Horse Chestnut: 9 therapeutic properties, uses and benefits

The horse-chestnut, whose botanical name is Aesculus hippocastanum , is a tree from Asia and south-eastern Europe, but is now grown all over the world where it lives well in temperate zones up to 900 meters. of height; currently it is present in abundance in Western Europe. From its seeds, chestnuts, a powerful remedy for vascular disorders is obtained, widely used in aesthetics in face and body treatments: escin , a mixture of saponins, or substances with a strong anti-inflammatory, vase-protective activity and vase-maker.

Used parts of the horse chestnut

The parts used are bark and seeds, or chestnuts, which are harvested in October and then dried in the sun. Their powerful beneficial properties make them a valid remedy both in phytotherapy and in medicine on the problems concerning in particular the venous microcirculation. The horse chestnut is one of the most used remedies in aesthetics, herbal medicine and medicine because it is able to reduce swelling, stimulate the reabsorption of congested tissues. In fact, it works by eliminating waste and toxins and thus draining tissue and venous inflammation; it is in fact the most used remedy by angiologists for intervening on venous insufficiency and varicose veins.

The 9 benefits of the Horse Chestnut

The properties of the horse chestnut are innumerable: anti-haemorrhagic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, vaso-constrictor, venous tonic, soothing, vessel-protector, phlebotonic, draining.

  1. Improves venous circulation of feet and legs. The lack of drainage of excess fluids is often due to a malabsorption by the veno-lymphatic system of interstitial fluids. There are many women, but also men, who suffer from this disorder, suffering from pain, swelling, cramps and heaviness in the limbs. The excellent properties of the horse chestnut act on the causes that determine water retention and edema: powerful draining, the horse chestnut, reduces swellingand the congestion of the vessels, stimulating the reabsorption of stagnant interstitial fluids in the tissues, not effectively drained towards the discharge ways, through the improvement of blood circulation. Consequently there will also be an improvement in many imperfections of the body and face related to poor circulation. Its properties in fact facilitate the elimination of excess liquids that are the basis of multiple imperfections such as pefs ( cellulite ), veno-lymphatic stasis, “orange peel” skin, telangiectasias (capillaries), sensitive skin, slowed microcirculation , swelling, heaviness, tenderness and tingling of the lower limbs with draining / decongesting effect on the tissues.
  2. Reinforcing action on capillaries and veins. The beneficial effects of the horse chestnut are evidenced by what is called the phlegm-tonic action , that is, a process that tones up, giving strength and turgidity, to the internal tunics of the capillaries and veins, above all those damaged that give pain, while at the same time exerting a preventive action on healthy microcirculation.
  3. Vase-protective action: it is an excellent vasoprotector thanks to flavonoids
  4. Anti-inflammatory effect. By draining excess fluids that settle between the cell and the cell, damaging and inflaming cells and tissues, because they are full of toxins, the horse chestnut performs an anti-inflammatory and poisoning action, clearing the interstitial tissues of excess slag.
  5. Anti-inflammatory activity on hemorrhoids. The escin, extracted from the horse chestnut, due to its anti-inflammatory prerogatives, is able to carry out a vascular-protective, soothing and decongestant action on problems related to anal varices. Topical ointments and creams indicated for rectal way are used in the treatment of hemorrhoidal disease.
  6. Preventive action for the risk of worsening vascular disorders. Who shows problems related to the microcirculation it is good that it carries out a preventive and conservative action of its own aesthetic and health situation.
  7. In fact, it is advisable to take phytotherapeutic preparations with a vaso-protective and phlegm-tonic action for oral use, continuously and / or cyclically depending on the situation.
  8. It is good to resort to methods of elastic restraint, such as elastic stocking stockings with gradual action (there are some for sale also in knee-high and colored), to minimize the risk of obvious capillaries, spider veins, micro-haemorrhages and micro-aneurysms concerning limbs, which may evolve, if not corrected, into more seriousforms such as thrombosis and varicose veins.
  9. It is also advisable to perform manual lymph drainagesessions on the lower limbs to facilitate the flow of stagnant liquids.


The properties of escin in detail

Escin, or better yet, α-escin, is the powerful natural healing remedy that is extracted from the horse chestnut. Once extracted from the plant, this powerful molecule is purified and processed to be introduced into preparations suitable for topical and systemic administration, to intervene in all cases of capillary fragility, ecchymoses, hematomas, petechiae, angiomas, facial and limb species ,

Formulations and methods of use

The parts of the horse chestnut plant can be exploited for their benefits in the form of decoctions, infusions, baths, packs, dyes, extracts, bandage solutions, phialos, draining solutions for drinking, capsules and tablets, ointments, lotions, ointments, gel creams (to be applied directly on the legs and not to be used in case of ulcers or skin irritations).

There are also intravenous solutions exclusively for medical use.

Phlebo-tonics and vaso-protectors by mouth a valid aid for those suffering from venous insufficiency and varicose veins

On sale you can find numerous phytotherapic preparations with a phlegm-tonic and vaso-protective action which, as already mentioned, carry out a protective and draining action on the circulation. For phytotherapeutic products it is recommended to use it for some months, otherwise there is the risk of altering its effectiveness. The cyclical and continuous assumption is an essential prerequisite for obtaining the result. There are different types of phytotherapy in circulation in the form of capsules, tablets or draining liquids:

  • escin is often found in association with red fruits and Butcher’s broom ( Ruscus aculeatus ) for a protective, soothing and anti-inflammatory action;
  • or in draining solutions accompanied with centella asiatica , pilosella and birch .
  • To have a stronger effect, there are pharmaceutical preparations based on jar-protectors and natural phlebotonics, together with pharmacology synthesis molecules, to be taken only by prescription, and taken under strict medical supervision. This type of treatment is usually prescribed to treat problems related to deep vein thrombosis, frostbite, leg ulcers, elephantiasis.

Security and scientific research. Numerous studies have attested to its validity

The use of horse-chestnut based preparations has been tested by numerous scientific studies that have recognized its validity. In 1996 a study carried out in London demonstrated the efficacy of this molecule on problems related to microcirculation and especially in the case of varicose veins.

Contraindications and special warnings

Experimental studies have shown that escin does not cause serious effects on the gastric mucosa, however the capsules may cause irritation; we recommend the use associated with gastro-protectors in those suffering from gastritis and to contact the doctor in charge for the choice of a formulation that is not irritating in the intestine.

Toxic accumulation of the substance was not detected following administration.

The compound was also declared to be free of teratogenic or embryotoxic effects. For administration in pregnancy and on children it is advisable to seek medical attention.


Probably the plant owes its name, which originates from the Greek root hyppos- horse, probably due to the great use that was made of the horse- chestnut tree in the care of horses, in particular a time was used to intervene on chest problems; in fact the Turks used to define the trees of the horse-chestnut tree as the “chestnut trees of horses” because of the practice used at that time.

In ancient times it was also used to alleviate discomfort caused by chilblains . Chilblains consist of a vascular disorder that affects the microcirculation of the hands and feet; they occur in the form of a burning affection, with swelling and redness especially of the ends of the fingers. In order to alleviate the pain and redness caused by chilblains, it was once customary to rely on a homemade chestnut-based remedy that is still used today. Recipe: after boiling a handful of chestnuts in boiling water, peel and chop the boiled chestnuts with a fork; with the obtained pulp make a pack to put on the interested areas, and then wrap it all with a gauze. The compound, which must be left on for a few hours, gives immediate relief from the first application.

by Abdullah Sam
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