Horse chestnut, a tree native to the Balkan Peninsula and grow throughout the Northern Hemisphere, has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Horse chestnut seed extract is often standardized to contain 16 to 20 percent aescin (escin), the active ingredient. Topical preparations are also available.
Features & Benefits
- Horse chestnut seed extract has been used to treat chronic venous insufficiency (a condition in which the veins do not efficiently return blood from the legs to the heart)
- Also used to treat hemorrhoids
- Preliminary evidence suggestions that horse chestnut seed extract may be as effective as wearing compression stockings
- Anti-inflammatory action has been documented for horse chestnut seed extract
Suggestions & Precautions
- Do not use raw or unprocessed horse chestnut seeds, leave, bark or flowers. They contain esculin, which is poisonous.
- Side effects are rare when used properly, but may include itching, nausea or gastrointestinal upset
- Hawthorn should not be consumed by individuals with hepatic or renal insufficiency
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