Stems are abrasive due to the deposition of silica and have been used to scour pans and polish wood.
This plant is also used as an ornamental in landscaping, especially in water features.
Horsetails are poisonous to horses and while it is said to be poisonous to livestock in general, sheep and cattle are reported to be less affected than horses. All parts of the plant, fresh or dried, are toxic.
Horsetails were used medicinally in Russia and Eastern Europe. Horsetails were recommended by the Roman physician Galen, and several cultures have employed horsetail as a folk remedy for kidney and bladder troubles, arthritis, and bleeding ulcers. Additionally, the topical use of horsetail is claimed to stop the bleeding of wounds and promote rapid healing.