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  • Useful and medicinal properties of horsetail

    Family Khvoschevye - Equisetaceae

    The generic name comes from the Latin words equus - horse and seta - bristles, here in the meaning of "tail", since the branchy stalks of the plant are like a pony tail. Species definition means "field" by habitat.

    Botanical Description. A perennial herbaceous spore plant with a thin horizontal rhizome, from which thin subordinate roots leave. On the rhizome are formed nodular nodules

    with a supply of nutrients. Annually, shoots of two kinds grow from the rhizome. In early spring, sporiferous juicy, unbranched, grayish-pink stems up to 20 cm in height are formed, which do not contain chlorophyll and do not participate in assimilation. At the top, they carry one strobila, which in everyday life is often called a sporiferous "spikelet".After sporulation, these shoots wither and die, but instead they develop green, branched, sterile shoots 30-50 cm high. These stems are ribbed, segmented with mutely arranged branches. The branches are also articulate, mostly 4-5-faceted, simple or occasionally branching only at the base and directed obliquely upward. Leaves, as in all horsetails, are underdeveloped, on the stem they coalesce into cylindrical ones, at the top are jagged vaginas, the leaves of the branches look like four, less often five denticles.

    In addition to the field horsetail, which is of medical importance, other species that are not subject to harvesting are often found, some of them are poisonous. All other horsetails have the same sporiferous and vegetative shoots.

    Horsetail - Equisetum sylvaticum L. has secondary branching branches that are horizontal or bent downwards.

    Horsetail meadow - Equisetum pratense Ehrh.has horizontal, unramified, trihedral branches.

    Horsetail bog - E. palustre L. has unbranched branches, mostly pentahedral, directed, like that of horsetail, obliquely upward. The base of segments of branches of black color, denticles of branches with black-brown margin. It's poisonous!

    Horsetail river( stubble) has a stem height of 80( 100) cm, thick, with a larger air cavity inside. Branches are simple or nonexistent.

    Geographical spread. One can not identify the species definition with the habitat of a plant. According to our observations, horsetail is more often found in open places, including in fields, and horsetail in forests, horsetail on the edge of marshes, on moist meadows, along river banks and in fields with an overmoistened acidic soil, horsetail grows on marshes, along the shores of lakes and ponds, streams and rivers, its stems emerge from the water. Horsetail grows in meadows, in spruce, light pine, small and broad-leaved forests,

    among shrubs. It is especially often found as a weed in fields with acidic soils. It occurs almost throughout the entire territory of the USSR, except for deserts and semi-deserts. Particularly abundant in the forest zone. The main areas of blanks are in Belarus, Ukraine, Stavropol and Krasnodar regions, Perm, Pskov, Lipetsk, Voronezh regions and Mordovian ASSR.

    Collection and drying. Collect the entire aboveground part in the summer, in June and August, tearing or cutting it with sickles, knives or mowing. In the latter case, carefully sorted before drying, discarding other plants accidentally caught.

    Dry in lofts, under canopies or in dryers, laying loose, a layer 5-7 cm thick. In dry weather, raw materials can be dried in the shade of buildings.

    Medicinal raw materials. Finished raw materials - herb horsetail( Herba Equiseti) consists of hard, inside hollow and grooved stalks with tetrahedral branches of the described structure. Teeth of cauline vagina, welded to 2-3, triangular-lanceolate, dark-brown;the teeth of the vagina of the branches are green, long-pointed, with bent tips.

    At the base of the branches are small brown vaginas, which when removed from the branches do not come off the stem.

    The color of the raw material is greyish-green. The smell is weak, peculiar, slightly acid taste.

    GOST 14143-69 allows: moisture not more than 13%;ash not more than 24%;other parts of horsetail not more than 1%;the content of other horsetail species is not more than 4%;organic impurity not more than 1%;mineral impurity not more than 0.5%.

    Other horsetails may have strobila at the top of the stem or even on the top of the branches( if sporiferous shoots are collected).Determine the impurities can be, considering under a magnifying glass with a 10- or 20-fold increase in the stem vagina and the stem in its upper part( if the raw cut, choose thin stems).

    In forest horsetail, as in the field, the teeth of the leaf sheaths are soldered. Stem ribs carry sharp denticles disposed in two rows on either side of the rib( tangental), while in the horsetail the denticles are blunt.

    In meadow horsetail, the teeth of the leaf sheaths are not soldered, the ribs of the stem bear sharp denticles located on the top in a row( radially).The branches are triangular.

    In swamp horsetails, the teeth of the leaf sheaths are also not soldered, the denticles on the ribs have the form of transverse dashes. The base of the first segments of the branches is black, the denticles of the vagina of the branches with a black border.

    In the horsetail the stems are much thicker, with a large air cavity and therefore soft when squeezed( fall off), the ribs are smooth, the denticles of the stem vagina are each one leaf.

    In appearance, the marsh is more like a horsetail than the others. Its toxicity is determined by the content of the palatine alkaloid. Taking raw materials and making commodity analysis of it, this impurity needs to be paid special attention.

    Chemical composition. The horsetail herb contains about 5% saponin equi-zetonin, flavonoids( equisetrin, luteolin-7-glucoside, isokvertcitrin, luteolin, kempherol-7-diglycoside, kaempferol-3-glycoside), up to 25% silicic acid both in free form andin the form of water-soluble salts, other acids( aconite, oxalic, malic and linoleic), traces of alkaloids, a few tannins and resins, bitter, up to 4.7 mg( per 100 g) of carotene, up to 190 mg( per 100 g) of vitamin C, sitosterol, rarely found in nature dimethylsulfone, etc.

    Action l application. Silicic acid, and especially its salts, has a diuretic effect. It is enhanced by flavonoids. With edema in patients with heart defects, diuresis increases more than 2-fold. The effect begins on the first day of treatment and lasts throughout the course of treatment, and after the drug is withdrawn 2-3 days continue. Side effects in patients with healthy kidneys are not observed. Horsetail is contraindicated in nephritis and nephrosis nephritis. Has a haemostatic effect, especially with hemorrhoidal and uterine bleeding.

    Assign as a decoction from 20 g. Raw materials per 200 ml of water a tablespoon 3 times a day as a diuretic for edema on the basis of circulatory insufficiency, with pleurisy with a large amount of exudate, as well as inflammatory processes of the

    of the bladder and urinary tract. Outer broth is recommended for baths and compresses for hard-healing wounds and boils, for mouth and throat rinses with inflammatory phenomena, for nasal cavity washings with frequent bleeding.