External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Equisetum arvense


Guiding principle

Equisetum is a master at dealing with water, light and warmth! Equisetum is an ancient plant (like ferns), some varieties grow very high, in Central Europe it hardly grows higher than 40 cm. You can take it apart and stick it back together again, and it will hold. It has only one main stem and at regular intervals there is a wreath of needle-like leaves.
The unmistakable horsetail plant grows a long horizontal tube system in the soil, which it uses to transport water and silica – extracted from the soil via fine roots. Together with the water, the dissolved silica is transported up to the part of the plant that is above ground and excreted. In the morning droplets hang from the leaf needles and dry there during the day. What remains is a fine silica mass that feels rough. This silica substance is mineralogically similar to opal, whereby light can be absorbed into the plant through a kind of lens, and photosynthesis occurs, which otherwise happens in leaves.
In addition, the plant has an intense sulfur content, which has an strong relationship to warmth and also promotes excretion. In conventional medicine sulfur is also used for urine discharge.

(summarized from “Healing Plants” by Markus Sommer)

Indications and application



Renal colic

Renal insufficiency

Shock, mental

Urinary tract infections, ascending