Horsetail is a non-flowering, semi-aquatic perennial plant that is closely related to the fern that naturally occurs in certain regions of North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It is an herb of antiquity, descended from ancient trees dating to the Paleozoic era. Horsetail also has a long history of use, starting with the ancient Romans and Greeks. Because the plant has a high silica content, the young stems are prepared as a vegetable or juiced, much like nettle. The dried leaf is also added to foods or is taken in capsule form as a dietary supplement.
Horsetail, also known as Shamegrass and Snake Grass, is known as a living fossil because it is the only surviving species in its genus. The plant gets its common name from the fact that the erect stems resemble a horse's tail.
The fresh aerial parts of the herb are eaten as a spring vegetable, while the dried herb is used for teas and as a bath herb.