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The 5 Health Benefits of Horsetail

By Daniel Powers, MSc |
The 5 Health Benefits of Horsetail

Horsetail is a herb with a long history of use - it has been used for millennia for its various health benefits.

Horsetail helps to strengthen hair and nails, supports skin health, and builds bone strength. Not surprisingly, it's one of the standout ingredients in our Glamlab formula.

This article will explore the primary benefits of horsetail and how you can add this beneficial herb to your diet.

Horsetail: An Overview

Horsetail, known scientifically as Equisetum arvense, is a natural herb that has been used for thousands of years. In fact, it was used by ancient Greek and Roman societies.

The Latin name "Equisetum" comes from the word "equus" which means "horse," and the word "seta" which means "bristle." This references this herb's appearance, which resembles a horse's tail.

Horsetail is a perennial plant that can be found growing throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. 

Horsetail was traditionally used to stop blood flow, heal flesh wounds, and support kidney health.

Similar to stinging nettle, horsetail is a nutrient-rich herb. Horsetail contains flavonoids, saponins, caffeic acid, phenolic compounds, alkaloids, sterols, and minerals.

In particular, horsetail is rich in silica, a mineral that helps to support bone formation and connective tissue health. Horsetail is also rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin C.

5 Key Horsetail Health Benefits:

Below are the top research-backed health benefits of horsetail.

1. Hair Health

Horsetail is thought to be one of the best herbs for hair health. This is theorized to be due to horsetail's high silica and antioxidant content.

A placebo-controlled clinical trial showed that taking a horsetail supplement helped to improve hair growth in women with hair loss. The researchers noted that there were no reported adverse events and that horsetail helped to promote hair growth and decrease hair loss in women suffering from thinning hair.

Another clinical trial found that horsetail supplementation helped to improve hair thickness as compared to placebo in women with thinning hair.

Lastly, one other clinical trial involving a supplement that contained horsetail found that it helped to decrease hair shedding and promote hair growth in men with thinning hair.

This research suggests that horsetail is a helpful herb for growing thicker, healthier hair.

2. Nail Health

Horsetail can also help to improve nail health. It does this by hardening the nails, which helps to prevent cracking and nail splits.

Horsetail is rich in silica, which is one of the primary nutrients found in nails.

A clinical trial found that a horsetail-based nail lacquer helped to improve nail health and overall nail strength.

Another clinical trial had similar findings. They discovered that a nail lacquer that contained horsetail (along with a few other ingredients) was effective in the management of nail splitting and nail brittleness.

If you’re looking to support your nail health, consider supplementing with horsetail!

3. Bone Health

Horsetail is well known for its ability to support bone health. This is thought to be due to horsetail's high silica content, which is a building block of bone tissue.

Bones in the body are constantly being restructured. Our bones have specialized cells called osteoclasts and osteoblasts which continuously work to re-make our bones. This helps to prevent imbalances that can lead to brittle bones. Osteoblasts build up your bones, while osteoclasts work to break down bone tissue.

A lab-based study discovered that horsetail helped to stop osteoclast activity. This means that horsetail may help to reduce the breakdown of bone mass, a key factor for long-term health.

Additionally, an animal study found that horsetail helped to improve bone density in mice.

This research suggests that horsetail may be helpful for building long-term bone health.

4. Skin Health

Horsetail can also help to improve skin health.

A placebo-controlled clinical trial looked at the benefits of horsetail for wound healing. The researchers found that a 3% horsetail ointment helped the healing process and relieved pain in women who had recently given birth.

Additionally, an animal study found that horsetail helped to improve wound healing in mice.

5. A Natural Anti-inflammatory

Horsetail also has been shown to be a helpful herb for reducing inflammation.

Inflammation is a part of the body's defense mechanism and it is beneficial – it helps to protect the body from infection and injury. However, excessive inflammation can lead to collateral damage, which is why it's best to reduce inflammation in the body.

Lab-based research shows that horsetail may inhibit lymphocytes, a defense cell involved in inflammatory immune disease. 

Another lab study found that one of the mechanisms for horsetail's anti-inflammatory effect is its isoquercetin content. Isoquecetin is a derivative of quercetin, a flavonoid known for its anti-inflammatory effects.

How To Add Horsetail To Your Diet:

Based on the health benefits listed above, adding horsetail to your diet is an easy decision - especially if you're looking to support your nail and hair health.

So what's the best way to add horsetail to your diet?

The best way to incorporate horsetail into your diet is to take a daily horsetail supplement.

At Wellbel, we include horsetail in our Glamlab formula, our daily beauty supplement for women.

In addition to horsetail, Glamlab also contains biotin, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), vitamins A, B9, B12, and D, as well as other key nutrients. This formula is your one-stop beauty supplement that works to support hair, skin, and nail health.


Horsetail is a safe, well-tolerated herb with a wide variety of benefits.

Research shows that horsetail provides many different health benefits, especially for hair, skin, and nail health.

As an added bonus, horsetail also helps to build bone health.

If you are looking for natural support in any of these areas, horsetail is worth considering.

Here at Wellbel, we include horsetail powder in our Glamlab formula. This daily beauty formula is designed to provide your body with the nutrients it needs for healthy hair, skin, and nails.


Have you tried horsetail before? What's your favorite way to include this beneficial herb in your diet?

Daniel Powers, MSc
Daniel has a master's degree in herbal science from the Maryland University of Integrative Health. He's the founder of The Botanical Institute, where he writes about herbal adaptogens and other health-promoting herbs.
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