Benefits Of Horse Chestnut(Aesculus Hippocastanum) For Health

Benefits Of Horse Chestnut(Aesculus Hippocastanum) For Health


Horse Chestnut(Aesculus Hippocastanum)


Horse Chestnut(Aesculus Hippocastanum) is known as other names: Aescin, Aescine, Aesculus hippocastanum, Horse Chestnut, Buckeye, Castaño de Indias, Châtaignier de Mer, Châtaignier des Chevaux, Chestnut, Escine, Faux-Châtaignier, Hippocastani Cortex, Hippocastani Flos, Hippocastani Folium, Hippocastani Semen, Hippocastanum ...

The trunk of horse chestnut tree is very erect and columnar, and grows very rapidly to a great height, with widely spreading branches. The bark is smooth and greyishgreen in colour: it has been used with some success in dyeing yellow. The wood, being soft and spongy, is of very little use for timber.

Benefits Of Horse Chestnut(Aesculus Hippocastanum) For Health
Horse Chestnut(Aesculus Hippocastanum) Picture

The large horse chestnut leaves are divided into five or seven leaflets, spreading like fingers from the palm of the hand and have their margins finely toothed. The flowers are mostly white, with a reddish tinge, or marking, and grow in dense, erect spikes. There is also a dull red variety, and a less common yellow variety. The horse chestnut fruit is a brown nut, with a very shining, polished skin, showing a dull, rough, pale-brown scar where it has been attached to the inside of the seed-vessel, a large green husk, protected with short spines, which splits into three valves when it falls to the ground and frees the nut.

The tree commonly known as the horse chestnut is originally native to regions in northern India, it also grows wild in the Caucasus and in areas of northern Greece, however - the tree has been cultivated throughout Europe for a long time now. The horse chestnut also has relative species from the same genus, growing in the United States - these include the California buckeye.

For centuries, horse chestnut seeds, leaves, bark, and flowers were used for a variety of conditions and diseases. Today, horse chestnut seed extract is used primarily as a folk or traditional remedy for chronic venous insufficiency (a condition in which the veins do not efficiently return blood from the legs to the heart). This condition is associated with varicose veins, pain, ankle swelling, feelings of heaviness, itching, and nighttime leg cramping. The  horse chestnut seed extract has also been used as a folk or traditional remedy for hemorrhoids.

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Benefits Of Horse Chestnut(Aesculus Hippocastanum) For Health


Horse chestnut herbal remedies are utilized in traditional folk medicine, for the treatment of diarrhea and other disorders of the digestive system caused by infective agents. In fact, herbal teas made from the horse chestnut are traditionally used all over the world for the treatment of many different conditions, which includes disorders such as arthritis and also to treat rheumatic pains and coughs. Topical ointments are also prepared from the herb, and the tea itself is often applied directly on to the skin as a treatment for some kinds of sores and rashes affecting a person.

Horse chestnut is taken in small doses internally for the treatment of a wide range of venous diseases, including hardening of the arteries, varicose veins, phlebitis, leg ulcers, hemorrhoids and frostbite.

Benefits Of Horse Chestnut(Aesculus Hippocastanum) For Health
Horse Chestnut(Aesculus Hippocastanum) Picture 

The horse chestnut extract is often standardized and this form of the herbal remedy is considered to be an extremely valuable aid in the treatment of disorders such as varicose veins in different individuals. The presence of this extract inhibits the action of the enzyme hyaluronidase in the body and decreases the permeability of the veins and as a result venous fragility is lowered. The flow of blood in the blood vessels and the muscular tone of the veins are also beneficially improved by the horse chestnut herb. 

The ability of the herbal remedies made from the horse chestnut to reduce cases of eczema was observed from the results of various scientific studies - which included a randomized double-blind and placebo-controlled stage - in this topical role, the horse chestnut is a wonderful herb for the treatment of such external skin conditions.

Randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have shown that horse chestnut can reduce oedema (swelling with fluid) following trauma, particularly those following sports injuries, surgery, and head injury. A clinical study compared horse chestnut extract to compression stockings and placebo for varicose veins. Both the herbal medicine and the stockings significantly reduced oedema of the lower legs compared to placebo. Feelings of tiredness and heaviness, pain, and swelling in the legs were alleviated by the extract, in comparison to placebo. In addition, common symptoms which accompany lower leg swelling; such as leg pain, heaviness and fatigue, are typically reduced in individuals taking horse chestnut seed extract.

Horse chestnut bark remedies can be used as an herbal remedy to reduce the elevated temperatures during a fever. Consumption of the horse chestnut in small to moderate doses has also been advised to treat certain types of leg ulcers, to treat cases of hemorrhoids, and in the treatment of frostbite. 

The herbal remedy can also be applied topically as an herbal lotion, as an herbal ointment, or in the form of a gel based extract for the treatment of various external conditions afflicting the skin of the patients. The oil extracted from the seeds of the horse chestnut plant has been extensively used in France for the treatment of rheumatism and as an external treatment for various skin disorders. 

The herbal decoction made from horse chestnut leaves have also been used in the US, as a topical decoction given for the treatment of whooping cough and related respiratory illnesses.

Horse Chestnut(Aesculus Hippocastanum) Side Effects and Cautions


Do not use raw or unprocessed horse chestnut seeds, leaves, bark, or flowers. They contain esculin, which is poisonous.

When properly processed, horse chestnut seed extract contains little or no esculin and is considered generally safe when used for short periods of time. However, the extract can cause some side effects, including itching, nausea, or gastrointestinal upset.

Benefits Of Horse Chestnut(Aesculus Hippocastanum) For Health
Horse Chestnut(Aesculus Hippocastanum) Picture

Some side effects from the use of these herbal extracts have been reported by some patients, and there have been at least two reports of some form of kidney damage in individuals who consumed extremely large quantities of the compound aescin at a single time. For this reason, it is advised that the doses of horse chestnut must be monitored carefully and all persons suffering from any form of liver or kidney disease must avoid the extract in any form. The use of the herbal remedy is also contraindicated during a term of pregnancy and in lactating women who must not use the remedy internally. The herbal remedies based on the horse chestnut have also been associated with some very rare cases of allergic reactions in the skin following topical application of the remedy. Consulting a professional health care worker before any self administered dosage of the horse chestnut is an important step, as the circulation disorders and physical trauma associated with any swelling may be the sign of an underlying serious condition, which may not be treatable using the herbal remedy alone.

All therapies during which herbal horse chestnut remedies are used on patients are best carried out under supervision by a knowledgeable and professional healthcare provider - this is to avoid all possible side effects and toxicity reactions in the patient. In addition to the use of the horse chestnut remedy, all the patients suffering from varicose veins must also continue to use the other treatment options such as elastic stockings, compresses, or cold water soaks suggested by their doctors for optimal and rapid healing. Horse chestnut must be avoided in any form by all individuals suffering from any kind of bleeding disorders. An anti-clotting reaction and thinning in the blood is induced by the coumarin glycoside aesculin present in horse chestnut remedies - patients should consider the possible effects of this compound when using the remedy in therapy.