The horse chestnut tree is native to Asia and northern Greece, but it is now cultivated in many areas of Europe and North America. The tree produces fruits that are made up of a spiny capsule containing one to three large seeds, known as horse chestnuts. Traditionally, many of the aerial parts of the horse chestnut tree, including the seeds, leaves, and bark, were used in medicinal preparations. Modern extracts of horse chestnut are usually made from the seeds, which are high in the active constituent aescin (also known as escin).
Horse chestnut leaves have been used by herbalists as a cough remedy and to reduce fevers. The leaves were also believed to reduce pain and inflammation of arthritis and rheumatism. In traditional herbal medicine, poultices of the seeds have been used topically to treat skin ulcers and skin cancer. Other uses include the internal and external application for problems of venous circulation, including varicose veins and haemorrhoids.
What it does
Horse chestnut contains aescin, which is anti-inflammatory and has the ability to reduce swelling of blood vessels and tone the walls of the veins, whilst also improving overall circulation of blood throughout the body. Horse chestnut is also a vasodilator, astringent and anti-oxidant.
|Haemorrhoids||Cold Feet||Varicose veins|
|Sprains and Strains||Oedema|
Horse Chestnut has been used since the Roman times for wound healing and vein problems. It is used by herbalists today to treat chronic venouse insufficiency, peripheral circulatory disease, heavy legs, swollen ankles and water retention.
Creams are available to be applied to the skin to reduce swelling after injury.
Do not take Horse Chestnut if you have liver or kidney disease.
If you are taking any blood thinning medication (heparin, warfarin or aspirin), or ticlopidine, consult your doctor before taking Horse Chestnut.
At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with Horse Chestnut.