This morning I was looking at the ingredients in my vitamin for Hair, Skin, and Nails and I found something strange. Let’s just get this off the table first, I am a bit of a vitamin fanatic and while I like to boost my immune system and compensate for the things I don’t always eat, I also like to give my appearance a little internal boost whenever possible. I’ve always been a big fan that beauty comes from within (rather than appearance), but vitamins for healthy skin, hair, and nails are important. I’m not looking for the fountain of youth or anything, but in case you find it please let me know.
Now, back to this morning’s quandary; I found an ingredient listed that I’d never noticed before. Among the ingredients listed was 3mg Horsetail Powder. Yikes! I immediately thought of the worst scenario possible. Wouldn’t you? All I could imagine is someone trimming a horses tail and grinding the remains up for my youthful vitamins. Thank goodness I was wrong.
Horsetail is a non-flowering perrenial very much like a fern, but with shoots that have a similar appearance to asparagus. Silica crystals form on the stem of the plant as it dries and the outer portions are ground into powder.
Horsetail in Plant Form
As a descendant from a large tree-like plant from the Paleozoic era (400 million years ago), it has been used as an herbal remedy in early medicine. Traditionally, the plant was used to stop bleeding, heal wounds, and treat tuberculosis. In modern medicine, it has been used as a diuretic; for kidney stone treatments; to reduce blood sugar levels; and as a bone strengthening agent for those with osteoporosis due to its silicon mineral.
So why is horsetail found in my beauty vitamin?
Because of the high silica content, horsetail helps to strengthen weak, brittle, and damaged hair. It also can strengthen your nails and promote collagen production to help your skin. I’m not sure how relevant it is to take 3 milligrams a day, but I guess every little bit helps. Horsetail can be used in herbal tea and is also available in an extract form. Often it is an ingredient used in shampoos and conditioners as a remedy for eczema, psoriasis, and dandruff.
As with all vitamins, proceed with caution and don’t over do it, as you may not know how your body will react initially. Always check with your doctor before adding additional vitamins and supplements to your daily regiment. If you’re pregnant or nursing, horsetail is not recommended.
Source: University of Maryland Medical Center
Image Source: Simple Life Consultant: Plants and Their Benefits
As with all of my health related posts, here is a kind reminder that I am only a Wise Brunette and not a Doctor Brunette (sorry mom and dad). Please always check with your physician when it comes to your health.