Last updated: August 6, 2021

Welcome to our large field horsetail test 2021. Here we present all the horsetail products that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best horsetail product for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy field horsetail.

Contents




The most important facts

  • Field horsetail has a variety of valuable ingredients, above all the silicon contained in the silicic acid. On the one hand, it can be used to strengthen connective tissue, skin, hair, ligaments and bones, and on the other hand, it can be used to treat a large number of diseases.
  • Field horsetail extract is available in the form of capsules, powder, tinctures or tea. You can also easily make your own ointments from the versatile medicinal plant or enjoy field horsetail baths.
  • Field horsetail can also be used in the form of a fertiliser to strengthen plants. It strengthens the cell structure and leaf surface and provides preventive protection against mites and fungal infestations. The liquid manure can also work wonders for plants that are already infested.

The Best Field horsetail: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying field horsetail products

For whom is field horsetail suitable?

In general, field horsetail is suitable for everyone. Thanks to its high content of silicic acid, it is very valuable for building connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, skin and hair, as well as hard substances such as bones, teeth and nails. The medicinal plant can therefore be taken well as a preventive measure to prevent connective tissue weakness or to rebuild it.

Field horsetail also supports stressed hair and breaking nails by building up their structure and providing more stability. Biotin is also a great help for brittle nails and hair. You can read more about it here: It is also used by athletes as a food supplement to strengthen tendons and ligaments in general or after an injury.

Field horsetail supports the bones, ligaments and tendons of athletes as a preventive measure or strengthens them after an injury. (Image source: unsplash.com / Moises Alex)

Furthermore, field horsetail can also be used as a supportive treatment for the following complaints:

  • Rheumatism
  • Gout
  • Joint pain
  • Arthrosis
  • Bladder weakness and bladder infections
  • Kidney weakness, kidney inflammations and kidney stones
  • Irritation of the stomach lining
  • Bursitis
  • Circulatory disorders
  • Menstrual problems
  • Bleeding (e.g. nosebleeds) and vomiting blood
  • Incontinence
  • Chilblains
  • Varicose veins
  • Cellulite
  • Water retention
  • oedema
  • open and poorly healing wounds
  • Skin inflammations
  • Acne
  • Itching
  • Cough
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Sore throat
  • Inflammation of the sinuses

However, field horsetail should not be used in combination with dehydrating medicines for water retention in the tissues due to kidney problems or cardiac insufficiency. Use by pregnant women, nursing mothers or children should also be discussed with a doctor first.

Field horsetail can also be given to animals. It is rich in mineral salts and silica, which support the treatment of skin and coat problems. It also strengthens connective tissue and claws, supports metabolism and helps with joint problems.

Please always follow the recommended feeding dose. For dogs and horses, the extract of field horsetail can be mixed well into the respective feed. Rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas and other rodents are also welcome to nibble on it, but beware: cats are not allowed to take field horsetail as it has a toxic effect on them. Field horsetail can also be an excellent plant protector.

More about this in the sub-chapter "How can I fertilise with field horsetail and how does it protect plants? Field horsetail can also be used as a cleaning agent in the household. Because of its high silicic acid content, it was often used in the past to clean pewter vessels, which is where it got its other name "pewter weed". In Japan, field horsetail is used as a vegetable. In our country, however, it is not very popular in the kitchen because of its bitter taste.

What effect does field horsetail have on my body and mind?

The healing power of field horsetail has numerous positive effects on our health. Thanks to its high content of silicic acid and minerals such as potassium salts, calcium, magnesium, iron as well as flavones and other trace elements, it lends itself to versatile applications. It has anti-inflammatory, expectorant, astringent (astringent), tissue-strengthening, haemostatic, blood-cleansing, diuretic and antioxidant effects.

The high content of silicon as a component of silicic acid is attributed in herbal medicine to a stabilising effect of the connective tissue and is an important building material of skin, hair, nails, tendons and bones.

Because silicon stimulates the binding of collagen and elastin, the connective tissue fibres are strengthened, which are responsible for resistance, elasticity and resilience. In addition, silicon promotes bone-forming cells and ensures that sufficient calcium is stored in the bones. The blood circulation is also stimulated by the silicon contained in the silicic acid and the metabolism is revitalised.

