Last update Oct. 25, 2022


Likely Compatibility

Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.

Stems of horsetail are used. It contains mineral salts (Sílicium, Potassium), flavonoids, caffeic acid, phenolic acids and sterols. Unproven effects are: diuretic and wound healing for burning injuries. Oral and topical use. (, EMA 2016, WHO 2010)

On latest update no relevant published data on breastfeeding were found.

Side effects and toxicity have not been tested, therefore its use would be preferably avoided during breastfeeding or, as much, use it infrequently.

Topical use is compatible with breastfeeding whenever it not used on the nipple.

Prolonged or abusive use may produce hyponatremic dehydration (Grim 2018), gastritis, vomiting, sea-sickness or stupor and hepatotoxicity (Klnçalp 2012). May be confused with Equisetum palustre, which is toxic due to that it contains toxic alkaloids and thiaminase, and be cause of severe Vitamin B1 deficiency (, Nowak 2022, Müller 2020). A case possibly related to the appearance of Autism after the prolonged use in pregnancy has been described. (Ortega 2011)

Precautions when taking plant preparations (Anderson 2017, Powers 2015, Posadzki 2013, Efferth 2011, Kopec 1999, Hsu 1995):

  • Make sure they are from a reliable source: poisonings have occurred due to confusion of one plant with another with toxic properties (Hsu 1995), poisonings due to containing heavy metals extracted from the soil, and food poisoning due to contamination with bacteria or fungi. (Anderson 2017)
  • Do not take in excess; follow the recommendations of expert phytotherapy professionals. “Natural” products are not good in any quantity: plants contain active substances from which much of our traditional pharmacopoeia has been obtained and can cause poisoning or act as endocrine disruptors if consumed in quantity or for an exaggerated time because they contain phytoestrogens. (Powers 2015, Zava 1998)


We do not have alternatives for Horsetail.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Horsetail is also known as

Horsetail in other languages or writings:


Horsetail belongs to these groups or families:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Horsetail in its composition:

  • Adelgazar™. Contains other elements than Horsetail in its composition
  • Andino Diure™. Contains other elements than Horsetail in its composition
  • Cistitus infusión drenante™. Contains other elements than Horsetail in its composition
  • Fortilac
  • Nordibela™. Contains other elements than Horsetail in its composition
  • Reduc-Té™. Contains other elements than Horsetail in its composition


  1. Vanaclocha B, Cañigueral S. 1992 - - Disponible en: Consulted on Dec. 21, 2023 Abstract
  2. Nowak M, Tipke I, Bücker L, Franke K, Lubienski M, Beuerle T. Biomarker-Based Determination of Equiseti herba Contamination by Equisetum palustre Using HPLC-MS/MS. Planta Med. 2022 May;88(6):447-454. Consulted on Oct. 25, 2022 Abstract
  3. Müller J, Puttich PM, Beuerle T. Variation of the Main Alkaloid Content in Equisetum palustre L. in the Light of Its Ontogeny. Toxins (Basel). 2020 Nov 9;12(11). pii: E710. Abstract
  4. Grim CCA, Meynaar IA, Hammer S, Soonawala D. Severe Hyponatremia After Drinking Horsetail Juice. Ann Intern Med. 2018 Oct 2;169(7):507-508. Abstract
  5. Anderson PO. Herbal Use During Breastfeeding. Breastfeed Med. 2017 Abstract
  6. EMA-Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) Community herbal monograph on Equisetum arvense L, Herba. - 2016 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Powers CN, Setzer WN. A molecular docking study of phytochemical estrogen mimics from dietary herbal supplements. In Silico Pharmacol. 2015 Mar 22;3:4. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. Posadzki P, Watson L, Ernst E. Contamination and adulteration of herbal medicinal products (HMPs): an overview of systematic reviews. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Abstract
  9. Klnçalp S, Ekiz F, Başar Ö, Coban S, Yüksel O. Equisetum arvense (Field Horsetail)-induced liver injury. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Feb;24(2):213-4. Abstract
  10. Efferth T, Kaina B. Toxicities by herbal medicines with emphasis to traditional Chinese medicine. Curr Drug Metab. 2011 Abstract
  11. Ortega García JA, Angulo MG, Sobrino-Najul EJ, Soldin OP, Mira AP, Martínez-Salcedo E, Claudio L. Prenatal exposure of a girl with autism spectrum disorder to 'horsetail' (Equisetum arvense) herbal remedy and alcohol: a case report. J Med Case Rep. 2011 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  12. WHO. World Health Organization. WHO monographs on medicinal plants commonly used in the Newly Independent States (NIS). WHO monographs. 2010 Full text (in our servers)
  13. Kopec K. Herbal medications and breastfeeding. J Hum Lact. 1999 Jun;15(2):157-61. Review. No abstract available. Abstract
  14. Zava DT, Dollbaum CM, Blen M. Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs, and spices. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1998 Abstract
  15. Hsu CK, Leo P, Shastry D, Meggs W, Weisman R, Hoffman RS. Anticholinergic poisoning associated with herbal tea. Arch Intern Med. 1995 Abstract

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