The Earth Skills Correspondence Course is a ten block course that leads students through the skills of wilderness survival, in your own bioregion. It emphasizes the mastery of shelter, water, fire, camp skills, plants and trees, cooking, safety & hazards, attitude & philosophy and instructor training. Ricardo Sierra mentors the course through e-mail, this blog and a private Facebook Group, and students are self-guided. The course provides a wealth of skills and a powerful foundation from which to build and grow in any personal or wilderness study direction.
Get more information about this learning tool here: The Earth Skills Correspondence Course

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Plant Study: Horsetail, or Equisetum arvense

One of the oldest plant families on the planet. Silica based, used in sanding wood by native peoples, also known as 'scouring rush' by settlers because it was great and cleaning pots and pans by the river, and the only plant that reproduces using spores, not seeds.

It is known as a living fossil, as it is the only living species of it's family, which thrived in the Paleozoic Era, where some species grew up to 30 meters tall! Very, very ancient! It was established on all continents except Antarctica, over 400 million years ago! Whoa! Settle down, old fella!

It is drunk as tea and has been known as a bleeding reducer, diuretic, and a few other medicinal uses that are unverified by some sources. It loves acidic and clay soils along damp areas, and can be a big nuisance plant by some countries and states for grazing plant competition.

In Russia, recent research seems to have indicated that drinking the tea seems to help with Lead Removal from the body. Not sure how that works or whatever, but that seems valuable for all those paint chip eating people!

Yep, this is Horsetail, (Equisetum arvense) and it's a cool plant! Also known as Horse Willow, Pewterwort, or Toad Pipes

(I did know this before, but I wanted to research it further and it's also just very beautiful and interesting...)

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