The high potassium content also promotes the elimination of metabolic deposits by stimulating kidney activity. Find out how else you can stimulate your metabolism here: According to this, field horsetail supports the body's own defence system by promoting the formation of defence cells (lymphocytes) and phagocytes. These immune cells are ultimately needed to destroy defective cells and make pathogens harmless.

Thanks to its flavonoids, it can also be used as a natural diuretic to increase the volume of urine. The body's unnecessary waste products are thus expelled and bladder and kidney function is improved. Field horsetail not only has a diuretic and purifying effect, but also detoxifies and purifies the blood. It is also said to help with cell renewal and to promote wound healing thanks to its haemostatic effect. Thanks to its astringent (astringent) property, it can control or even prevent bleeding.

What side effects can occur with the use of field horsetail?

There are no known specific side effects or interactions when using field horsetail. It is generally well tolerated. However, enough water should always be drunk in combination with the use of field horsetail. In very rare cases, non-specific stomach complaints may occur. In such a case, please always consult a doctor and get personal advice.

What does field horsetail cost?

Field horsetail is basically available in the form of capsules, powder, tincture or as a tea. You can also make your own ointment from dried field horsetail and a little field horsetail tincture. But more about this in "Can I make horsetail products myself? Depending on the form, brand and quality, the field horsetail products differ in their cost, which is why we have provided you with a short table for a better overview.
Type price range
Field horsetail capsules 13-38 €/100 g
Field horsetail powder 5-16 €/100 g
Field horsetail tincture 16-30 €/100 ml
Field horsetail tea 1.50-13 €/100 g

The tea made from field horsetail is certainly the least expensive product. It is also easy to make your own field horsetail ointment from the cut extract, as these are not commercially available in this form. The horsetail powder is also rather inexpensive and the capsules are the more expensive type in comparison. The tincture of field horsetail, on the other hand, is usually the most expensive form, as it is very concentrated.

Can I grow field horsetail myself?

In principle, you can collect and dry field horsetail yourself. However, you should be very careful and know the botany, as it is easily confused with the marsh horsetail, which is poisonous and must not be ingested. Field horsetail thrives on meadows, roadsides, railway tracks and fallow land. However, as its name suggests, it is often found in fields. It likes sunny places on moist soils, preferably with a high clay content. It is one of the few plants that can tolerate waterlogging and grows excellently on heavy, compacted and humus-poor soils.

Field horsetail loves sunny places and tolerates waterlogging exceptionally well. (Image source: pixabay.com / Andreas)

To cultivate field horsetail yourself, it is easiest to take a few fully grown species, including roots, from the wild. J ou should be aware of a few things, though: The plant develops very deep roots that are difficult to pull out completely later. In addition, it grows and reproduces extremely quickly via underground root runners, so that it quickly becomes a constant companion in the garden.

For these reasons, and also because field horsetail can very quickly be confused with its poisonous counterpart, the marsh horsetail, it is not advisable to collect and cultivate it yourself. It is not without reason that no spores for cultivating field horsetail are offered in the trade. If you still want to collect field horsetail yourself and have enough botanical experience, you should harvest the strong shoots from June to July when they are lush green.

You should only ever harvest the upper parts of the field horsetail. Make sure that the stalks do not have any dark, brown spots on the green branches, as this would indicate a fungal infection. After collecting, you can hang the stalks in a bundle in an airy place and dry them well to use later for a tea or homemade ointment or tincture.

Can I make horsetail products myself?

Field horsetail products are easy to make yourself. For example, you can make your own horsetail tincture or ointment. You can make a horsetail tincture yourself as follows:

  1. First cut the collected field horsetails into small pieces and put them into a sealable container.
  2. Then pour at least 38% alcohol (e.g. vodka, grain) over all the plant parts until they are well covered and then close the jar.
  3. Leave the whole thing to infuse for four weeks.
  4. It is important to wipe off any condensation that may have formed in the lid and then shake the whole thing to mix it.
  5. After about a month, you can filter the liquid through a coffee filter or a fine linen cloth.
  6. Pour the tincture into dark bottles so that it is not exposed to direct sunlight.

You can also easily produce your own field horsetail ointment. The production takes place in two steps, as first an oil extract from the plant and only then the ointment can be produced.

  1. Chop the field horsetail and put it into a screw-top jar.
  2. Then pour approx. 80 ml of vegetable oil (e.g. rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, etc.) over everything until the field horsetail is completely covered.
  3. Then leave the closed jar to mature for about three to four weeks.
  4. Here, too, it is important to shake the jar well occasionally so that everything mixes better and the active ingredients can dissolve better. This also prevents the formation of mould.
  5. After infusion, strain the oil and fill it into a dark bottle.

