Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Harvesting Herbs With Kids: Horsetail

A couple of weeks ago, my son pulled some horsetail out of the ground and asked me what it was. I had been looking at the horsetail and thinking that we should harvest some. It's a lovely herb, high in silica, an essential trace mineral important for the formation of bone, connective tissue, as well as healthy hair, skin and nails. We have a nice big patch of horsetail in our yard and it was the perfect time to harvest it, so that's just what we did! We cut our horsetail a few inches above the root. This ensures that they will grow back.

After we collected all of our horsetail, we spread them out in a single layer to dry. Using a sheet tacked to the ceiling works really well. After a few days, the horsetail is ready to be placed in a sealed jar for storage.

I didn't know that much about horsetail, just how to identify it, that it is high in silica and can be used as a diuretic. I enjoyed reading about horsetail on and in a few of my herbals here at home. I think it's really neat to note that horsetail used to be a big tree and reproduces by spores and not by seed. After millions of years of evolution, it is now just a little tree-like herb instead of the towering tree it was hundreds of millions of years ago.

I love introducing the children to herbs this way. They think it's so exciting to make a tea of the horsetail we picked ourselves. And so do I.

♥ Andrea ♥


  1. We have tons of this by the lake.... :) I just thought it was a weed. Good to know!

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