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What Is Shavegrass?

Shavegrass can be used as a mouthwash to treat bleeding gums.
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  • Written By: N. Phipps
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 July 2014
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Shavegrass (Equisetum arvense) is a plant that grows wild throughout the temperate climates of Asia, North America, and Europe. The plant reproduces easily and as a result, in some areas it is considered a noxious weed. Shavegrass is also known by various names including horsetail, scouring rush, and bottlebrush. Its botanical name is derived from the plant's brush-like appearance and basically means horse bristle, or horsetail.

Historically, the young shoots of this plant were eaten both raw and cooked. The stems of shavegrass have been used medicinally as well and may even be found as ingredients in various shampoos, skincare products, and dietary aids. Since ancient times, this plant has been used to heal wounds, treat urinary infections, and strengthen bones.

Horsetail is believed to contain the highest amount of silica in the plant kingdom. Silica is an important nutrient for healthy hair, skin, nails, and bones. This plant is also considered to be one of the best herbal remedies for treating bone fractures as well as tendon and ligament injuries. In fact, the use of shavegrass is still recommended for keeping bones and nails strong.

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In addition, horsetail is considered to be one of the most diuretic species of plants, having the ability to successfully eliminate water from the body. In fact, this is probably the plant’s most popular remedy. Numerous cultures have ingested shavegrass tea as a folk remedy for treating various kidney and urinary conditions. People have used horsetail to treat a variety of conditions that include flu symptoms, swellings, dysentery, arthritis, ulcers, and tuberculosis. It has also been used as a fever reducer and remedy for eye inflammations, such as conjunctivitis.

Due to its high tannin content, shavegrass can also help slow bleeding. For this reason, it has commonly been used for treating nosebleeds and hemorrhoids. When taken internally, the remedy can help stop bleeding ulcers or slow down heavy menstrual bleeding. It can be used as a gargle and mouth rinse for treating sore throat symptoms, bleeding gums, and mouth ulcers too. The plant can be applied externally as a compress for wounds, sores, and skin problems.

This plant is most often used in tea; however, it is available in tincture, powder, and capsule form as well. While the side effects are few, high doses of shavegrass may have a sedative and anticonvulsant effect. This herbal remedy is not recommended for people who are pregnant, have kidney stones, heart conditions, or those taking medication for high blood pressure.

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Discuss this Article

OeKc05
Post 4

Has anyone here ever seen shavegrass growing in the wild? It is a pretty interesting looking plant!

Shavegrass grows wild along the banks of a large pond near my house. It resembles bamboo. It has black joints along its length and a pinkish cone at its tip.

Shavegrass makes a great shelter for birds. When my hound dog and I go walking out by the pond, he always scares up a flock of various types of birds from the shavegrass.

It can spread easily. The whole area along the pond is covered in it, and I know that no one planted it there purposely.

lighth0se33
Post 3

After three months of losing a scary amount of hair in the shower, I decided to switch to a shampoo containing shavegrass. I knew that it was supposed to promote hair growth, so I felt like it couldn't hurt.

Within a week, I stopped losing so much hair. In fact, I was only losing about half as much as I had been.

Also, my hair felt healthier. It wasn't as flat, and it had a shine to it that it had not possessed before I started using the shampoo.

I think that shavegrass was the special ingredient that helped save my hair. This shampoo cost more than the average shampoo, but that is because it delivers much better results.

Oceana
Post 2

@kylee07drg – I believe that shavegrass works to cure a number of things. I was skeptical at first, but after my nephew used it to speed his kidney stones on out of his body, I became a believer.

Our family has always had problems with kidney stones, and many of us have ended up in the hospital because we could not pass them on our own. My nephew had heard that shavegrass could help flush out the stones, and he hated hospitals, so he decided to give it a try.

He actually was able to pass the stones without medical help. Oh, he went through his fair share of pain during the process, but at least he did not have to wear a catheter or have surgery!

kylee07drg
Post 1

I use shavegrass powder to help me cleanse my system whenever I get a urinary tract infection. Since it's a diuretic, it flushes out a lot of the bad bacteria that is causing the infection.

I have tried simply drinking lots of water during an infection, but it doesn't work as efficiently as taking shavegrass. It is hard to drink when you are not thirsty, and the shavegrass makes me thirsty, so I have no problem downing glass after glass of water and cranberry juice.

One side effect I have noticed is that it really exhausts me. There is something about having to urinate every half hour that is extremely tiring. It gets rid of my infection, though, so I'm not complaining.

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