Harnessing the Power of Horsetail Leaf for Stronger Goats

In this post, I’m excited to share insights on a remarkable plant that’s a boon for both the environment and our goats’ health: Horsetail Leaf.

Why Horsetail Leaf?

Horsetail Leaf is truly nature’s gift, packed with silica and minerals that play a critical role in supporting the structural integrity and health of your goats. This ancient herb, often overlooked, is a powerhouse for rebuilding tissues, especially after injuries or stress, and for maintaining strong bones and a lustrous coat. Here’s why Horsetail Leaf deserves a spot in your herbal toolkit:

  • Bone and Tissue Support: Rich in silica, Horsetail Leaf aids in the formation of collagen, essential for bone and tissue repair and resilience.
  • Mineral-Rich: It provides a natural source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron, supporting overall health and aiding in the prevention of mineral deficiencies.
  • Detoxifying Properties: Horsetail’s diuretic effect helps in flushing out toxins, keeping your goats’ kidneys and bladder in prime condition.

Incorporating Horsetail Leaf into Your Goats’ Diet

Horsetail Leaf can be introduced to your goats in several ways, ensuring they reap its benefits without fuss:

  • Dried Leaves in Feed: Mix finely chopped or powdered Horsetail Leaf into their daily feed. Start with small amounts and observe how they take to it.
  • Free-Choice Offering: Offer dried Horsetail Leaf separately, allowing goats to self-select. Goats instinctively know when and how much of an herb they need.
  • Horsetail Tea: Brew a mild Horsetail tea and mix it into their drinking water. Not only is it refreshing, but it’s also a subtle way to boost their mineral intake.

Observation Is Key

As with any dietary addition, closely watch how your goats respond to Horsetail Leaf. Adjust the quantity based on their preference and health needs. Remember, the best approach is a balanced one, where Horsetail Leaf complements a diverse and nutritious diet.

Where To Buy

We’ve put together a list of sources for all the herbs in my herbal protocols here, which includes Horsetail Leaf (sometimes called Shavegrass). 

Horsetail Leaf Research Summary Provided By Consensus


Horsetail (Equisetum spp.), also known as shavegrass, is a plant with a long history of use in traditional medicine. It is known for its potential health benefits, including antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing properties. This synthesis aims to consolidate the findings from various research papers to provide a comprehensive overview of the benefits of horsetail leaf.

Key Insights

  • Antimicrobial Activity
    • Horsetail extracts exhibit significant antimicrobial properties, including the ability to inhibit biofilm formation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, attributed to high levels of phenyl compounds.
  • Antioxidant Properties
    • Horsetail extracts have demonstrated strong free-radical scavenging capacity and antioxidant activity, which are largely due to their polyphenolic constituents .
  • Wound Healing
    • Ethanol extracts of horsetail leaves are effective in promoting wound healing, with a 75% concentration showing the most significant results in healing cuts in mice.
  • Antiproliferative Effects
    • Different extracts of horsetail have shown antiproliferative activity against various human cancer cell lines, with ethyl acetate extract being particularly effective without stimulating cell growth.
  • Anti-inflammatory and Diuretic Effects
    • Traditional uses of horsetail include its application as a diuretic and anti-inflammatory agent, as well as for treating conditions like gonorrhea, diarrhea, kidney infections, and bladder and eye diseases.


Horsetail leaf (shavegrass) offers a range of health benefits supported by scientific research. It has notable antimicrobial, antioxidant, and wound-healing properties, along with potential antiproliferative effects against cancer cells. Additionally, it has traditional uses as a diuretic and anti-inflammatory agent and has shown promise in industrial applications such as shale stabilization. These diverse benefits make horsetail a valuable plant in both medicinal and industrial contexts.

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  1. You talk about extract and tea and dried leaves. What about fresh grazing? In a blackberry dense patch our neighbors have a fair amount of horsetail, buttercup, dandelions, daisies, and other weeds. Will the variety keep the consumption of horsetail safe? I know it’s true 9f buttercup. As long as there’s variety???

    1. It has been our experience that as long as there is sufficient variety, and the goats are not overly hungry, they generally tend to avoid overconsumption of harmful plants. I would recommend keeping good quality hay out for them all the time however. This ensures that they are less likely to be extra hungry while foraging.

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