August 2011
The Herb Lady

Horsetail and My Osteoporosis

This is not the greatest story ever told, but it is one well worth retelling. Therefore, I’m going to do so.

I am a victim of osteoporosis. This is a disease of the bones which results from a loss of bone calcium. Research has revealed, when our blood content of calcium is low, our blood pulls calcium from our bones. This leaves our bones weak and brittle—OSTEOPOROSIS.

I was diagnosed with this disease in the mid-’80s. This was before osteoporosis treatments like Boniva and Fosamax were created.

Doctors simply said, "Take your calcium."

I took a calcium supplement which was highly recommended by my druggist. My condition continued to become worse. I hurt all over. Stress fractures developed. My teeth were wobbling around in bleeding gums. I bound my feet, ankles and knees with ace bandages in an effort to walk. My long nursing career was forced to end at the age of 55. One doctor told me not to ever expect to be free of pain again.

In January 1993, my dentist decided my teeth must be pulled. It seemed he had done everything possible to save them. On the way home from his office, I remembered a fellow herbalist had suggested I take the herb horsetail (Equseteum arvense).

I called an alternative medicine dealer and described my situation.

The saleslady replied, "It sounds like you need horsetail and Bone-up."

She had used the magic word—HORSETAIL. I ordered a bottle of each. Two weeks after I started taking these products, I returned to my dentist.

He looked in my mouth and happily stated, "Miss Nadine, I’m not going to pull your teeth now. At long last, you are healing."

It had been eight years since I was diagnosed and finally I had found help.

I was healing all over. Soon my feet and joints were improved. My teeth become anchored in healthier gums which were no longer bleeding. Now—18 years later—I still have my teeth. My feet and joints are not hurting. I continue to take horsetail and Bone-up in order to keep my osteoporosis under control.

I have a young friend who is a doctor. He has told me he has never seen a better calcium product than Bone-up.

Horsetail has served many purposes for mankind. Young shoots have served as food. In some parts of the world, it is a common basket material. (There are some who say the basket in which Baby Moses floated down the river was woven from horsetail.) Its abrasive qualities made it an excellent pot scrubber for primitive cultures. It has been used to sand floors and furniture. While sanding the wood, it creates a glossy finish due to its high content of silica. It can be used in a garden spray to prevent mildew, rust and other fungi. It is used in shampoos, shaving cream and other personal items.

Horsetail is very high in silica, a major constituent of the biological cement holding every part of our body together. Silica is needed for healthy bones, hair, skin and cartilage. If taken along with our calcium, we have better absorption of this chemical element which is so vital to our overall health.

I am very happy to report the doctor who told me not to ever expect to be free of pain was wrong. Of course, some other natural products also help me to enjoy this state of health.

When I first became interested in herbs I stated I would never be involved in alternative medicine. Again, I was wrong. The use of horsetail was my first involvement. I still see my doctor regularly and take some medications he prescribes. However, if I had not reached out to alternative health, I would have been a resident in a nursing facility long ago—probably in a wheelchair—grunting.

As always, I advise you to check with your doctor before taking herbal products.

Nadine Johnson can be reached at (866) 570-7302, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or P.O. Box 7425, Spanish Fort, AL 36577. She has a long history of involvement with herbs. She is also an independent distributor of Nature’s Sunshine Products.