HORSETAIL & STINGING NETTLE
(Equisetum arvense & Urtica sp.)
extracted by tincture in food grade alcohol
Horsetail is the only living genus in the Equisetaceae, a family of vascular plants that reproduce by spores rather than seeds. Equisetum is a "living fossil", as it is the only living genus of the entire class Equisetopsida, which for over one hundred million years was much more diverse and dominated the understory of late Paleozoic forests. The field horsetail Equisetum arvense is considered to be a nuisance weed, readily regrowing from the rhizome after being pulled out.
Stinging Nettle is a native to North America (abundance in the Pacific Northwest) as well as Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa preferring a moist, rich soil and grows in a range at sea level to elevations over 9,000 feet.
Historical & Clinical Notation:
Horsetail - The young fertile stems bearing strobili of some species are cooked and eaten by people in Japan as a dish similar to asparagus called tsukushi. The people of ancient Rome would also eat meadow horsetail in this manner as well as making a tea with or using it as thickening powder. Indians of the North American Pacific Northwest eat the young shoots of this plant raw. An extract is often used to provide silica for supplementation.
Stinging Nettle - The plant has a long history of use as a medicine and as a food source. Nettle leaf is a herb that has a long tradition of use as an adjuvant remedy in the treatment of arthritis in Germany. Nettle leaf extract contains active compounds that reduce inflammatory cytokines. It has been demonstrated that nettle leaf lowers TNF levels by potently inhibiting the genetic transcription factor that activates TNF-a and IL-1B in the synovial tissue that lines the joint. Nettle root extracts have been extensively studied in human clinical trials as a treatment for symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). These extracts have been shown to help relieve symptoms compared to placebo both by themselves and when combined with other herbal medicines. Because it contains 3,4-divanillyltetrahydrofuran, certain extracts of the nettle are used by bodybuilders in an effort to increase free testosterone by occupying sex-hormone binding globulin. Fresh nettle is used in folk remedies to stop bleeding because of its high Vitamin K content.
The combination of Horsetail & Stinging Nettle is used for the building of strong bones*, repair of joint cartilage, to strengthen fingernails, and/or stimulate hair growth. Horsetail's predominant element, natural occurring silicon (up to 70%) is the key ingredient to its curative properties while Stinging Nettles contains a very high source of digestible iron.
*Bone growth involves the process of adding calcium for hardness, plus increasing collagen. Silicon (silica plus oxygen form silica, more correctly noted as silicon dioxide) is essential for both of these processes. An important study conducted at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) shows that silicon-supplemented bones have a one hundred percent increase in collagen when compared with low-silicon bones.
Dosage for Adults:
1/2 tsp. tincture three times daily with each meal (10-15% silica).
Do not use Horsetail in combination with anti-hypertensive drugs, digitalis, corticosteroids, heparin, or lithium. If taking Horsetail for a prolonged time, supplement thiamine (Vitamin B1) in your diet, because it will interfere with thiamine absorption. Avoid taking the thiamine at the same time as the Horsetail. Because horsetail can also cause low levels of thiamin, you should not take horsetail if you drink heavily. Horsetail contains some nicotine, and should not be used if you are also using nicotine replacement patches or chewing gum.
Note: This information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare provider. It should not be construed to indicate that the use of this extract is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare provider before taking this tincture.