Aescin, Aescine, Aesculus hippocastanum, Buckeye, Castaño de Indias, Châtaignier de Mer, Châtaignier des Chevaux, Chestnut, Escine, Faux-Châtaignier, Hippocastani Cortex, Hippocastani Flos, Hippocastani Folium, Hippocastani Semen, Hippocastanum Vulgare Gaertn, Marron Europeen, Marronnier, Marronnier Blanc, Marronnier Commun, Marronnier d'Inde, Marronnier des Chevaux, Pu, Spanish Chestnut, Venastat, Venostasin Retard, Venostat, White Chestnut.<br/><br/>
Overview InformationHorse chestnut is a plant. Its seed, bark, flower, and leaves are used to make medicine. Horse chestnut contains significant amounts of a poison called esculin and can cause death if eaten raw.
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.
Horse chestnut seed and leaf are used for treating varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and swollen veins (phlebitis).
Horse chestnut seed is used for diarrhea, fever, and enlarged prostate.
Horse chestnut seeds can be processed so that the active chemicals are separated out and concentrated. The resulting “extract” is used for treating a blood circulation problem called chronic venous insufficiency.
Horse chestnut leaf is used for eczema, menstrual pain, soft tissue swelling from bone fracture and sprains, cough, arthritis, and joint pain.
Horse chestnut branch bark is used for malaria and dysentery.
Some people apply horse chestnut branch bark to the skin for lupus and skin ulcers.
How does it work?Horse chestnut contains a substance that thins the blood. It also makes it harder for fluid to leak out of veins and capillaries and weakly promotes fluid loss through the urine to help prevent water retention (edema).
Uses & Effectiveness
Likely Effective for
- Varicose veins and other circulatory problems (chronic venous insufficiency). Taking horse chestnut seed extract containing 16% to 20% of the chemical aescin 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 Pycnogenol for reducing leg swelling and cramps.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Male infertility. Early research suggests that taking horse chestnut seed extract increases sperm density, but not improve sperm movement, in men with fertility problems.
- Enlarged prostate.
- Menstrual pain.
- Soft tissue swelling from bone fracture and sprains, arthritis, joint pain, and other conditions.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyHorse chestnut is LIKELY SAFE for most people when a standardized seed extract product is taken by mouth for a short amount of time. Standardized products have been tested to contain exact amounts of a verified chemical. Look for products which have had the toxic substance esculin removed. Horse chestnut products can sometimes cause side effects such as dizziness, headache, stomach upset, and itching.
Pollen from the horse chestnut flower can cause allergic reactions. Rectal (suppository) use of horse chestnut may cause inflammation and itching in the anal area.
Raw horse chestnut seed, bark, flower, and leaf are UNSAFE and can even cause death when taken by mouth by adults or children. Signs of poisoning include stomach upset, kidney problems, muscle twitching, weakness, loss of coordination, enlarged eye pupils, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, paralysis, and stupor. Accidental ingestion of horse chestnut requires prompt medical attention. Children have been poisoned by drinking a tea made from the leaves and twigs or eating seeds.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking the raw seed, bark, flower or leaf is UNSAFE and can lead to death. Not enough is known about the safety of using horse chestnut seed extract from which the poisonous esculin has been removed during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using horse chestnut if you are pregnant or nursing.
Bleeding disorders: Horse chestnut might slow blood clotting. Taking horse chestnut might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
Diabetes: Horse chestnut might lower blood sugar. If you have diabetes, watch for signs of too low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and check your blood sugar carefully.
Digestion problems: Horse chestnut seeds and bark can irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Don’t use it if you have bowel or stomach disorders.
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 slot 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.
Be cautious with this combination
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.
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.<br /><br /> 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.
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.<br /><br /> 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.
The following dose has been studied in scientific research:
- For poor blood circulation (chronic venous insufficiency): 300 mg of horse chestnut seed extract containing 50 mg of the active ingredient, aescin, twice daily.
- Hardin, J. Human Poisoning from Native and Cultivated Plants. Durham, NC: Duke University Press;1974.
- Horacek, J. [Experience with horse chestnut containing medium in the treatment of varicose leg ulcers]. Z.Haut.Geschlechtskr. 9-15-1969;44(18):743-746. View abstract.
- Jadad, A. R., Moore, R. A., Carroll, D., Jenkinson, C., Reynolds, D. J., Gavaghan, D. J., and McQuay, H. J. Assessing the quality of reports of randomized clinical trials: is blinding necessary? Control Clin.Trials 1996;17(1):1-12. View abstract.
- Kalbfleisch W and Pfalzgraf H. Odemprotektiva: aquipotente dosierung: rokastaniensamenextrakt und O -beta- hydroxyethylrutoside im vergleich. Therapiewoche 1989;39:3703-3707.
