Dietary silicon is vital for health, particularly for bone and connective tissue . Many herbs contain silica, including Equisetum arvense, an herb also referred to as common or field horsetail. This silicon-dense food has various health benefits, including boosting your inflammatory, immune, hormonal, and bone health. Equisetum arvense has also been credited with anticancer and anti-anxiety properties in human and animal models. So let’s take a closer look at this “silica herb” and some Equisetum arvense medicinal uses. In this article, we’ll be covering 8 silica herb (common horsetail) benefits.
Safety of Equisetum arvense
Before we look at the many health benefits of common horsetail, safety for consumption in humans is of concern. After all, just because something is naturally derived doesn’t mean it is safe to eat.
Studies have been performed in animal and human models and found no immediate safety concerns or side-effects noted [2, 3]. This suggests that the herb is safe for future research as a potential treatment for the disease in animals and humans.
Common horsetail supplements are currently marketed as naturopathic treatments for urinary and renal disorders and tested for their usefulness against other conditions, too .
8 Silica Herb Benefits: Health Benefits of Equisetum arvense
E. arvense can reduce inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a bad thing for your body, causing conditions like arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, heart disease, and ulcerative colitis. However, this handy herb can reduce inflammation by dampening the response of your immune cells, drastically reducing your risk of developing these conditions [5, 6].
While part of this response is due to the silica content, there are many other components in the common horsetail herb that contribute to this effect .
E. arvense can improve wound healing
Wound healing and pain associated with this process is a complex issue. As you heal, you may need painkillers and other pharmaceutical interventions to pull through. In a recent clinical study, E. arvense ointment positively affected wound healing during a 10-day healing period after surgery, suggesting this may be an excellent alternative to traditional synthetic painkillers and healing supplements .
E. avense could reduce symptoms of anxiety
In mice, this herb reduced anxiety without the sedative properties of many anti-anxiety medications, such as diazepam . These results suggest E. avense could be a good naturopathic remedy for this increasingly prevalent condition.
E. arvense exhibits antidiabetic activity
Diabetes is another condition currently on the rise, with an astounding 34.2 million Americans currently diagnosed (compared to just 1.58 million in 1958) [10, 11]. However, there is hope in the common horsetail herb.
Diabetic rats dosed orally with E. arvense showed some reduction in diabetic activity, and researchers determined this herb does have some anti-diabetic properties .
The specifics of this remain under investigation. E. arvense also reduced sperm damage incurred by diabetic mice as a negative side-effect of the condition .
E. arvense is high in antioxidants
This herb is also extremely high in healthy antioxidants. Antioxidants can turn harmful free oxygen radicals formed by our metabolic process into harmless molecules our body can tolerate. This can help you reduce your risk of cancer and other diseases that can arise from a buildup of these radicals [14, 15].
Also, oregano is a powerful antioxidant. Read “The Benefits of Oregano.”
E. arvense can improve bone density
When your bone density is compromised, you can develop conditions like brittle bone disease and osteoporosis. In Wistar Rats, those fed E. arvense had higher bone density than those who did not get a dose of the herb daily . This would put them at lower risk of bone diseases in the future and may do the same in humans (studies are ongoing).
E. arvense could improve renal function
Your kidneys are a vital part of your body, working hard to filter toxins and dangerous chemicals from your blood. Rats given E. arvense extract daily had better kidney function than those who did not, suggesting this herb may affect blood and kidney health. Studies are ongoing in animal models to determine why this is .
E. arvense may have anticancer activity
EA1, extracted from common horsetail, reduced cancer prevalence in lung cells in a recent study . This cell model suggests that EA1 might have some anticancer benefits in cells (and hopefully down the road in animal models and animals), suggesting its potential as a future cancer treatment.
In summary, 8 Silica Herb Benefits
Common horsetail or E. arvense is a disease-fighting powerhouse and an excellent naturopathic candidate against many diseases. However, if you consider adding this supplement to your daily diet, or trying it as a treatment, always do so in consultation with your medical professional.
Horsetail is naturally derived but may not be a healthy choice for you and may affect your current medication regime. Talk to your doctor today about the health benefits E. arvense may have for you.