Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has numerous biologicalfunctions. Foremost, it is essential for the synthesis ofcollagen and glycosaminoglycans which are thebuilding materials of all connective tissues, such asskin, blood vessels, tendons, joint cartilage and bone.Vitamin C is the required coenzyme for two groupsof enzymes that catalyze the crosslinking of collagenfibers - lysyl hydroxylases and prolyl hydroxylases.As such, vitamin C is essential for normal woundhealing and capillary health. It also participates in thebiosynthesis of carnitine, serotonin, and certainneurotransmitters, including norepinephrine.
Vitamin C is among the most powerful antioxidantsin humans and animals. It is a water-soluble, chainbreakingantioxidant that reacts directly withsuperoxide, hydroxyl radicals, and singlet oxygen.Vitamin A (retinol) is a fat-soluble vitamin essentialfor vision, growth, reproduction, cell division, andthe integrity of the immune system.
Minerals play a variety of essential roles throughoutthe body. Calcium is the principal mineral constituentof bone and is thus essential for healthy bonestructure and function. Calcium also participatesfundamentally in blood clotting, nerve conduction,and muscle contraction. Magnesium is involved inenergy metabolism, and is notably important in theheart, skeletal muscles, and nervous system.
Manganese is essential for antioxidant systems in thebody, bone growth, fat metabolism, and protein,nucleic acid, and cartilage synthesis. Zinc isimportant for growth, immune system function,protein synthesis, antioxidant mechanisms, andwound healing.
In the human body, iron is present in all cells and hasseveral vital functions - as a carrier of oxygen to thetissues from the lungs in the form of hemoglobin(Hb), as a facilitator of oxygen use and storage in themuscles as myoglobin, as a transport medium forelectrons within the cells in the form of cytochromes,and as an integral part of enzyme reactions in varioustissues.
Today, scientific research supports horsetail grassuse as a wound healing agent, particularly for therepair and maintenance of connective tissue.Horsetail grass' high content of silicon as silica isresponsible for these therapeutic effects. Connectivetissue, e.g. bone, tendon, cartilage, blood vessels, andskin, contains most of the silicon found in the body.Silicon's primary role in the maintenance and repairof these tissues is thought to involve their structuralframework as silicon appears to be an integral part oftheir supporting protein and glycosaminoglycancomplexes. A deficiency of dietary silicon negativelyaffects the structure of this supporting matrix, i.e.collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans, more thanthe mineralization process itself.
Phosphatidylserine, a phospholipid nutrient found inlecithin, is active in cell membranes and is the majoracidic phospholipid component in the membranes ofthe brain.