- Lange, S., Freitag, G., and Trampisch, H. J. Practical experience with the design and analysis of a three-armed equivalence study. Eur.J Clin Pharmacol. 1998;54(7):535-540. View abstract.
- Lohr E, Garanin P, Jesau P, and et al. [Anti-edemic therapy in chronic venous insufficiency with tendency to formation of edema]. Munch.Med Wochenschr 1986;128(34):579-581.
- Longiave, D., Omini, C., Nicosia, S., and Berti, F. The mode of action of aescin on isolated veins: relationship with PGF2 alpha. Pharmacol.Res Commun. 1978;10(2):145-152. View abstract.
- Luzzi, R., Feragalli, B., Belcaro, G., Cesarone, M. R., Cornelli, U., Dugall, M., and Hosoi, M. Aescin: microcirculatory activity. Effects of accessory components on clinical and microcirculatory efficacy. Panminerva Med. 2011;53(3 Suppl 1):51-55. View abstract.
- Masaki, H., Sakaki, S., Atsumi, T., and Sakurai, H. Active-oxygen scavenging activity of plant extracts. Biol Pharm Bull. 1995;18(1):162-166. View abstract.
- Matsuda H, Yuhao, L, Murakami T, and et al. Antiinflammatory effects of escins Ia, Ib, IIa, and IIb from horse chestnut, the seeds of Aesculus Hippocastanum L. Bioorganic Med Chem Lett 1997;7(13):1611-1616.
- Matsuda, H., Li, Y., Murakami, T., Ninomiya, K., Yamahara, J., and Yoshikawa, M. Effects of escins Ia, Ib, IIa, and IIb from horse chestnut, the seeds of Aesculus hippocastanum L., on acute inflammation in animals. Biol Pharm Bull. 1997;20(10):1092-1095. View abstract.
- Morales Paris CA and Barros Soares RM. Efficacy and safety on use of dried horse chestnut extract in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency of the limbs. Revista Brasileira de Medicina 1993;50(11):1563-1565.
- Neiss, A. and Bohm, C. [Demonstration of the effectiveness of the horse-chestnut-seed extract in the varicose syndrome complex]. MMW.Munch.Med Wochenschr 2-13-1976;118(7):213-216. View abstract.
- Ottillinger, B. and Greeske, K. Rational therapy of chronic venous insufficiency--chances and limits of the therapeutic use of horse-chestnut seeds extract. BMC.Cardiovasc.Disord. 2001;1(1):5. View abstract.
- Pilz E. Oedemas in venous disease [Ödeme bei Venenerkrankungen]. Med Welt 1990;41(12):1143-1144.
- Pittler MH and Ernst E. Efficacy of horse chestnut seed extract for chronic venous insufficiency: a systematic review of randomized trials [abstract]. Altern Ther Health Med 2001;7(3):108.
- Pittler, M. H. and Ernst, E. Horse chestnut seed extract for chronic venous insufficiency. Cochrane Database.Syst Rev 2003;(1):CD003230. View abstract.
- Pittler, M. H. and Ernst, E. Horse chestnut seed extract for chronic venous insufficiency. Cochrane.Database.Syst.Rev 2006;(1):CD003230. View abstract.
- Pittler, M. H. and Ernst, E. Horse chestnut seed extract for chronic venous insufficiency. Cochrane.Database.Syst.Rev. 2004;(2):CD003230. View abstract.
- Pittler, M. H. and Ernst, E. Horse chestnut seed extract for chronic venous insufficiency. Cochrane.Database.Syst.Rev. 2012;11:CD003230. View abstract.
- Rehn, D., Unkauf, M., Klein, P., Jost, V., and Lucker, P. W. Comparative clinical efficacy and tolerability of oxerutins and horse chestnut extract in patients with chronic venous insufficiency. Arzneimittelforschung 1996;46(5):483-487. View abstract.
- Rudofsky G and et al. Odemprotektive wirkung und klinische wirksamkeit von ro kastaniensamenextrakt im doppeltblindversuch. Phleb Prokto 1986;15(2):47-54.
- Schrader, E., Schwankl, W., Sieder, C., and Christoffel, V. [Comparison of the bioavailability of beta-aescin after single oral administration of two different drug formulations containing an extract of horse-chestnut seeds]. Pharmazie 1995;50(9):623-627. View abstract.
- Siebert, U., Brach, M., Sroczynski, G., and Berla, K. Efficacy, routine effectiveness, and safety of horsechestnut seed extract in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and large observational studies. Int Angiol. 2002;21(4):305-315. View abstract.
- Simini B. Horse-chestnut seed extract for chronic venous insufficiency. Lancet 1996;337(9009):1182-1183.
