Horse Chestnut is a valuable part of many medicines today for treating varicose veins, CVI, swelling, hemorrhoids and inflammation. It also improves male fertility and has a powerful antioxidant punch!
Horse Chestnut can be seen rolling all over the streets of the Northern hemisphere in the autumn. You may not be able to roast it on an open fire, but you might be interested to know that horse chestnut is an effective dietary supplement that’s been used for hundreds of years to treat a number of conditions:
Horse chestnut is most famous for its beneficial effects on the veins and swelling. Valves in veins help carry blood from the legs back to the heart. When the valves become weakened or damaged it may lead to swelling, pain, fatigue, tension, and itching in the legs.
Leg vein problems, like varicose veins and blood clots (deep vein thrombosis) are risk factors for developing chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).
Conventional medical treatment of CVI typically consists of compression treatment, which many patients don’t like due to the discomfort involved. CVI can be very uncomfortable and painful and it can limit the movements and lower the quality of life.
Luckily, numerous studies ( 1, 2 ) confirm the benefits of horse chestnuts for treating chronic vein problems. Horse chestnut seeds reduce the amount of fluids in lower legs as well as ankle and calf swelling in people with chronic leg problems.
Edema is caused by the buildup of fluids under the skin, leading to swelling. It can affect the lower legs and feet, and symptoms include stiff joints, aching limbs, skin color changes, and weight gain.
Escin, a compound in Horse Chestnut reduces swelling and fever, and helps the contraction of veins and pushing blood back to the heart. It acts by blocking the release of inflammatory compounds and reducing the activation of immune cells that increase inflammation.
Free radicals are compounds that form in your body as a result of things like stress, pollution and a poor diet. Over time, the accumulation of free radicals can lead to cell damage and chronic disease. Antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals and have been shown to reduce the risk of conditions like heart disease and cancer.
Horse chestnut contains some incredible antioxidants, which can help your body to fight free radical damage and fight disease more effectively . Studies have discovered both quercetin and kaempferol glycosides in horse chestnut, two antioxidants praised for their intense disease-fighting capabilities.
According to research published in Alternative Medicine Review, horse chestnut has been shown to improve microcirculation, capillary flow and vascular tone, all of which are helpful in the case of hemorrhoids.
For hemorrhoids, Horse Chestnut is mostly used topically, either as a tea or tincture (or cream) that is applied on the painful place with a cotton ball or as a wash.
We have already mentioned the ingredient called escin, which is very beneficial for veins and swelling. Possibly through the same mechanisms with which horse chestnut positively impacts chronic venous insufficiency, escin seems to safely increase count and quality of sperm in men with varicocele-associated infertility, according to a 2010 research study.
This particular form of infertility is caused by enlarged varicose veins within the scrotum and affects 15 out of 100 men overall and 40 out of 100 men with diagnosed or known infertility.Due to the rate at which male infertility is increasing, it’s become more important than ever to understand ways to support and maintain healthy sperm counts.
Because of it's beneficial effect on blow flow, circulation, veins and its powerful antioxidants, Horse Chestnut is a great helper to keep a healthy, glowing and beautiful skin!
In a laboratory setting, horse chestnut extract has shown cancer-fighting effects on cells related to leukemia, cervical cancer and breast cancer. The most drastic of these were Jurkat cells, used to test a type of cancer known as acute T-cell leukemia, in which the lab tests found a cell death rate of nearly 94 percent.
Dosage and preparation:
Horse Chestnut is mostly used topically, unless otherwise advised by your herbalist or health care practitioner.
Tea - Pour a cup of boiled water over 1 to 2 teaspoons of Horse Chestnut. Cover it and let it steep for 10-20 minutes. One to two cups per day can be drunk, or it can be used as a topical application .Tincture - 20 to 30 drops, 3 times a day.
Poultice/Compress - Take 1-2 tablespoons (or as much as it is needed to cover the affected area) of Horse Chestnut, add enough boiling water so that the mix is covered, put a lid and let it steep for 20-30 minutes. When it has cooled down, apply the mix on a clean peace of gauze and wrap it around the affected area. Let it stay on for at least one hour or overnight.
Precaution: Internal use of the Horse Chestnut at the doses mentioned above is generally regarded as safe, according to Commission E. According to Michael Tierra, “the green outer casing of the fruit is poisonous and narcotic, but the toxic principles appear to be neutralized by cooking. Toxic symptoms include gastroenteritis, enlarged pupils, drowsiness, and flushing of the skin”.
Throughout many of the clinical trials of Horse Chestnut, minor side effects were noted. These included gastrointestinal distress and nausea, light-headedness, headache, and allergic dermatitis reactions. In addition, it is advised that persons suffering from liver or kidney disease avoid any horse chestnut extract.
In Germany, horse chestnut is approved by the Commission E as an OTC (over the counter) drug.
Disclaimer: Information on this website is based on research from the internet, books, articles and studies and/or companies selling herbs online. Statements in this website have not necessarily been evaluated and should not be considered as medical advice. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. for diagnosis or treatment consult your physician.Use herbs in moderation and watch for allergic reactions.If you are taking any other medication, are pregnant, breast feeding or suffering from a medical condition and/or are at all concerned about any of the advice or ingredients consult your doctor before taking the herbs.Remember that diet, exercise and relaxation are equally important to your health.
The most common form of horse chestnut originated in the Balkans but is now found in all temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. You may hear this referred to by various names, though; for example, horse chestnuts native to the U.S. are called “buckeyes.”
Conker trees, as they’re also known, are particularly popular in Great Britain. Conkers is a common fall game in which you thread yarn through horse chestnuts and take turns hitting your opponent’s conker. Unfortunately, many of the horse chestnut trees in Britain are in danger of extinction from a combination of leaf-miner moth infestation and disease. Some sources say that the two million trees currently in Britain might be gone by 2031.
The tree is also well-suited to city growth and is one of the trees often used to line urban streets, including many in Paris, France.
Although the origin of the name “horse chestnut” is usually based on their use with horses, another potential contributing factor is the fact that the leaf stalk leaves a “scar” on the tree after falling that resembles an inverted horseshoe with nail holes.