Part Used: Dried mature seed
Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) 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. The trunk of the 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. Horse Chestnut is primarily used to treat circulation problems, hemorrhoids, prostrate enlargement, and varicose veins. Extracts of the Horse Chestnut seeds are the source of a saponin known as Aescin, which has been shown to promote circulation through the veins. Aescin promotes normal tone in the walls of the veins, thereby promoting return of blood to the heart. This has made both topical and internal Horse Chestnut extracts popular in Europe for the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins. Aescin also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to reduce edema following trauma, particularly those following sports injuries, surgery, and head injury.
Horse Chestnut is an astringent, anti-inflammatory herb that helps to tone the vein walls which, when slack or distended, may become varicose, haemorrhoidal or otherwise problematic. The plant also reduces fluid retention by increasing the permeability of the capillaries and allowing the re-absorption of excess fluid back into the circulatory system. This plant is potentially toxic if ingested and should not be used internally without professional supervision. The seeds are decongestant, expectorant and tonic. They have been used in the treatment of rheumatism, neuralgia and haemorrhoids. In Germany, Commission E, which is the equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves standardized Horse Chestnut for treatment of conditions of the veins of the legs, including varicose and spider veins, a sensation of heaviness, nocturnal cramping of the calves, pruritis, and swelling. This condition is described medically as chronic venous insufficiency. Horse Chestnut is popular throughout Europe for the treatment and prevention of those conditions, and for hemorrhoids - which are no more than varicose veins of the anus and rectum.
Plants for a Future. http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Aesculus+hippocastanum&CAN=COMIND
Holistic Online. http://www.holisticonline.com/Herbal-Med/_Herbs/h68.htm