After you have made the oil extract, you can start to actually make the ointment:

  1. Put about 10 g of beeswax together with the oil extract in a glass and melt it in a water bath at a low temperature.
  2. Then add 20 g cocoa butter and stir well until everything has melted.
  3. Then take the jar out of the water bath and add about 30 drops of a horsetail tincture.
  4. Stir the tincture in well and then check the consistency. If the ointment is too liquid, add a little more wax, but if it is too solid, add a little more oil.
  5. When the ointment is ready, pour it into a container and leave to cool, stirring occasionally.
  6. Then close the jar and store it in a cool place away from light.

Field horsetail ointment can also be easily made yourself. (Image source: unsplash.com / Dung Thuy Vu Nguyen)

What are the alternatives to field horsetail?

There are some possible alternatives from the plant world that have similar properties to field horsetail and therefore have a related effect. For a better overview, we have compiled a table with the alternatives we have found:
Type Effect
Coltsfoot Like field horsetail, coltsfoot contains a high proportion of minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and silicic acid. Accordingly, coltsfoot also has an expectorant and astringent effect and is excellent for respiratory problems such as coughs, sore throats, asthma and bronchitis, as well as skin problems, eczema, varicose veins and poorly healing wounds. It also has an anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effect.
Comfrey Thanks to its ingredients such as potassium, calcium, silicic acid, mucilage and essential oils, comfrey also has a wound-healing, haemostatic and tissue-building effect. It therefore also helps with joint problems such as arthrosis, gout, rheumatism and bone fractures, as well as sprains, disc complaints, muscle injuries, strains and bruises. Comfrey also has a healing effect on skin problems such as acne, eczema and ulcers, as does field horsetail.
Purple deadnettle Like field horsetail, deadnettle has a blood-cleansing, haemostatic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and astringent effect. It is therefore well suited for treatment of inflammations of the skin, lungs, gastric mucosa and urinary tract. But purple deadnettle is also popular for healing wounds, insect bites and burns, as it also has antibacterial, antiseptic, disinfectant and decongestant properties.
Small nettle Small nettle is rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals and can be used as a remedy for numerous ailments. Like field horsetail, it has many mucilages, silicic acid and flavanoids. Thanks to its detoxifying and diuretic effect, the small nettle is effective against diseases of the liver and spleen, urinary tract inflammations, stomach ulcers and kidney stones. It also has a positive effect on hair and skin.
Pennywort Pennywort is also known for its healing properties. It was already a respected cough remedy in the Middle Ages and was often used to heal wounds. Pennywort, like field horsetail, can help with many skin problems, be they eczema, pimples, wounds, blisters, bruises, severe scarring or ulcers. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory effect, it also supports the healing of many kinds of inflammations such as eye, gum, skin, bladder and mucous membrane infections. Bladder and mucous membrane inflammations.

Decision: What types of field horsetail are there and which is right for you?

There are basically four different forms of taking field horsetail extract:

  • Capsules
  • Powder
  • Tincture
  • Tea

Depending on your symptoms and preferences, different types of products are better suited for you. The products also vary in cost. Field horsetail ointment cannot primarily be purchased in shops, but it is easy to make yourself.

What are the characteristics of field horsetail capsules and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Field horsetail capsules are easy to use. The powdered extract is pressed into capsules so that it can be taken easily and without taste. In addition, heating can be avoided during production, which means that important active substances are not lost.

Advantages
  • Stronger effect
  • Easy to take
  • Very good shelf life
  • Tasteless
Disadvantages
  • Rather more expensive
  • Not suitable for animals

What are the characteristics of field horsetail powder and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Field horsetail powder is ideal for cooking. It can be easily mixed into pressed juices and smoothies, but also in sauces, vegetable soups or purees. Even though the powder has a bitter taste, you won't notice much when mixing it into food or drinks. Furthermore, it is rather inexpensive and can also be mixed into the respective food for animals.

Advantages
  • Stronger effect
  • Very good shelf life
  • Inexpensive
  • For humans and animals
Disadvantages
  • Bitter taste

What are the characteristics of a field horsetail tincture and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

You can also take horsetail in the form of a tincture. It can be used internally by taking a few diluted drops with water or mixed into smoothies. It can also be used externally for wounds, skin inflammations or itching. Only a few drops are needed per application, as the tincture has a very high concentration of field horsetail. However, in contrast to capsules, powder and tea, the field horsetail tincture is often the most expensive type of product.

