Of the ingredients used in The Green Day Diet, I get asked about Horsetail Shavegrass (Equisetum arvense) the most, as it is the least familiar to people. I’ve been very brief with the answer that it has the highest plant form of bioavailable silica. It’s used to make sure the body has enough silica to turn it into collagen, which in turn becomes the matrix that holds all of the bones, muscles and tissues together. It’s the glue that binds us, so I rate this one pretty high.
Yes, I know silica exists in seeds and a few of the vegetables to a lesser extent, but not enough as far as I’m concerned. I also know that if the grit you use is sand-based, that type of silica is useless. Or as we say: sand in, sand out.
Before we get too far along, I’m going to make a very important statement about what goes on in the stomach of a finch. Its function is to digest food. If it can’t digest food or whatever might be in the stomach, that content gets passed. Secondly, if something is digested, it must be broken down to one micron or less to pass through the stomach lining and onto its duty post. That, by the way, is why things like cuttlebone and oyster shell should be supplemented by egg shell and vegetables as a source of calcium, as only 10-20% of the cuttlebone and oyster shell can be digested down to that teeny-tiny size for the short time it is in the stomach.
Now, back to what is referred to as a living fossil, as horsetail shavegrass has been around for millions of years. It is so old, in fact, that it does not produce flowers, but spores, like ferns do to propagate. It does more than simply supply all of the silica your bird needs. It is also a source of calcium but can fix it in the body so it can hold a little more for those intensive egg-laying times.
Now add to the silicon and calcium some magnesium, chromium, iron, manganese and potassium, and you have a veritable mineral mine of goodies for our finches. Recent Russian studies report that horsetail is effective in removing lead accumulations in the body, which is good, since some of the oyster beds of the world where we could get our crushed oyster shell, now have dangerous levels of lead.
Other healing features of horsetail are to knock out bacterial and inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract and flush out kidney stones. Here is the one that should convince you: it kills eggs of parasites and expels parasites.
At this point, I think I’ll shut up before I sound like a snake oil salesman.
If you haven’t included horsetail shavegrass in your egg food yet, I suggest you do so. The rate I am currently using is two (2) of the 440mg capsules per dozen eggs. Of the brands I have tried, I like Solaray the best. Once I have boiled the eggs, drained and cooled them down, they go in the KitchenAid mixer until the consistency is fairly smooth. I then unscrew the capsules of horsetail and sprinkle the powder over the egg mix and resume mixing until I am ready to add the oils. That time is what it takes to use the empty capsules to fill with ground hemp seed, which I take for an energy boost, along with the four (4) capsules of horsetail shavegrass for myself. Yeah, the stuff is great for us humans, too!
I’ve been asked where I get my shavegrass along with the wheat germ oil and cod liver oil. It is posted on my website on the Resources page. But let me tell you, prices vary greatly, and by looking at NutroVita online you can cut your costs almost in half, compared to the vitamin store prices. For example, The Solaray Horsetaill Shavegrass is $7.49 at The Vitamin Shoppe. At NutroVita, it is only $5.11. Their Viobin Wheat Germ Oil is only $13.15 for the 32 oz. bottle. The Twinlab Cod Liver Oil is $10.31 for 12 oz. The CLO is not as cheap as I would like, as I can buy the 12 oz. Spring Valley Norwegian Cod Liver Oil for $8.00 at Walmart. Shipping is reasonable. If you can, order in quantity where prices are lower, or get some of your family’s vitamins and other stuff. You will soon pay for the shipping with the lower prices and still come out ahead.