View Full Version : Horsetail(silica) and breastfeeding?

May 30th, 2014, 04:56 AM
Hi all

I asked my husband to pick up some silica after reading about it's benefits for hair. He ended up buying a supplement that contained some vitamins and horsetail. I'd assumed the silica had been removed from the horsetail to create a concentrate but when I read further in the description it is the full herb they used, so 500 mg, only 7% of which is silica.

I'm breastfeeding my 1 year old, and know nothing about horsetail so just googled it. This is among the stuff I found: "Never use horsetail if pregnant or nursing. The selenium in horsetail may cause birth defects in the fetuses of pregnant women who take horsetail. Horsetail is a diuretic, which has a dehydrating effect. Horsetail contains nicotine. Smokers should not take horsetail. High concentrations of nicotine may cause symptoms of nicotine overdose, including fever, poor circulation, increased heart rate, and trouble walking. Never use horsetail for longer than a month."

When reading about silica for hair I never read this stuff anywhere, and all the silica in the store seemed to be from horsetail.

Has anyone taken it while breastfeeding, how about non smokers? Is this(and other similar) article just being alarmist? I mean what is the nicotine concentration? I know I've read similar stuff about medications and had doctors tell me they were fine to take, that websites have to take an overly cautious approach.

May 30th, 2014, 06:06 AM
Cucumber is high in silica. Better to get nutrients from whole foods than supplements.

May 30th, 2014, 08:35 AM
For something like this, you definitely should be consulting a doctor, not a hair forum.

May 30th, 2014, 08:54 AM
My feeling is when in doubt to err on the side of caution. Especially when dealing with the potential of passing something along via breastfeeding.

May 30th, 2014, 09:15 AM
I had always thought you were supposed to use silica externally, ON the hair, not internally. :hmm:

I wouldn't if I were you, but then, I'm not a fan of supplements usually.

May 30th, 2014, 10:52 AM
I had looked that up when I was nursing my first kid. I didn't do it. Perhaps, like someone else said, there's a better source out there?

May 30th, 2014, 10:57 AM
Just read silica is the main component of diatomaceous earth. They do produce a food grade DE (Google it, it's supposed to cure all kinds of things). If you're planning to take it internally, maybe get that?

May 31st, 2014, 05:58 AM
Thanks guys! I'd feel silly contacting my doctor about something like this, given it's not a medical need. I also wouldn't expect her to know anything about herbal supplements either. So I'd just not take it rather than contacting a doctor.

I found other silica sources on ebay but I hate this huge tub going to waste, looks like it's going to though, for the time being anyway!

June 3rd, 2014, 04:53 PM
Seriously I'd give all supplements a miss while you're breastfeeding, unless you've spoken to you doctor about them. A babies small body has less of a safe margin for error than a full grown human.


ETA: even adults are advised against taking horsehair for more than 6 weeks. Though I forget the details of why.