Advantages
  • Can be used externally and internally
  • Easy to use
  • High concentration
Disadvantages
  • Often the most expensive type of product
  • Not suitable for animals

What are the characteristics of field horsetail tea and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Field horsetail tea is the most cost-effective variant and is also ideal for preventive use.

Field horsetail tea can be used internally as well as externally and helps against numerous complaints. (Image source: unsplash.com / Mike Baker)

The medicinal plant in the form of tea mixtures is particularly appreciated for coughs and respiratory problems. You can also use the dried herb for compresses and poultices and even for partial, sitting or full baths.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to take
  • Many uses
Disadvantages
  • Preparation requires more effort
  • Bitter taste
  • Not suitable for animals

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate field horsetail

In the following, we will show you which buying criteria you can use to decide between the many possible field horsetail products. The factors that you can use to compare the different field horsetail offers with each other include:

  • Quality/Certification/Seal of approval
  • Ingredients
  • Place of origin
  • Dose
  • Aroma/taste/smell

In the following, we will briefly explain what the individual criteria are.

Quality/certification/seal of approval

Quality and certification always come first, especially with medical products. It is important to make sure that the raw materials are gently dried and that the field horsetail comes from controlled wild collection. To better check the quality of the products, you should pay special attention to their ingredients.

Ingredients

Field horsetail products should be naturally pure and produced without chemical additives.

It is also important that they are genetically unmodified, not irradiated or fumigated, otherwise valuable ingredients such as silicic acid, flavanoids, potassium, calcium, etc. are damaged.

Place of origin

Since field horsetail can be found all over the northern hemisphere, it is easy to use local produce. Therefore, always make sure that the place of origin as well as the place of production of the product is Germany or at least Europe. If the product is manufactured in a pharmaceutical factory, you also have a greater guarantee of good quality.

Dose

Depending on which form of field horsetail extract you take, different daily doses apply. Nevertheless, you should make sure that the product consists of a high-dose extract. The general daily dose is also 6 g and should not be exceeded. Please also note that different doses apply to animals and you should always read the package leaflet.

Aroma/taste/smell

Field horsetail is less considered in the diet because it tastes quite woody and a little bitter due to its high content of silicic acid. Nevertheless, compared to other medicinal plants, it has a milder taste and is odourless. Depending on the type of product, however, the taste can easily be counteracted.

Trivia: Facts worth knowing about field horsetail

How do I recognise field horsetail?

Field horsetail is generally easy to recognise because of its peculiar shape with nested stems, but there is a risk of confusion with other horsetails, some of which are poisonous.

For this reason, it is recommended not to collect field horsetail yourself and to use safe products from the pharmacy. You should only collect it yourself if you are familiar with the plant world and know the differences between the horsetails. Two characteristics are crucial for distinguishing between the field horsetail and its poisonous counterpart, the marsh horsetail:

  • Colour of tubular subdivisions of box sections
  • Length of box sections

The edible field horsetail initially has light brown shoots in spring, but at harvest time in late summer it has green shoots which can be used for medicinal applications. The poisonous marsh horsetail, on the other hand, has dark brown, almost black shoots with a jagged pattern. Another comparative feature lies in the length of the box sections, i.e. the so-called main shoots, as opposed to the length of the lateral side branches, the "leaves". If the lateral branches measure the same length as the sections or are even longer, it is field horsetail; on the other hand, shorter lateral branches indicate the poisonous marsh horsetail.

Field horsetail can be recognised above all by the length of the nested shoots compared to its lateral branches. If the latter are the same length or longer, it is a non-toxic field horsetail. (Picture source: pixabay.com / Susanne Jutzeler)

How do I use field horsetail correctly?

In principle, there are versatile application possibilities with field horsetail products, ranging from internal intake with capsules, powder, tincture and tea to external applications in the form of compresses, poultices and baths. Ultimately, you can decide for yourself which type of application is best for you or seek advice from a doctor or pharmacist. It is important to observe the recommended daily dose and not to exceed it. We have selected a short video for you in which other applications, such as in cosmetics, are also presented:

How do I make horsetail tea?

