externally, it has been used as awash for healing wounds.

Preparation: An infusion is made by steeping a handful of fresh herb with one liter of water. A decoction is made by boiling the mixture for 10 minutes.

Notes: Recommend dosage for adults is one cup per day for about seven days. Pregnant women should not use horsetail.

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