Health benefits of Horse chestnut
AESCULUS HIPPOCASTANUM (Horse chestnut)
AESCULUS HIPPOCASTANUM (Horse chestnut), this perennial tree of about 20 to 30 meters tall, from which we can find many different species. The flowers of horse chestnut tree are very colorful and as you can see in the picture, they are disposed in very nice clusters. The name Hippocastanum derives from the Latin word for Horse chestnut . WARNING: Horse chestnut is NOT EDIBLE!, see warning at the end of this page.
In spite its popularity in some mediterranean countries, where it is part of traditional recipes, horse chestnut has been proven to exert many health benefits. Scientist and laboratories have investigated some of its active constituents as Aescin, a saponin that has been used to treat venous and microcirculatory problems, proanthocyanidin A-2, effective to lower cholesterol levels...etc. Let's see some of them. Image left: Horse chestnut by Ali T under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0).
Common name: Horse chestnut, Conker tree.
HORSE CHESTNUT ACTIVE CONSTITUENTS
Among the active constituents of Horse chestnut we should highlight Aescin, extracted from the cotyledons and used to treat vascular disorders . Aescin is a saponin present in chestnut used for its medicinal properties in many herbal remedies. One of the most important properties of aescin is its ability to constrict blood vessels, making them less leaky and reducing this way swelling , increasing also venous tone .
Aescin is a saponin present in Horse chestnut used for its medicinal properties in many herbal remedies. One of the most important properties of aescin is its ability to constrict blood vessels, making them less leaky and reducing this way swelling , increasing also venous tone . This vasoconstriction property is similar to that one we saw in Tannins present in wine and Witch hazel.
Aescin gel or aescin cream is used to treat venous and microcirculatory alterations (varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency) and other similar microcirculatory ailments . It seems that these properties are exerted mainly due to the presence of the escinates. Image right: Gewöhnliche Rosskastanie (Aesculus hippocastanum), Mai 2008, by Maja Dumat under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0).
At least one study on the protective effect of Aescin on liver induced injuries in mice showed that aescin exerted a protective effect on endotoxin-induced liver injury .
Another important active constituent of Horse chestnut is a Tannin, the proanthocyanidin A-2, found to be very effective to lower cholesterol levels in a clinic study carried out on certain traditional medicinal herbs rich on tannins.
Others: Coumarin glycosides aesculin, aesculoside, fraxin, flavones, Tannins.
HORSE CHESTNUT TRADITIONAL MEDICINAL USES
Among the many medicinal herbal remedies making use of horse chestnut, we can highlight its use as a very effective piles remedy , for either bland or bleeding .
Horse chestnut has been claimed to be a very effective herbal remedy for the treatment of piles
Among some of its properties the presence of tannins makes Horse chestnut a powerful astringent. Other herbal properties of horse chestnut include anti-pyretic and anti-thrombic properties . Ringworm and haemorrhoids have also been treated externally with Horse chestnut.
AESCULUS HIPPOCASTANUM (HORSE CHESTNUT) COSMETIC USES
Aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut) has also been a source of raw material for the cosmetic industry. The waste water of Horse chestnut has been used to obtain quercetine and kaempferol, two glycosides used to produce cosmetics .
Other studies on Aesculus hippocastanum demonstrated that extracts of Horse chestnut can generate contraction forces in fibroblasts, helping to eliminate wrinkles with a topical application, something that demonstrate that Aesculus hippocastanum can be used as an anti-aging ingredient by the cosmetics industry .
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 Ryogenesis and synthetic seed, Volume 1 By Y. P. S. Bajaj
 The Golden Beads, p. 9.
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 Herbs demystified: a scientist explains how the most common herbal remedies really work By Holly Phaneuf p. 199.
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 Antihypertensive effects of tannins isolated from traditional Chinese herbs as non-specific inhibitors of angiontensin converting enzyme. Liu JC, Hsu FL, Tsai JC, Chan P, Liu JY, Thomas GN, Tomlinson B, Lo MY, Lin JY. Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Taipei Medical University-Wan Fang Hospital, No 111, Hsing Lung Road, Section 3, Wen Shan District, Taipei City 117, Taiwan.
 Flavonoids in horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) seeds and powdered waste water byproducts.
Kapusta I, Janda B, Szajwaj B, Stochmal A, Piacente S, Pizza C, Franceschi F, Franz C, Oleszek W.
Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, State Research Institute, ul. Czartoryskich 8, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland.
 A horse chestnut extract, which induces contraction forces in fibroblasts, is a potent anti-aging ingredient.
Fujimura T, Tsukahara K, Moriwaki S, Hotta M, Kitahara T, Takema Y.
Biological Science Laboratories, Kao Corporation, 2606, Akabane, Ichikai-machi, Haga-gun, Tochigi, 321-3497, Japan.
 At least one study on the protective effect of Aescin on liver induced injuries in mice showed that aescin exerted a protective effect on endotoxin-induced liver injury.
 Plant names in other languages: Porcher Michel H. et al. 1995 - 2020, Sorting Origanum Names. Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database - A Work in Progress. Institute of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia. < http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/Sorting/Origanum.html > (2007).
 [Seed tolerance to predation: Evidence from the toxic seeds of the buckeye tree (Aesculus californica; Sapindaceae).
Mendoza E, Dirzo R.
Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-5020 USA.
- Tags: Aesculus castanea, Aesculus hippocastanum, ANTIPYRETIC, ANTITHROMBIC, Armonit hasusim, Castagna di cavallo, Castagno amaro, Castagno d'India, Châtaignier de mer, Châtaignier des chevaux, CHINESE: 七叶树 Qi ye shu, COSMETIC, CZECH: Jírovec maďal, DANISH: Hestekastanie, DUTCH: Paardekastanje, ENGLISH: Horse chestnut, Falso castagno, FINNISH: Balkaninhevoskastanja, FRENCH: Châtaignier de cheval, GERMAN: Gemeine Roßkastanie, GREEK: 'Αγριοκαστανιά Agriokastania, HEALTH BENEFITS, HEBREW: ערםונית הסוסית, Hestekastanje, Hevoskastanja, Hippocastanum aesculus, Hippocastanum vulgare, Ippocastano di cavallo, ITALIAN: Castagna amara, JAPANESE: マロニエ Maronie, Kashtan konskii, Koňský kaštan, Marron d' Inde, Marron sauvage, Marronnier, Marronnier blanc, Marronnier commun, Marronnier d' Inde, Marronnier faux châtaignier, PORTUGUESE: Castanheiro-da-Índia, Roßkastanie, RUSSIAN: Kаштан конский, SLOVAKIAN: Pagaštan konský, SPANISH: Castaño de Indias, SWEDISH: Hästkastanj, Wilde kastanje, Wilde Paardekastanje, セイヨウトチノキ Seiyou tochi no ki, 欧洲七叶树 Ou zhou qi ye shu, 野板栗 Ye ban li, 马粟子 Ma li zi