Benefits Of Horse Chestnut Extract: What Are Its Side Effects?

Horse chestnut is used since olden days to cure variety of ailments because of its medicinal properties. Horse chestnut is native of Greece and regions around that country; however the tree is now grown all over the northern hemisphere. Horse chestnut is also called aesculus hippocastunum.

Various parts of horse chestnut tree such as the seed, leaves, bark, and flower are used for medicinal purpose. The tree is unique with a sturdy trunk. The tree gets its name because of the marks on its branches which appear similar to that of horse shoe.

Horse chestnut seed is brown and shiny. The bark and the nut of horse chestnut tree are processed to extract the active medicinal ingredients. Concentrated extract thus obtained is very effective in curing certain ailments such as hemorrhoids and varicose veins.

Horse chestnut extract contains aescin, a triterpene glycoside as the chief medicinal compound. In clinical trials the saponin aescin has been found to accelerate the circulation of blood in the venous system. The aescin found in horse chestnut extract strengthens the venous walls and facilitates the blood to flow smoothly. This medicinal quality of horse chestnut extract has helped many individuals suffering from, hemorrhoids, nocturnal pain in the calf muscles etc.

Health Benefits Of Horse Chestnut Seed Extract

The extract is prepared from the seeds of horse chestnut.

  • The extract has been used since centuries for the treatment of circulatory system disorders such as inflammation of veins called phlebitis, and varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
  • The extract of horse chestnut is also beneficial in treating diarrhea with fever.
  • Enlargement of prostate comes in the purview of horse chestnut treatment.
  • The extract of horse chestnut bark is used for treating malaria and dysentery.
  • Some people have found relief from applying the leaves of horse chestnuts on skin ulcers.
  • Due to its anti inflammatory properties, horse chestnut extract is useful to relive aches and pain and swelling of arthritis.
  • The extract reduces fragility of the veins by inhibiting the enzyme hyaluronidase, thus reducing edema in varicose veins.
  • The extract is also beneficial in swelling of the soft tissue, fracture of the bones, abdominal cramps during menstruation due to its anti inflammatory properties.
  • As it is beneficial in venous insufficiency, horse chestnut extract is useful in night time cramps.

Side Effects Of Horse Chestnut Extract

  • Do not use raw seeds, bark, leaves or flowers of horse chestnuts because they contain esculin, a poisonous compound.
  • When horse chestnut seed is properly processed it gets refined and concentrated. The poisonous compound esculin is removed and after that it can be used safely for a short term treatment. Though in some patients, it may cause gastric irritation and nausea in small proportion.
  • You should inform your health care provider about the herbal medicines you are taking.
  • Horse chestnut extract is known to decrease blood sugar in diabetics. If you are diabetic and you are taking anti diabetic pills, consult your doctor in this regard as you might need to change the dose of your medicine.
  • If you have latex allergy, horse chestnuts extract may not suit you or you may have an allergy to horse chestnut.
  • The extract increases the potency of anti coagulant and anti platelet drugs. Thus taking horse chestnut extract may cause bruising and bleeding if you are taking anti coagulants with it.