This Edible Horsetail Plant Wild Food Foraging Bushcraft Skill is a delicious culinary adventure that you can search and find for free. Before eating any wild plant, make 100% sure it’s not poisonous.
Find a mentor. Learning from an expert or someone more experienced will give you a higher level of confidence.
Get a Good Book. There’s no substitute for a mentor, but a good field guide is a close second. A reference book will give you confidence as you get more comfortable with foraging. You can not only use it to help positively identify plants.
The edible horsetail plant are among the oldest plants on earth. The discovery of fossil remains of some of its species indicates that they were already widespread plants at the end of the Devonian (395 – 345 million years ago).
From the phylogenetic point of view, they are more primitive plants than angiosperms. In fact, they are without distinct sexual organs. They propagate and reproduce by means of spores.
* Where are they found?
The horsetails are a practically cosmopolitan plant widespread in all continents, with the exception of Oceania and Antarctica. The most widespread species in Europe is E. arvense.
Most of them are found in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere while few species extend their range in the subtropical zone and only one species, E. bogotense, goes into the tropical area of the southern hemisphere.
The species of the subgenus Hippochaete are present in both hemispheres. Most species prefer wet sandy soils, some are semi-aquatic and others have adapted to clay soils.
* Uses of the Horsetail
Horsetails are mostly used to achieve weight loss. However, note that the information given here is not medical advice and may not be accurate.
Substances present in a horsetail: Silicic acid, glucoside, saponins n), flavonoids, small amounts of alkaloids, resins and organic acids (also ascorbic acid ), bitter substances and other mineral substances ( potassium, aluminum, manganese, iron and calcium salts ). They also contain ipriflavone, which appears to be able to induce the formation of new bone.
* Healing properties: Anti-haemorrhagic (accelerates the healing of wounds), hemostatic (blocks blood leakage in the event of hemorrhage), diuretic (facilitates the release of urine), astringent (limits the secretion of liquids), anti-tuberculosis and remineralizing (valid especially for patients with pulmonary tuberculosis).
They are also indicated to combat osteoporosis in the event of fractures and rickets.
* Parts used: The rhizome and aerial parts.
* How they are eaten
In the past, among peasant families, the shoots of the plant were occasionally breaded and fried or seasoned with vinegar. Horsetail can be added to soups or minestrone as a supplement of mineral salts, but attention must be paid to the various species as some are not edible.
When pealed, the edible shoots of the Giant Horsetails eaten by various indigenes of Yurok in California, Nuu-chah-nulth in Vancouver Island, and people from nearby places.
Furthermore, these plants, if ingested in large quantities, may present certain toxicity as they contain the thiaminase enzyme which deactivates the vitamin B complex.
Here’s what Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Healing Herbs and Spices says:
No other herb in the entire plant kingdom is so rich in silicon as is horsetail. This trace element really helps to find protein molecules together in the blood vessels and connective tissues.
Silison is the material of which collagen is made. Collagen is the “body glue” that holds our skin and muscle tissues together. Silicon also promotes the growth and stability of the skeletal structure.
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