One of the ingredients in Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens powder is “Silica from Organic Horsetail.” But what is horsetail, what is silica, and why do we bother including it in our collagens supplement?
Let’s start with horsetail. Just to be clear, we are NOT talking about the tail end of an equine. Horsetail is a perennial grass that grows in most parts of the world, including North America. It has hollow, jointed stems that look similar to asparagus with green, spiky offshoots that resemble (you guessed it) the feathery wisps of a horse’s tail. Thus, the common name.
Other names for horsetail are puzzle plant (due to the jointed stems) and scouring rush because of its coarse texture. Certain species of horsetail have been used through the centuries for scouring and sanding pots, pans, and even coats of armor.
Like many types of grass, horsetail is one of the oldest plants on the planet. In fact, experts consider it a “living fossil” because it has been in existence for the last 400 million years.
While there are over 20 different species of horsetail, Equisetum arvensis is the type most used medicinally throughout history. The ancients Greeks and Romans used horsetail for a variety of ailments relating to bleeding, ulcers, tuberculosis, and treating bladder and kidney issues .
Horsetail is known for:
- promoting blood clotting (for wound healing)
- relieving canker sores
- clearing up eye infections such as conjunctivitis
- relieving menstrual cramping
- strengthening bones
- healing foot infections 
- as a poultice for boils and sores
- relieving nasal congestion
- inflammation 
- aluminum detoxification
- calming the symptoms of a flu
- as a soak to strengthen nails
- as an aid to strengthen brittle hair
In addition to being used as a remedy for these various ailments, horsetail is one of the best natural plant sources of silica – a compound that is essential for collagen synthesis and healthy skin. Because of its deep roots, horsetail pulls the element silicon from the soil . When the plant is dried, silica crystals form on its stems.
Silica Aids Collagen Production
In previous articles, we’ve discussed how both vitamin C and zinc are necessary for collagen synthesis. Collagen is the most abundant form of protein found in the body. It is what makes up connective tissue in the body. It is the primary substance that forms the skin as well as the lining of the digestive tract. Collagen keeps eyes healthy, nails and hair shiny and strong, strengthens teeth, and aids the heart and liver.
As we age, collagen production in the body begins to wain significantly. Those who eat the standard American diet (SAD) and are also living a typically stressed out, modern lifestyle will usually see levels of collagen going down significantly by age 30. Not to mention the sagging skin, an increase in joint pain, digestive issues, and more that can come with reduced collagen production.
Lifestyle and dietary changes can help to turn all this around, however. In addition to supplementing with extra collagen, eating foods and taking herbs that promote collagen production naturally can help minimize signs of aging such as wrinkles and promote vibrant health.
Silica is another substance the body needs for creating collagen. Silica naturally occurs in numerous places in nature including many plant foods (e.g., bananas, oats, leafy green veggies, potatoes), rocks (e.g., quartz & sand), and plants such as horsetail. It is a common ingredient used in cosmetics, toothpaste, and, as mentioned above, medicine . But did you know that small amounts of silica are normally found in all body tissues?
Can You Take Collagen and Silica Together?
Your body needs both silica and collagen. The body houses about 7 grams total of silica , most of which is contained in the skin, tendons, blood vessels, hair, and bones. These are also places that collagen can be found, which makes sense since silica is essential for collagen production.
Silica acts as a stabilizing agent for “glycosaminoglycan” networks as well as activating certain hydrating enzymes in the production of both collagen and elastin.
Elastin is a highly elastic protein in connective tissue that helps it maintain its shape and “bounce back” after being stretched. Silica strengthens these substances and increases their potential for elasticity .
More elasticity generally means fewer wrinkles and healthier skin, nails, hair, and overall vitality.
Unfortunately, as collagen production slows down with age, silica levels are also impacted. Signs of silica deficiency include:
- brittle nails
- wrinkles on the skin
- thinning hair
- weak bones
Should You Take Precautions When Using Horsetail?
Horsetail is an excellent plant source of vital silica which is why Organixx includes a small amount of silica harvested from organic horsetail in our Clean Sourced Collagens Anti-Aging blend.
However, horsetail as a stand-alone alone supplement should be used only under medical supervision. Going out and picking the plant in the wild is not advised as there are many different types of horsetail, some of which can be downright harmful. According to the website Drugs.com :
Horsetail has been listed as an herb of undefined safety by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Horsetail remedies prepared from E. arvense are generally considered safe when used properly. However, another species of horsetail, E. palustre, is poisonous to horses; contraindicated for use in humans.
As always, we recommended consulting with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using horsetail or any new supplement, particularly if you have any existing health issues or are pregnant or breastfeeding.