We pulled this one from our garden to make way for some veggies, but just because it was in a space we used for a different purpose doesn’t make it useless.

 This is Meadow Horsetail (Equisetum pratense). It has a very peculiar feel to the leaves due to its high content of Silica, a nutrient that is highly beneficial in making connective tissue stronger.

 The central stem is the medicinal part used to help the urinary tract with acute ailments such as urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney stones, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) and blood in the urine. In children, it is used to stop bedwetting, and is even used so as a homeopathic remedy.

 Chronically, it is used as a tonic for osteoporosis since its silica content is necessary to create healthy new bone. And cosmetically, it is often made into hair rinses and other treatments to help strengthen hair.

 Long term ingestion of this plant can deplete potassium, because it is a diuretic. And, if consumed uncooked (think capsule vs. tea), it can lead to a Thiamine (B1) deficiency due to its content of thiaminase. A B1 deficiency is also known as Beriberi and is most commonly seen in chronic alcoholics exhibiting a host of neurological deficits such as numbness, tingling, confusion, difficulty moving, pain, nystagmus and vomiting.

Williamson_headshotJen Williamson, ND is a native of Buffalo, New York who earned her Bachelor of Science at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania and a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona. While in medical school, she became very involved in the student community, most notably as the President of the Student Government Association. For her service, upon graduation she was given the Outstanding Leadership Award.

In the spirit of Docere, the Naturopathic principle of the doctor’s role as teacher, Dr. Williamson was an adjunct professor in the Complementary and Alternative Therapies program at Daemen College. She has had articles in a variety of publications, includingNaturopathic Doctor News and Review, SheKnows.com, local Buffalo magazines and papers, as well as her own newsletter, blog and website. While practicing in Buffalo, she also offered over 30 different classes to the public at various events and locations.

In 2012, Dr. Williamson moved to Vermont to expand her practice of Naturopathic Medicine as well as provide an atmosphere that resonates with her medicine for her son, Victor, and husband, David. As a Primary Care Physician at Avalon Natural Medicine, Dr. Williamson focuses on mental/emotional, gastrointestinal, and endocrine disorders. Most of her treatment plans include a combination of nutritional, herbal and homeopathic remedies, but she has also received additional training in Hair Trace Mineral Analysis and Bowel Nosodes.

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