Horse Chestnut: Medical Uses Horse chestnut is used to improve circulation for varicose veins and to treat leg cramps and hemorrhoids. Historical Uses Historically, horse chestnut seeds were used as an anticoagulant and for nocturnal leg cramps. Growth The deciduous horse chestnut tree grows in the northern hemisphere. It prefers well-drained soil and sun or partial shade. Part Used • Seed extract Major Chemical Compounds • Triterpenic saponin aescin Horse Chestnut: Clinical Uses Horse chestnut is used to improve circulation and to treat leg cramps, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and chronic venous insufficiency. It is approved by the German Commission E for “chronic venous insufficiency”. Mechanism of Action Horse chestnut has anti-inflammatory effects. It also reduces capillary permeability, protects the integrity of the veins, and reduces levels of leukocytes and proteoglycan hydrolases in limbs affected by chronic venous insufficiency. Horse Chestnut: Dosage Seed extract: 300 mg twice daily, standardized to contain 15 to 21 percent aescin. Some studies used 50 mg of aescin per capsule twice a day. Do not make tea out of raw, unprocessed horse chestnut seeds. Gel or lotion: Apply 2 percent aescin Read more […]
Archive for category Horse chestnut'
Aesculus hippocastanum L. (Hippocastanaceae) Synonym(s) and related species Aesculus. Hippocastanum vulgare Gaertn. Pharmacopoeias Horse Chestnut (US Ph 32); Powdered Horse Chestnut (US Ph 32); Powdered Horse Chestnut Extract (The United States Ph 32). Constituents Horse chestnut seeds contain more than 30 saponins, a complex mixture known as ‘aescin’ or ‘escin’ (to which it may be standardised), based on the aglycones protoescigenin and barringtogenol-C. Other compounds including sterols and triterpenes, such as friedelin, taraxerol and spinasterol, and flavonoids, based on quercetin and kaempferol, are also present. The natural coumarins found in horse chestnut (such as aesculin (esculin) and fraxin) do not possess the minimum structural requirements for anticoagulant activity. Use and indications Horse chestnut extracts (aescin) are used to treat vascular insufficiency, especially varicose veins, venous ulcers, haemorrhoids and inflammation. They are usually applied as topical preparations, particularly gel formulations, but a licensed oral dosage form is also available. There is a considerable body of clinical and pharmacological evidence to support their use. Pharmacokinetics An isolated in vitro Read more […]
Dosage Range • CVI: HCSE standardised to 50-100 mg escin twice daily. The dose may be reduced to a maintenance dose of 50 mg escin once daily after 8 weeks. • Australian manufacturers recommend 2-5 mL/day of 1:2 liquid extract. • 1-2 g dried seed daily. Adverse Reactions According to clinical trials A. hippocastanum and horse chestnut standardised extract appear to be well tolerated with only mild, infrequent reports of adverse reactions including gastric irritation, skin irritation, dizziness, nausea, headache and pruritus. Post marketing surveillance reports adverse effects of 0.7% (Micromedex 2003, NMCD 2006, PDRHealth 2006). Horse chestnut contains a toxic glycoside esculin (aesculin), a hydroxycoumarin that may increase bleeding time because of its antithrombin activity and may be lethal when the raw seeds, bark, flower or leaves are used orally. Poisoning has been reported from children drinking tea made with twigs and leaves. Symptoms of overdose include diarrhea, vomiting, reddening of the face, severe thirst, muscle twitching, weakness, loss of coordination, visual disturbances, enlarged pupils, depression, paralysis, stupor and loss of consciousness. Horse chestnut can also cause Read more […]
Clinical Use HCSE is chiefly used in chronic pathological conditions of the veins where there is increased activity of lysosomal enzymes resulting in damage to and hyperpermeability of vascularwalls. Numerous pharmacological and clinical trials have confirmed the efficacy of HCSE (horse chestnut standardised extract) in stabilising the walls of the venous system and improving conditions such as chronic venous insufficiency. CHRONIC VENOUS INSUFFICIENCY There is strong evidence that HCSE is an effective treatment for chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). A recent Cochrane review that assessed 17 RCT of HCSE capsules (standardised to escin) concluded that signs and symptoms of CVI improve with HCSE as compared with placebo. Six of seven placebo-controlled trials reported a significant reduction in leg pain for horse chestnut standardised extract compared with placebo, another study reported a statistically significant improvement compared with baseline and one study reported that HCSE may be as effective as treatment with compression stockings. Pruritus was assessed in eight placebo-controlled trials. Four trials (n = 407) showed a statistically significant reduction compared with placebo and two trials showed a statistically Read more […]
Historical Note The horse chestnut tree is commonly found in ornamental gardens throughout Europe, growing up to 35 metres in height. The seeds are not edible due to the presence of alkaloid saponins, but both the dried seeds and bark of the horse chestnut tree have been used medicinally since the 1 6th century. The seeds are also used for the children’s game ‘conkers’ and were used to produce acetone during World Wars I and II. In modern times, a dry extract referred to as horse chestnut seed extract (HCSE) is standardised to contain 1 6-21 % triterpene glycosides (anhydrous escin). HCSE has been extensively researched for its beneficial effects and is commonly used by general practitioners in Germany for the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency. Homoeopathic preparations of both the leaf and seed are also used for treating haemorrhoids, lower back pain, and varicose veins and the buds and flower are used to make the Bach flower remedies chestnut bud and white chestnut. The active component escin is also used intravenously and topically in cosmetics. Other Names Aescule, buckeye, chestnut, Castano de Indias, graine de marronier d’inde, escine, eschilo, hestekastanje, hippocastani semen, marron europeen, marronnier, Read more […]