- Snow, A., Halpenny, D., McNeill, G., and Torreggiani, W. C. Life-threatening rupture of a renal angiomyolipoma in a patient taking over-the-counter horse chestnut seed extract. J Emerg.Med 2012;43(6):e401-e403. View abstract.
- Soukand, R. and Kalle, R. Change in medical plant use in Estonian ethnomedicine: a historical comparison between 1888 and 1994. J.Ethnopharmacol. 5-17-2011;135(2):251-260. View abstract.
- Steiner M and Hilemanns HG. Tests for anti-oedema action of a venous therapy [Untersuchung zur oedemprotektiven Wirkung eines Venentherapeutikums]. MMW.Munch.Med Wochenschr 1986;128(31):551-552.
- Steiner M and Hillemanns HG. Venostatin retard in the management of venous problems during pregnancy. Phlebology 1990;5(1):41-44.
- Steiner M. Untersuchungen zur odemvermindernden und odemportektiven wirking von ro kastaniensamenextrakt. Phlebol Prokto 1990;19:239-242.
- Suter, A., Bommer, S., and Rechner, J. Treatment of patients with venous insufficiency with fresh plant horse chestnut seed extract: a review of 5 clinical studies. Adv Ther 2006;23(1):179-190. View abstract.
- Tiffany N, Ulbricht C, Bent S, and et al. Horse chestnut: a multidisciplinary clinical review. Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy 2002;2(1):71-85.
- Vayssairat, M., Debure, C., Maurel, A., and Gaitz, J. P. Horse-chestnut seed extract for chronic venous insufficiency. Lancet 4-27-1996;347(9009):1182. View abstract.
- Wang, G. J. and Liu, J. [Clinical randomized controlled trial on ultrashort wave and magnetic therapy for the treatment of early stage distal radius fractures]. Zhongguo Gu.Shang 2012;25(7):572-575. View abstract.
- Williams, M. C. and Olsen, J. D. Toxicity of seeds of three Aesculus spp to chicks and hamsters. Am J Vet.Res 1984;45(3):539-542. View abstract.
- Xie, Q., Zong, X., Ge, B., Wang, S., Ji, J., Ye, Y., and Pan, L. Pilot postoperative ileus study of escin in cancer patients after colorectal surgery. World J.Surg. 2009;33(2):348-354. View abstract.
- Yoshikawa, M., Murakami, T., Yamahara, J., and Matsuda, H. Bioactive saponins and glycosides. XII. Horse chestnut. (2): Structures of escins IIIb, IV, V, and VI and isoescins Ia, Ib, and V, acylated polyhydroxyoleanene triterpene oligoglycosides, from the seeds of horse chestnut tree (Aesculus hippocastanum L., Hippocastanaceae). Chem Pharm Bull.(Tokyo) 1998;46(11):1764-1769. View abstract.
- Abebe W. Herbal medication: potential for adverse interactions with analgesic drugs. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2002;27:391-401. View abstract.
- Argento A, Tiraferri E, Marzaloni M. [Oral anticoagulants and medicinal plants. An emerging interaction]. Ann Ital Med Int. 2000;15:139-43. View abstract.
- Bisler H, Pfeifer R, Kluken N, Pauschinger P. [Effects of horse-chestnut seed on transcapillary filtration in chronic venous insufficiency]. Dtsch Med Wochenschr 1986;111:1321-9. View abstract.
- Blanco C, Diaz-Perales A, Collada C, et al. Class I chitinases as potential panallergens involved in the latex-fruit syndrome. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1999;103:507-13. View abstract.
- Comaish JS, Kersey PJ. Contact dermatitis to extract of horse chestnut (esculin). Contact Dermatitis 1980;6:150-1. View abstract.
- Diaz-Perales A, Collada C, Blanco C, et al. Cross-reactions in the latex-fruit syndrome: A relevant role of chitinases but not of complex asparagine-linked glycans. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1999;104:681-7. View abstract.
- Diehm C, Trampisch HJ, Lange S, Schmidt C. Comparison of leg compression stocking and oral horse-chestnut seed extract in patients with chronic venous insufficiency. Lancet 1996;347:292-4. View abstract.
- Diehm C, Vollbrecht D, Amendt K, Comberg HU. Medical edema protection-clinical benefit in patients with chronic deep vein incompetence. Vasa 1992;21:188-92. View abstract.
- Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Available at: http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/.
- Edem E, Kahyaoglu B, Çakar MA. Acute Effusive Pericarditis due to Horse Chestnut Consumption. Am J Case Rep. 2016;17:305-8. View abstract.
- Greeske K, Pohlmann BK. Horse chestnut seed extract-an effective therapy principle in general practice. Drug therapy of chronic venous insufficiency. Fortschr Med 1996;114:196-200. View abstract.
- Heck AM, DeWitt BA, Lukes AL. Potential interactions between alternative therapies and warfarin. Am J Health Syst Pharm 2000;57:1221-7. View abstract.
