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The common names for horse chestnut are buckeye, chestnut, and California buckeye. Its scientific names are Aesculus glabra, Aesculus californica and Aesculus hippocastanum2.
Horse chestnut is a member of the genus Aesculus. All members of this genus grow as big shrubs or trees. Horse chestnut is a fruit with a thick, leathery husk that has dark nuts. When the husks dry up, they release the nuts. Its white and pink flowers grow in groups.
Horse chestnut plant was first planted in Western Asia and Southeastern Europe. Currently, the plant is grown in many parts of the world.
Horse chestnut contains the following ingredients: the seed has aescin and triterpene glycosides. Other ingredients include fraxin, coumarin glycosides aesculin and scopolin. Studies have also identified other ingredients such as tannins, leucocyanidin and allantoin.
Benefits of Horse Chestnut
Horse chestnut offers tremendous health benefits to your health. The health benefits of horse chestnut are as follows1, 3, 4:
Horse chestnut has anti-inflammatory properties that make an excellent remedy for inflammation in the body. It fights inflammatory cells and relieve you against pain. This herb has been used to lower swellings in the walls of veins in human beings. It is also used to lower the amount of fluids retained in the body by making blood capillaries more permeable so as to absorb extra fluids back in the circulatory system.
Cure chest pain
The roots of chestnut plant have been used to treat chest pain. The roots are grounded into powder form and contain analgesic properties to relieve you from pain.
Treatment of neuralgia
Neuralgia is a severe pain that results from a damaged or irritated nerve. The affected nerve may be found anywhere in the body. Damage to your nerves may be as a result of the infections, an autoimmune disorder such as multiple sclerosis, aging and diabetes.
Neuralgia can be grouped into the following:
This form of neuralgia occurs as a result of viral infections from shingles. The infections can occur anywhere in the body. This infection is characterized by painful blisters and rashes on the skin. The pain may vary from not being severe to severe and intermittent or persistent. The pain can also occur along the way of your vein.
Trigeminal neuralgia is pain that occurs in the trigeminal nerve that runs from your brain and braches into many different parts in the face. The pain occurs when the blood vessels exert pressure on this nerve at the point where it meets the brainstem. Apart from pressure, injury and multiple sclerosis can also damage the nerve.
Trigeminal neuralgia causes severe and recurring pain in your face especially on one side. This occurs mostly in people above the age of 50 years.
When you are experiencing pain in your veins, you can try chestnut extracts. Chestnut extracts contain analgesic properties which are excellent in relieving any pain including neuralgia.
Hemorrhoids is a condition where veins in a patient’s anus and lower rectum become swollen. Hemorrhoids causes are not known but it is believed that one of the causes is straining during bowel movement. Another cause is increased pressure exerted on the veins during pregnancy.
Hemorrhoids can develop inside your rectum, below the skin or in the areas around the anus. This condition is very common and almost every adult have had this condition at one point in their live. Hemorrhoids usually do not cause symptoms but they make you uncomfortable and bleed a lot.
There are many treatment options to relieve the symptoms of hemorrhoids. One of those treatment options is use of horse chestnut. Horse chestnut extracts are good in treating pain associated with hemorrhoids thanks to their anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
Strengthens the veins
Weak veins or those under stress are more likely not to function properly. They also may allow fluids to leak into spaces in the body which may lead to swellings. Build up of fluids is common in people who stand for long periods of time. Being overweight also contributes to this problem due to high pressure exerted on the weak veins leading to swellings.
Horse chestnut contains aescin which acts as an antioxidant as well as protecting elastin and collagen. Elastin and collagen are the main proteins that form the structure of the veins. When these components are protected, capillaries and other blood vessels stay stronger and therefore are able to withstand any form of stress they are exposed to.
According to a study done in West German reported in the early 1980s, horse chestnut was able to positively affect collagen content and the structure of varicose veins. This helped enhance the normal function of the veins.
Other health benefits
Other health benefits of horse chestnut include:
- It can be used to cure leg ulcers. Chestnut can be applied as cream on the affected area on the skin so as to treat it.
- It has also been used to treat rheumatism. Oil extract from chestnut seed is applied on the affected area to treat this condition.
- It is also use d to treat phlebitis, a condition where the veins become inflamed. Chestnut in form of topical extracts is applied on the swollen veins in order to lower the swellings.
- It can be used to manage Oedema, a condition where fluids accumulates in the body which causes swellings in the affected tissues. The swellings may occur on the whole body or on specific parts basing on the cause. Extracts from chestnut are able to lower swellings in the lower leg, reduce pain, lower heaviness in the leg and prevent fatigue.
The recommended dosage for chestnut taken orally is 20 to 120 mg. Topical gels are also available.
The use of chestnut and its derivatives can cause the following side effects:
You will experience nausea and stomach upsets. This can be relieved when you take film coated tablets. Other symptoms you may experience which are not severe are itching, dizziness and headache.
Before using this herb, consult your doctor so as to prevent any complications that may arise.
- Horse chestnut. https://www.drugs.com/npc/horse-chestnut.html
- Horse chestnut. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/
- Horse chestnut. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/horsechestnut