Herbs of the Holyland by Nissim Krispil

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Horsetail Knotweed
Common name:

Horsetail Knotweed

Synonym name:

Hebrew name:

ארכובית שבטבטית

Scientific name:

Polygonum equistiforme



Arabic name:

עצא א-ראעי

perennial plant
Flowering color:
Flowering period:
Growing areas:
Horsetail Knotweed is very common in abandoned places, fallow fields and roadsides.
Perennial herb, common in Israel, usually grows recumbent on the ground .
It has many long branches, the leaves concentrated in the lower part of the branches and delicate flowers grow in the form of a long cluster at the end of them. The nectar of the flowers attracts the honey bee.
The plant is very common among the Israeli Arabs, to treat severe stomach poisoning, indigestion, heartburn, diarrhea, wounds lips, hard and cracked skin, bleeding gums and urinary tract obstruction.


For  treating wounds or dryness in the face and lips
Pick three handfuls of leaves and stems of knotweed; boil them about 10 minutes in 2 liters of water.  Strain the decoction, pour the liquid into a jar and store in the refrigerator. Soak a cotton wool in the liquid and spread on the face skin. Most Recommended after a shower and before bedtime. 
Another way is to blend fresh leaves and stems in a mixer, pour olive oil until you get a doughy mixture. The dosage: 2 handfuls of leaves and stems on a quarter cup of olive oil. Keep the ointment in a jar, in a cool and dark place. With your fingertips spread it on your face skin in circular massaging movements. Leave the ointment on your face for half an hour and wash it afterwards.
This ointment is also useful for dry and cracked foot skin


The shape of the leaflets that are at the base of the leaves and surround the stem looks like the mouthpiece, and to our ancestors it resembled the oboe - a kind of flute that was played in the temple. He also appears in the Mishnah "Shepherd Oboe ": "we may not eat hyssop on suterday- shabat because it is not a food for healthy people. But we may eat yoezer and drink abuv roeh (Shepherd Oboe)" (shabbat 14,3)