Equisetum arvense or hyemale.

What timing, I took a couple of pics the other day, to post on here wether I had E arvense or E hymale growing in a couple of ponds I have. Then I find an email from TGN re live plants!

I’m not familiar with either plant but I do see what I think is horsetail in wet landscaping situations. So I believe I have both growing & will put up the pics for your confirmation.

My other question is how do you consume? Should I just grab a stork of hymale & have a chew or should I process another way & which way would be best please? Does arvense have any medicinal qualities?


Comments

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,641 admin

    Hi Jodie,

    You've definitely got E. hymale in the first pic. But I don't think the second pic is an Equisetum species. It should have the same segmented joints that E. hymale has but with the whorls of greenery originating at those joint sites. This isn't a particularly good pic but I think you can see what I mean. The stalks of E. arvense should have the same rough, striated feel as on E. hymale.

    I think your second pic might be some kind of Euphorbia species. The stems look quite fleshy.

    So on to uses. E. arvense can be used interchangeably with E. hymale.

    Horsetail isn't the best for eating raw. One of the best ways to extract all the mineral goodness is to make a horsetail vinegar. Chop it up, cover with ACV. Let sit for 2 weeks. You could take this by the spoonful or make a salad dressing or use it as a hair rinse. Infused in oil, it could be used as a hot oil treatment for split ends or a soak for fingernails. You could also make a horsetail honey.

    Horsetail is most often dried and used as a tea. But you could also tincture it.

    To make it into a tooth powder I think you toast the dried horsetail in a dry frying pan before grinding it to a powder, but I can't find that particular piece of reference right now.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin

    @JodieDownUnder to me it looks like you have https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equisetum_palustre equisetum Palustre. Because your plant has many round like fruits, because it is tall. E. Palustre is poisonous. Try to find some like in @Torey picture. I add also a few of mine.

    I found the description in this link.

    and these are my pictures when I try to explain how to identify e. pratense

    I use my in a simple way. I dry it and then take a tea spoon quantity into my mouth and slowly chew it. It takes quite a time until it gets soft and is ready to be swallowed. I believe that I strengthen my teeth this way and prepare it to be absorbed by my body.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin
    edited May 2023

    More:

    I'm cautious about using it around here. I know we have a type of horsetail in the ditch. I also know it gets sprayed quite heavily from the surrounding fields.

    I did find some last weekend in a nursery, by the name of Equisetum japonicum. The articl above says it can often be sold as this in the nursery trade. @Torey Is it really the same plant? If it is, I'm tempted to set up a space for it and buy it so that I know it is safely grown.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,641 admin

    This is a link to a page with all the species of Equisetum in BC.

    You can open each one individually by clicking on "View Atlas Page" and on those individual pages there should be a button under the picture to "View all photos of this Taxon". That will take you to a page with several pictures. Some are very similar making ID a bit of a challenge.

    There is some controversy as to the poisonous Equisetum species. Some websites will tell you that E. hymale is poisonous but here on TGN we all know that to be false. As far as I know, E. palustre is the one to avoid.

    There are cautions around using horsetail. If one is prone to gout, it should be avoided. When it is dried, if you are grinding it to a powder, you should wear a face mask due to the silica dust that may be created which can irritate the respiratory tract. Consuming large quantities of horsetail internally could cause digestive upset. Not sure what they are considering a large quantity but I'm sure its larger than what most of us would consume.

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,377 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I planted a small pot of equisetum hymale a couple years ago in one of my garden beds. It's not near a pond or other water source so I figured it wouldn't grow well. OMG! It has become a bit invasive! It comes up wherever it wants! I tried to transplant it to its own bed, but it comes up in our yard and still in my garden bed. LOL!

    I have been picking it and letting it dry and then putting it in my blender and turning it into a small grind. We put a pinch on our tongues and wash it down with some water. It seems to make hair and nails grow. I started buying the ground stuff for teeth so I'm sure it helps that too.

    We had friends over and one was asking a lot of questions about it, so I gave him a pot full! I needed to move it out of my garden bed anyway. I hope it doesn't take over where he plants his.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin
    edited May 2023

    @kbmbillups1 if you have too much of equisetum, like I do, use it as a fertilizer. It makes plants strong. Especially tomatoes. I put it into a water container together with stinging nettle and comfrey and after a few days I use the diluted strained water for strengthening my plants.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,641 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning I've never heard of E. japonica before. I've actually never seen horsetail of any kind sold in a nursery. Equisetum is very common in all parts of BC.

    On a bit of research, I have discovered (I think) that E. japonica is actually Equisetum hymale var. hymale "Japonica". So a subspecies of E. hymale. There seems to be a lot of dispute over names related to E. hymale. This may just be a Japanese native species of E. hymale.

    I couldn't find any research related to the medicinal properties of E. japonica. I'm assuming it would be similar to E. hymale.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    @Torey They had it potted & with their water plants.

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,377 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jowitt.europe That's a good idea! I hadn't thought of that. I will definitely give it a try!

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 754 ✭✭✭✭

    I never found it in the wild. I found one at a nursery and paid $15 for it!

    Then I moved and it is growing in many of the creeks around here! I'm grateful it's all over now.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    @Torey I had been wondering about using E. hymale and E. arvense interchangeably. From everything I've seen I figured it would be fine. I have certainly used E. arvense in small amounts. I know that too much silicone in the diet can result in gastrointestinal problems. I think that is what we have growing wild around here in the ditches and such. I would never use that since I know it gets sprayed plus all the pollution from the road.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,641 admin

    @marjstratton I'm assuming that you have just as much horsetail as we do in BC. We have 10 species and 4 hybrids. The hybrids don't seem to be very common, but the others certainly are.

    This link will show you all the species in BC with maps you can click on so that they can be enlarged and you can get a more detailed look at your area (it shows well down into Washington and other states).

    There are a lot of people here in BC (more so in the cities) that consider horsetail an invasive and do everything that they can think of to eliminate it (without much success). I think that's why I have never seen it in a nursery anywhere in BC.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    @Torey Yup we have a load of different Equisetum ssp. Thanks for posting that really cool link. I'm pretty sure there may be a few species that are different between our two locations. Yes, the State lists at least some of the horsetail species as noxious or invasive and they do their best to spray or otherwise get rid of them.