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 (astringent property), 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.
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 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 .
Aescin side effects:
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 Herbs demystified: a scientist explains how the most common herbal remedies really work By Holly Phaneuf p. 199.
 Leung's encyclopedia of common natural ingredients: used in food, drugs, and cosmetics By Ikhlas A. Khan, Ehab A. Abourashed p. 365.
 Microcirculatory efficacy of topical treatment with aescin + essential phospholipids gel in venous insufficiency and hypertension: new clinical observations.
Belcaro G, Cesarone MR, Dugall M.
Irvine2 Vascular Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Sciences, G. D'Annunzio University, Italy.
 Treatment of chronic venous insufficiency.
Rathbun SW, Kirkpatrick AC.
Department of Medicine, Cardiovascular Section, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 920 Stanton L. Young Boulevard, WP 3120, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA.
 Responsiveness of human varicose saphenous veins to vasoactive agents.
Brunner F, Hoffmann C, Schuller-Petrovic S.
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Graz, Austria.
 The mode of action of aescin and the release of prostaglandins.
Berti F, Omini C, Longiave D.