Horsetail is a member of the Equisetaceae family; the sole survivor of a line of plants going back three hundred million years. The name “horsetail”, often used for the entire group, arose because the branched species somewhat resemble a horse’s tail. It is a descendant of ancient plants that grew as tall as trees during the carboniferous period of prehistoric times and members of this family gave rise to many of our coal deposits. Since being recommended by the Roman physician Galen, several cultures have employed horsetail as a folk remedy for kidney and bladder troubles, arthritis, bleeding ulcers, and tuberculosis. The Chinese use it to cool fevers and as a remedy for eye inflammations such as conjunctivitis and corneal disorders, dysentery, flu, swellings and hemorrhoids.