Be careful not to confuse Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut) with Aesculus californica (California buckeye) or Aesculus glabra (Ohio buckeye). Some people call any of these plants horse chestnut. This information applies to Aesculus hippocastanum only.
Horse chestnut seed extracts are most commonly taken by mouth to treat poor circulation that can cause the legs to swell (chronic venous insufficiency or CVI). There is currently no good scientific evidence to support the use of horse chestnut for other conditions.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Effective for
- Poor circulation that can cause the legs to swell (chronic venous insufficiency or CVI). Taking 300 mg of standardized horse chestnut seed extract can reduce some symptoms of poor blood circulation, such as varicose veins, pain, tiredness, swelling in the legs, itching, and water retention. However, some early research suggests that horse chestnut might be less effective than maritime pine bark for reducing leg swelling and cramps.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Conditions in a man that prevent him from getting a woman pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (male infertility). Early research shows that taking horse chestnut seed extract twice daily for 2 months increases sperm density, but does not improve sperm movement, in men with fertility problems.
- A long-term disorder of the large intestines that causes stomach pain (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS).
- Enlarged prostate.
- Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea).
- Soft tissue swelling from bone fracture and sprains, arthritis, joint pain, and other conditions.
- Other conditions.
Raw horse chestnut seed, bark, flower, and leaf are UNSAFE and can even cause death. Signs of poisoning include stomach upset, kidney problems, muscle twitching, weakness, loss of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, paralysis, and stupor. Accidental ingestion of horse chestnut requires prompt medical attention.
When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if horse chestnut is safe. Some people are allergic to horse chestnut.
When given by IV: There isn't enough reliable information to know if horse chestnut is safe. It might cause side effects such as liver and kidney problems.
When given as a shot: There isn't enough reliable information to know if horse chestnut is safe. It might cause side effects such as liver and kidney problems.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Children: The raw horse chestnut seed, bark, flower, and leaf are UNSAFE and can even cause death. Children have been poisoned by drinking a tea made from the leaves and twigs, or from eating the seeds.
Bleeding disorders: Horse chestnut might slow blood clotting. Taking horse chestnut might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
Digestion problems: Horse chestnut seeds and bark can irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Don't use it if you have a bowel or stomach disorder.
Liver disease: There is one report of liver injury associated with using horse chestnut. If you have a liver condition, it is best to avoid horse chestnut.
Latex allergy: People who are allergic to latex might also be allergic to horse chestnut.
Kidney disease: There is a concern that horse chestnut might make kidney disease worse. Do not use it if you have kidney problems.
Surgery: Horse chestnut might slow blood clotting. Horse chestnut might increase the risk of bleeding if used before surgery. People using horse chestnut should stop at least 2 weeks before surgery.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with HORSE CHESTNUT
Horse chestnut seed might slow blood clotting. Taking horse chestnut seed along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with HORSE CHESTNUT
Horse chestnut might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking horse chestnut along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
Lithium interacts with HORSE CHESTNUT
Horse chestnut might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking horse chestnut might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.
Be cautious with this combination
- For poor blood circulation (chronic venous insufficiency): 300 mg of horse chestnut seed extract containing 50 mg of the active ingredient, aescin, twice daily.
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