Horsetail plant: description
There are about 30 species of plants called horsetail. They are scattered around the world, except for Australia and New Zealand. Horsetail forest - a rhizome herbaceous perennial plant. This species is distinguished by the presence of shoots consisting of various segments (internodes) and nodes with a whorled arrangement of leaves. The function of photosynthesis is performed due to green stems and branches. Propagates mainly rhizomes, as well as spores. Shoots are of two types: brown-pink, branched, appear in early spring and after sporulation die, or green, do not differ much from vegetative ones. In a plant such as a horsetail, spores are equipped with a hygroscopic tape (elatera), which fastens a large number of them into round-like nodules, which carry the wind to rather considerable distances. Sporangia are located on the corymbiform sporangiophores, which have a hexagonal shape and are collected in the apical part of the spikelets.
The horsetail of the forest got its name for similarity withponytail. The only thing necessary for its normal development and growth is a sufficient amount of moisture in the soil. If the humidity is limited, then it can exist in relatively shallow groundwater. In areas with disturbed vegetation, horsetail can form large thickets. It also grows well in acid-containing soils (pH indicator).
The rhizome weighs more than the above-ground shoots,therefore the horsetail plant is difficult to eradicate. Some of its species are poisonous to livestock. Cows who eat hay with its high content, significantly reduces milk production, there is depletion, a drop in milk fat, the growth of wool is suppressed. Other species of this plant, in contrast, are very suitable for livestock feed. It is interesting that animals eat horsetail in severe frosts. This is due to the ability of this plant to change its chemical composition during the year (starch accumulated during the summer with the onset of cold turns into sugar). For man, most species of horsetail are not dangerous. If you cook such a plant, then it is quite good to taste. By the way, and the dishes of horsetail do exist. Nevertheless, at the present time they are almost forgotten, but once in the northern regions, the inhabitants of Russia knew many dishes from this herb. Until now, there have been ways to create medicinal infusions and decoctions from such a plant. The horsetail of the forest, a photo of which can be seen in almost all book editions about medicinal herbs, continues to be used in the treatment of diseases of the excretory system.
In medicine, it is also often usedanother type of such a plant is the horsetail of the field. Doses of supplements should be strictly in accordance with the doctor's testimony, because some of its substances have the ability to adversely affect health in case of an overdose. Herb horset is saturated with substances that have valuable healing properties. These are mineral salts of calcium and potassium, tannins and acids - apple and oxalic. However, the most valuable compounds are silicic acids of poorly soluble forms.