KANNUBJØLLUVISA TIL MATNA
ditional use of horsetail for producing dyes.
Some older sources mention the use of E.
arvense as a vegetable tan (von Paula
Schrank 1789: 414; Retzius 1806: 230). E.
arvense and other species of Equisetum
have also been utilized as raw material for
producing various kind of small crafts. E.
arvense has been used for manufacturing
baskets in North America. The Costanoan
Indians used the roots of both E. arvense
and E. hyemale in basketry, while the stems
of the great horsetail (Equisetum telmateia)
were used among the Coast Salish for black
imbrication in basketmaking (Turner and
Bell, 1971: 68; Bocek, 1984: 247). Chil-
dren used stems of E. arvense and other Eq-
uisetum species to make a kind of whistles
both in Scandinavia and in North America
(Høeg, 1974: 324, 347; Gilmore, 1991: 11).
In northern Sweden the peasants made
brushes of E. hyemale (Lindberg, 1975).
According to Øllgard and Tind (1993:
55-56) it is still customary for clarinet and
oboe players to have along a few stems of
E. hyemale in their instrument case in order
to make the final trimming of the sensitive
reed mouthpieces, rubbing them with the
Equisetum arvense is said to be extreme-
ly receptive to heavy metals, a feature
which has been used in the search for gold
in Alaska (Benedict, 1941).
Various Equisetum species have also
been used for hair wash and cosmetics. It is
recommended for washing tired, ageing
and problem skins. Horsetail baths should
be taken each night for at least a week, ac-
cording to Czech authors (Hlava, et al.
Especially the E. hiemale, but also E. syl-
vaticum and sometimes E. arvense, has
been used for polishing woods and metals,
a practice known not only in Scandinavia
but also from the British Isles, Continental
Europe and among both North American
Indians as well as settlers from Europe
(Høeg, 1974: 348; Lightfoot, 1789: 659;
Bohringer, 1913: 35; Schullerus, 1916:
389; Tumer and Bell, 1971: 68; Johnston,
1970: 304; Bergvall, 1972; May, 1978:
520; Gilmore, 1991: 11). Olvier de Serres
wrote in 1600 about its use as for polishing
(Lieutaghi, 1996: 368). Southern Kwakiutl
Indians of British Columbia used the rough
leaves and stems of E. arvense and E. tel-
mateia for polishing canoes and other
wooden articles (Turner and Bell, 1973:
264). Salish Indians in the Cowichan re-
serves near Duncan, Vancouver Island,
were sandpapering the wooden knitting
needles smooth with E. arvense (Lane,
1951: 22). In the cities gold- and silver-
smiths used it to polish their craft (Linnæus
1755). The rough silicious surface made
them very useful for this purpose. E.
hiemale was actually gathered by poor"
farmers from Hárjedalen who sold it on
their winter migration for labour to Háls-
ingland (Modin, 1911: 731). Its use for pol-
ishing and cleaning wooden dairy vessels is
well-known from northern Sweden (Frid-
ner, 1926: 274; Berglund, 1935: 53). Cot-
tagers in Oxfordshire used E. telmateia for
scouring saucepans (Vickery, 1995: 162).
From northeastern India ethnobotanist Is-
lam reports that joints of stem from E. de-