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Horsetail For Your Hair, Nails And Skin: What's The Evidence?

Updated on August 18, 2012

What Does Horsetail Look Like?

Creative Commons Licence  Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Creative Commons Licence Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) | Source

What Is Horsetail Good For?

Sometimes you just find yourself browsing the aisles of your local healthfood or wholefood shop, am I right? You're not necessarily actually looking for anything, as such. You're just seeing what they have to offer! (And boy, do healthfood and wholefood shops have some weird things to offer.) Is it just me, then? I don't think it's just me!

And, even though you might not make any actual purchases from amongst them, you get used to seeing certain items. Whether it's on the food shelves or the supplement shelves (always thoroughly and heavily stocked), some names get to be habitual, so that you know them, even if you don't really know exactly what they're all about.)

For me one of these items has been horsetail supplements, standing there on the shelves alongside other herbal supplements, mysterious in their lack of any specific type of claim as to what they might be considered useful for. So what are they useful for? Well, having a browse and a look, both on the labels and around the interwebs, it seems as if horsetail – the herb – is generally considered a substance that is mostly useful for beauty and loveliness. Or perhaps I should say, for skin, hair and nails.

Certainly at least one patent application mentions the horsetail herb as useful in reducing pore size (and thereby presumably improving skin beauty).1 And in another article by Van Dyck et al, results suggested an increased bioavailability of silicon in horsetail supplements compared to other sources of silicon.2

Does this suggest anything intriguing regarding the end results of taking horsetail herbal supplements? It's hard to draw any hard and fast conclusions, maybe for the researchers as much as for the layperson reader. But next time I go browsing the shelves of my local wholefood store, I just may pick up a jar of horsetail supplement pills!


1. Duffy JA, Zuaiden AP, inventors; Avon Products, Inc., assignee. Composition and method for visibly reducing the size of skin pores. United States patent US 20020103498. 1995 Dec 5.

2. Van Dyck K, Van Cauwenbergh R, Robberecht H and Deelstra H. Bioavailability of silicon from food and food supplements. Fresenius' Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 1999, Volume 363, Numbers 5-6, Pages 541-544


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