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Eating horsetails

Obviously my favourite topic as that is the only thing thriving in my garden. Here is some other use for them aside from scrubbing pans.

Some information from my tribe's Nutritionist with resources from and the Northwest Indian College Institute of Indigenous Foods and Traditions.

When and how to harvest: Fertile shoots appear from late March through mid-April. Harvest the newer shoots that are still golden at the flowering tip. Each node of the stem stores water and kids love to pull them apart and drink the liquid inside. The fertile young shoots of horsetail are considered a spring delicacy. Pinch off the stem close to the ground. Remove the brown sheaf around each node at the cone-like tip. The tender growth between the nodes is eaten fresh and is traditionally dipped in oil. It can also be cut up and added to soups or sautes.

Horsetail Spring green tops:

Spring green tops are gathered when the leaves are still vibrant green and pointing upward or outward, usually between March and July. As the pants age, leaves begin to droop and turn army-green. Silica crystals in the laves become more developed and less water soluble-and therefore, less useful for human consumption.

Horsetail tea as medicine: Horsetail has a mild vegetable broth-like flavor. Prepare a strong infusion with a large handful of herb per two to three cups of water. Steep 15 minutes to several hours. Drink up to 3 cups a day.

Horsetail combines will with other herbs. A popular tea at the Northwest Indian Treatment Center in Washington is "Healthy Skin, Nails, Hair, and Bones tea". It contains equal parts horsetail, red clover, stinging nettles, and peppermint.

One heaping teaspoon of this mixture is steeped in a cup of boiled water for 15 minutes to several hours. Delicious!

The tea can be applied topically for recovering from sunburn or poor quality skin with premature aging.



  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge Posts: 3,502

    That's interesting Autumn dh - I think I could do with some of that tea image I've got most of the ingredients...

    Almost makes me wish I had horsetail... No, I take it back...image

    Can I ask what tribe, just because I like to learn things?


    Wearside, England.
  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ..with such qualities, I'm surprised they are not on the menu of my hordes of snails - they seem to eat everything else...

    ...thank you for that Autumn...I especially enjoyed this bit, which did make me go...LOL!!

    ..As the pants age, leaves begin to droop and turn army-green. Silica crystals in the laves become more developed and less water soluble-and therefore, less useful for human consumption.

    ..well, that's good to know...

  • Autumn dhAutumn dh Posts: 51

    Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indian, Chippewa, and Cheyenne. In the Siletz vein, Joshua and Tututni tribes.

    I think in the later stages, when they grow unfit for consumption, they are probably a bit poisonous as they can kill horses. So, early stage eating only. Then scrub pans with the later stuff.

  • Autumn dhAutumn dh Posts: 51

    Yeah, you don't want to eat pants. I type 75 wpm, but no time to edit with a little one around.

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ...75 wpm isn't too bad...

    ...I've not heard of any Cheyenne amongst the Confederated Siletz... unless they've married into it...they tend to be either in southern Montana or Oklahoma... perhaps you meant Chinook...? of luck dealing with your horse tail.....I use ground cover, it helps a I'm a no spray gardener...and I don't think I'll be eating any, for

  • Autumn dhAutumn dh Posts: 51

    100% Cheyenne married a 100% Siletz and thus our family lines were made. However Siletz only allows registration in one tribe. So our family has gone back and forth between being registered with the two for generations. We are listed on the 1885-1940 Siletz tribal roll as being registered with Cheyenne. We are descendent from Chief White Antelope. Ojibwe made its way in there also but we can only trace as far back as "Matches woman". There is a town/bay on the coast of Oregon named after my great-great-great grandfather. image

  • flowering roseflowering rose Posts: 1,632

    I think you may need to look it up in a modern herb book as it can be a lethal plant if used in the wrong way.

  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge Posts: 3,502

    Thanks for sharing that about your family history Autumn...image

    Wearside, England.
  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    hi Autumn.... already stated, thanks for letting us know about this... it's quite interesting to me too... the only White Antelope's I know of, there are 2, one was killed at the Sand Creek massacre in 1864, and the other was killed shortly after the Little Bighorn battle, in July 1876 by scouts of General Crook... this one was with a group trailing the scouts but they shot him off his horse...   I don't know of any others although I think the same Indian names can often found to be used by more than one person... could be neither of these are your ancestor...but either way, without knowing too much about them indiividually, they were prepared to defend their way of life to the last... and I can't help but admire them for that.... the way, is Siletz another name for Salish...? or are they both different...? or is Salish the language... I get

  • Autumn dhAutumn dh Posts: 51

    If the Salish was a state, the Siletz would be a county. The Salish encompasses the larger coastal area from Canada to California.

    We are descended from the Sand Creek Massacre survivors.

    Horsetails are lethal for horses, but not humans.

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