- Jaspersen-Schib R, Theus L, Guirguis-Oeschger M, et al. [Serious plant poisonings in Switzerland 1966-1994. Case analysis from the Swiss Toxicology Information Center]. Schweiz Med Wochenschr 1996;126:1085-98. View abstract.
- Koch R. Comparative study of venostatin and pycnogenol in chronic venous insufficiency. Phytother Res 2002:16:S1-S5. Phytother Res 2002:16:S1-S5. View abstract.
- Pittler MH, Ernst E. Horse chestnut seed extract for chronic venous insufficiency (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 3, 2004. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd..
- Pittler MH, Ernst E. Horse-chestnut seed extract for chronic venous insufficiency. A criteria-based systematic review. Arch Dermatol 1998;134:1356-60. View abstract.
- Popp W, Horak F, Jager S, et al. Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) pollen: a frequent cause of allergic sensitization in urban children. Allergy 1992;47:380-3. View abstract.
- Robbers JE, Tyler VE. Tyler's Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals. New York, NY: The Haworth Herbal Press, 1999.
- Schroder H, Clausen N, Ostergard E, Pressler T. Folic acid supplements in vitamin tablets: a determinant of hematological drug tolerance in maintenance therapy of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Ped Hematol Oncol 1986;3:241-7. View abstract.
- Takegoshi K, Tohyama T, Okuda K, et al. A case of Venoplant-induced hepatic injury. Gastroenterol Jpn 1986;21:62-5. View abstract.
- Thalmann C, Freise J, Heitland W, Bacher S. Effects of defoliation by horse chestnut leafminer (Cameraria ohridella) on reproduction in Aesculus hippocastanum. Trees. 2003;17:383-8.
- Alter, H. Zur medikamentosen therapie der varikosis. Z Allg Med 1973;49(17):1301-1304.
- Brunner, F., Hoffmann, C., and Schuller-Petrovic, S. Responsiveness of human varicose saphenous veins to vasoactive agents. Br.J Clin Pharmacol. 2001;51(3):219-224. View abstract.
- Carrasco, O. F., Ranero, A., Hong, E., and Vidrio, H. Endothelial function impairment in chronic venous insufficiency: effect of some cardiovascular protectant agents. Angiology 12-20-2009;60(6):763-771. View abstract.
- Cloarec M. Study on the effect of a new vasoprotective Venostasin administered over a period of 2 months in chronic venous insufficiency of the lower limb (data from 1992). Unpublished. 1992;1.
- De Smet, P. A., Van den Eertwegh, A. J., Lesterhuis, W., and Stricker, B. H. Hepatotoxicity associated with herbal tablets. BMJ 7-13-1996;313(7049):92. View abstract.
- Diehm C, Schmidt C. Venostasin retard gegen Plazebo und Kompression bei Patienten mit CVI II/IIIA. Final Study Report. BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2001;1:5.
- el Dessouki, S. Aflatoxins in cosmetics containing substrates for aflatoxin-producing fungi. Food Chem Toxicol. 1992;30(11):993-994. View abstract.
- Endl, J. and Auinger, W. [Early detection of postoperative deep-vein thrombosis in gynaecological patients by the 125I-Fibrinogen test (author's transl)]. Wien.Klin.Wochenschr. 4-29-1977;89(9):304-307. View abstract.
- Erdlen F. Klinische wirksamkeit von Venostasin retard im Doppelblindversuch. Med Welt 1989;40:994-996.
- Erler M. Rokastaniensamenextrakt bei der therapie peripherer venoser odeme: ein klinischer therapievergleich. Med Welt 1991;42(7):593-596.
- Fang, Y., Zhao, L., Yan, F., Xia, X., Xu, D., and Cui, X. Escin improves sperm quality in male patients with varicocele-associated infertility. Phytomedicine. 2010;17(3-4):192-196. View abstract.
- Friederich, H. C., Vogelsberg, H., and Neiss, A. [Evaluation of internally effective venous drugs]. Z.Hautkr. 6-1-1978;53(11):369-374. View abstract.
- Grasso A and Covaglia E. Two cases of suspected toxic tubulonephrosis due to escine. Gass Med Ital 1976;135:581-584.
- Guillaume, M. and Padioleau, F. Veinotonic effect, vascular protection, antiinflammatory and free radical scavenging properties of horse chestnut extract. Arzneimittelforschung 1994;44(1):25-35. View abstract.
Have you ever purchased HORSE CHESTNUT?
Did you or will you purchase this product in-store or online?
Where did you or where do you plan to purchase this product?
Where did you or where do you plan to purchase this product?
What factors influenced or will influence your purchase? (check all that apply)
Where did you or where do you plan to purchase this product?
Do you buy vitamins online or instore?
What factors are most important to you? (check all that apply)