Meet the Ingredients: Horsetail Extract

Posted by Annegret & the Kettle Care Team on Jul 29th 2022

Meet the Ingredients: Horsetail Extract

We all want happy, healthy hair that shines in the sun. Well, the secret to gorgeous hair like this may be just outside your door. And it comes from an unlikely source: Horsetail.

Horsetail has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries. Over the years, it’s had many names — pewterwort, toadpipe, snake grass — but its scientific name is equisetum arvense. Equisetum is derived from the Latin words equus, meaning “horse,” and seta, meaning “bristle.” The plant got its name because — you guessed it — it resembles a horse’s tail!

In today’s post, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about the star ingredient of our Leave-In Conditioner: the Organic Horsetail Extract we make in-house.

History and Origin

Common Horsetail is a perennial plant found across northern Europe, northern Asia, North America, and Central America. Considered a “living fossil,” Horsetail has existed for as long as 350 million years! Ancestors of the modern Horsetail plant grew to be 30 meters (98 feet) — or more!

The ancient Greeks and Romans took advantage of the herbal power of Horsetail. The Greeks used the herb to speed up wound healing, staunch bleeding, and as a diuretic. Ancient Romans ate Horsetail shoots to treat ulcers and other intestinal issues. Some northern European and North American cultures used Horsetail to treat chilblains — small skin bumps that occur in cold temperatures.

Horsetail was also a favorite of the Native Americans. The Cherokee, Okanagan-Colville and Potawatomi peoples used Horsetail to support kidney health. Chippewa natives made a decoction out of Horsetail stems to treat painful or difficult urination. Crow and Flathead peoples used it as a diuretic, and the Blackfeet boiled it to make cough medicine for horses. And Young Horsetail shoots were a delicacy for the Coastal Salish People of the Pacific Northwest.

Benefits of Horsetail

Horsetail is rich in minerals — particularly silica, which is deposited in its stems. Our bodies use silica to produce and repair connective tissue and to accelerate the healing process of broken bones. Silica also plays a key role in maintaining our eyes, nails, skin, and — of course — our hair.

Silica has been shown to help strengthen and even thicken fine and damaged hair. While silica hasn’t been proven to help you grow more hair, it does improve the tensile strength of your hair and reduces breakage. Silica also helps lock in moisture, keeping your hair soft and shiny.

And the benefits of Horsetail don’t end there. The plant’s antioxidants also help to reduce the micro-inflammation and aging of hair fibers caused by free radicals!

Horsetail in Montana

You’ve probably spotted a Horsetail plant before. They’re incredibly prevalent here in Montana. They reproduce not via pollen but via spores carried by the wind in the spring. Horsetails are extremely resilient. They can thrive in nearly any moist area — provided it gets at least partial sun — and are incredibly resistant to removal. The Horsetail plant can survive most fires, herbicides, and even mowing because its roots can go as deep as 7 feet into the earth. Because of the Horsetail’s resilience, some have suggested it should be classified as a weed.

You can find it here in our marshy areas, in areas where the soil was broken, in places where other plants haven’t yet taken root, and along our streams and rivers. Keep an eye out for this one-of-a-kind herb!

Where We Use It

Our powerful Leave-In Conditioner is made with in-house crafted extracts from organic herbs, including the magical Horsetail plant!

DIY Healthy Herbal Hair Rinse

You, too, can leverage the power of Horsetail and other herbs to keep your body happy and healthy. One of the simplest ways to use botanicals from your garden or from your local area is to make a water extraction and use it as a skin mist or hair rinse.

Horsetail truly does wonders to smooth and strengthen your hair. Follow 6 easy steps and see for yourself:

  1. Gather a small handful of Horsetail and dry it at home.
  2. Take a teaspoon of the dry Horsetail and cover it with a cup of steaming water.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Filter out the Horsetail with a sieve.
  5. Let the filtered Horsetail extract cool.
  6. Use the extract as a hair rinse in your still-wet hair after washing.

You can also add other hair-loving botanicals to this recipe — like Lavender, Sage, Peppermint, Clary Sage, Chamomile, or Lemonbalm. If you make a large batch, you can store the remaining extract in the fridge until the next time you wash your hair.

Give it a try! Your scalp and hair will love you for it.