Making tea from field horsetail is very simple. Simply pour a quarter of a litre of cold water over a teaspoon of the herb and leave it to stand for several hours. It is best to prepare it in the evening and let it steep overnight. The next day, simply boil the infusion briefly, strain and enjoy. If you forget to prepare the tea in time, you can also boil a teaspoon of the horsetail extract with a quarter of a litre of water and let it steep for 30 minutes.

The long brewing time dissolves the silicic acid contained in the plant and releases minerals from the horsetail. In general, you can drink up to five cups a day throughout the day. However, it is recommended that such a tea cure never lasts longer than three weeks and that you take a break first. In addition, you should make sure that you drink plenty of water during a purging therapy with field horsetail.

How do I use field horsetail as a bath?

As already mentioned, you can also use field horsetail in the form of a bath. A distinction can be made between normal full baths, partial baths and steam baths.

Field horsetail is excellent for baths. (Image source: unsplash.com / Holger Link)

Field horsetail baths are particularly suitable for frostbite, circulatory disorders, rheumatic complaints, swelling after bone fractures, bedsores, varicose veins, prostate complaints and bladder infections. Furthermore, diluted field horsetail tea has a positive effect on nails and skin. It tightens and strengthens the connective tissue.

For a full bath you can pour 100-150 grams of field horsetail over 2 litres of boiling water, let it soak briefly and after an hour heat the mixture again to boiling point. After boiling for another 15 minutes, you can add the liquid to the bath. A bath duration of 10-15 minutes at about 39 °C is best. Afterwards, you should allow yourself at least one hour of bed rest. You can also just take a partial bath for your feet or hands. A handful of dried field horsetail is sufficient for this.

The duration of the bath is about 15 minutes. For smaller ulcers and eczema, you can also simply make a poultice or poultice. For this purpose, you can dip compresses in the tea and apply them to the affected areas. A final type of application is the sitz steam bath. This is especially helpful for acute bladder and ovarian infections, as well as for prostate problems and hypothermia.

To use the healing vapours of field horsetail, pour 2 litres of boiling tea into a sitz bath or bucket. Then you can simply squat over it, allowing the rising vapours to act on your bladder area for 10-15 minutes. After the bath, make sure you keep yourself nice and warm.

How can I fertilise with field horsetail and how does it work as a plant protection?

Field horsetail can be used as a preventative against fungus-prone plants such as roses, petunias, tomatoes, thyme, sage or mint. The silicic acid it contains strengthens the cell structure and leaf surface, making it difficult for fungi and pests to gain a foothold.

The water extract with field horsetail can be sprayed thoroughly every week from leaf sprouting until early summer to optimise resistance to infestation by mites and fungi such as scab, mildew, grey mould, late blight and rose rust. You should leave out the flowers when fertilising. If the plants are already infested, you can treat them with field horsetail on three consecutive days. It is recommended to spray early in the morning and not in full sunlight.

You can easily make your own horsetail manure. You can see how it works in the following short video: Basically, all you need is two bunches of fresh plants and some onions and garlic. Then put everything in a bucket filled with water and boil it for at least 15 minutes. After boiling, you can just strain the slurry and dilute 1 litre of slurry with 5 litres of cold water.

Now you can spray it on the pest-affected plant areas or simply distribute it directly with the water. It may well be that the slurry starts to foam and smells a little unpleasant during the production period. However, this has no influence on the quality of the plant fortifier.

Field horsetail can be used as a plant protection and strengthening agent in the form of a slurry and simply mixed into the water. (Image source: unsplash.com / Irene Davila)

How can I control field horsetail as a weed?

Unfortunately, field horsetail is also a stubborn weed in many gardens, which is difficult to control because the rootstock can regenerate incredibly well. It is best to take preventive measures to stop it from spreading in the lawn. Unfortunately, the use of herbicides is also ineffective and brings only short-lived success, if any at all. Due to the very deep-reaching rootstock and its extremely fast spreading compaction, new field horsetails always come to light.

Covering with fleece or garden foil does not work either. To effectively combat field horsetail in the garden, you must concentrate on basic soil improvement. To do this, you must dig up the dense areas into the impermeable zone and try to remove all compaction. Remove all root fragments as thoroughly as possible, as even small residual pieces can form new shoots.

A soil-loosening green manure with lupines can also suppress the spread, at least for a longer period of time. If the soil is acidic, you can also suppress the weeds by liming up to a slightly acidic pH range.

Picture source: 123rf.com / 78607710

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