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Nutritional Supplement

Horse Chestnut

  • Pain Management

    Sprains and Strains

    Horse chestnut contains a compound called aescin that acts as an anti-inflammatory and reduces edema (swelling with fluid) following injuries.
    Sprains and Strains
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    Horse chestnut contains a compound called aescin that acts as an anti-inflammatory and reduces edema (swelling with fluid) following trauma, particularly sports injuries, surgery, and head injury.6 A topical gel containing 2% of the compound aescin found in horse chestnut is widely used in Germany to treat minor sports injuries, including sprains and strains.7 The gel is typically applied to affected area every two hours until swelling begins to subside.

    Hemorrhoids

    Horse chestnut extracts have been reported to reduce hemorrhoid symptoms.
    Hemorrhoids
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    Horse chestnut extracts have been reported from a double-blind trial to reduce symptoms of hemorrhoids.8 Some doctors recommend taking horse chestnut seed extracts standardized for aescin (also known as escin) content (16–21%), or an isolated aescin preparation, providing 90 to 150 mg of aescin per day.

    Wound Healing

    Horse chestnut contains a compound called aescin that acts as an anti-inflammatory and reduces swelling after trauma, particularly sports injuries, surgery, and head injury.
    Wound Healing
    ×
     

    Horse chestnut contains a compound called aescin that acts as an anti-inflammatory and reduces edema (swelling with fluid) following trauma, particularly sports injuries, surgery, and head injury.9 A topical aescin preparation is popular in Europe for the treatment of acute sprains during sporting events.

  • Skin Protection

    Wound Healing

    Horse chestnut contains a compound called aescin that acts as an anti-inflammatory and reduces swelling after trauma, particularly sports injuries, surgery, and head injury.
    Wound Healing
    ×
     

    Horse chestnut contains a compound called aescin that acts as an anti-inflammatory and reduces edema (swelling with fluid) following trauma, particularly sports injuries, surgery, and head injury.10 A topical aescin preparation is popular in Europe for the treatment of acute sprains during sporting events.

  • Heart and Circulatory Health

    Chronic Venous Insufficiency

    Horse chestnut is traditionally used for venous problems, and its effectiveness has been backed up by an extensive overview of clinical trials.
    Chronic Venous Insufficiency
    ×

    According to an extensive overview of clinical trials, standardized horse chestnut seed extract, which contains the active compound aescin, has been shown to be effective in double-blind and other controlled research, supporting the traditional use of horse chestnut for venous problems.11 In these trials, capsules of horse chestnut extract containing 50 mg of aescin were given two to three times daily for CVI. The positive effect results in part from horse chestnut’s ability to strengthen capillaries, which leads to a reduction in swelling.12

    Varicose Veins

    Horse chestnut seed extract can be taken orally or applied topically treat varicose veins.
    Varicose Veins
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    Horse chestnut seed extract can be taken orally or used as an external application for disorders of venous circulation, including varicose veins.13 Preliminary studies in humans have shown that 300 mg three times per day of a standardized extract of horse chestnut seed reduced the formation of enzymes thought to cause varicose veins.14 Topical gel or creams containing 2% aescin can be applied topically three or four time per day to the affected limb(s).

    Edema

    An ingredient in horse chestnut seed has been shown to effectively reduce post-surgical edema in preliminary trials.
    Edema
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    Aescin, isolated from horse chestnut seed, has been shown to effectively reduce post-surgical edema in preliminary trials.15,16 A form of aescin that is injected into the bloodstream is often used but only under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.

What Are Star Ratings?
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Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

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Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Horse chestnut leaves have been used by herbalists as a cough remedy and to reduce fevers.17 The leaves were also believed to reduce pain and inflammation of arthritis and rheumatism. In traditional herbal medicine, poultices of the seeds have been used topically to treat skin ulcers and skin cancer. Other uses include the internal and external application for problems of venous circulation, including varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

References

1. Guillaume M, Padioleau F. Veinotonic effect, vascular protection, anti-inflammatory and free radical scavenging properties of horse chestnut extract. Arzneimittelforschung 1994;44:25-35.

2. Calabrese C, Preston P. Report of the results of a double-blind, randomized, single-dose trial of a topical 2% escin gel versus placebo in the acute treatment of experimentally-induced hematoma in volunteers. Planta Med 1993;59:394-7.

3. Pittler MH, Ernst E. Horse-chestnut seed extract for chronic venous insufficiency: a criteria-based systematic review. Arch Dermatol 1998;134:1356-60.

4. Diehm C, Trampish HJ, Lange S, Schmidt C. Comparison of leg compression stocking and oral horse chestnut seed extract therapy in patients with chronic venous insufficiency. Lancet 1996;347:292-4.

5. Wilhelm K, Feldmeier C. Thermometric investigations about the efficacy of beta-escin to reduce postoperative edema. Med Klin 1977;72:128-34 [in German].

6. Guillaume M, Padioleau F. Veinotonic effect, vascular protection, anti-inflammatory and free radical scavenging properties of horse chestnut extract. Arzneimittelforschung 1994;44:25-35.

7. Pabst H. Kleine MW. Prevention and therapy of sports injuries. Experiences with an escin-containing gel. Fortschr Med 1986;104:44-6.

8. Nini G, Di Cicco CO. Controlled clinical evaluation of a new anti-hemorrhoid drug, using a completely randomized experimental plan. Clin Ther 1978;86:545-59 [in Italian].

9. Guillaume M, Padioleau F. Veinotonic effect, vascular protection, anti-inflammatory and free radical scavenging properties of horse chestnut extract. Arzneimittelforschung 1994;44:25-35.

10. Guillaume M, Padioleau F. Veinotonic effect, vascular protection, anti-inflammatory and free radical scavenging properties of horse chestnut extract. Arzneimittelforschung 1994;44:25-35.

11. Pittler MH, Ernst E. Horse-chestnut seed extract for chronic venous insufficiency: a criteria-based systematic review. Arch Dermatol 1998;134:1356-60.

12. Bisler H, Pfeifer R, Klüken N, Pauschinger P. Effects of horse-chestnut seed extract on transcapillary filtration in chronic venous insufficiency. Deutche Med Wochenschr 1986;111:1321-9 [in German].

13. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 149.

14. Kreysel HW, Nissen HP, Enghofer E. A possible role of lysosomal enzymes in the pathogenesis of varicosis and the reduction in their serum activity by Venostasin. Vasa 1983;12:377-82.

15. Dini D, Bianchini M, Massa T, Fassio T. Treatment of upper limb lymphedema after mastectomy with escine and levo-thyroxine. Minerva Med 1981;72:2319-22 [in Italian].

16. Wilhelm K, Feldmeier C. Thermometric investigations about the efficacy of beta-escin to reduce postoperative edema. Med Klin 1977;72:128-34 [in German].

17. Chandler RF. Horse chestnut. Canadian Pharm J 1993 Jul/Aug:297, 300.

18. Tyler VE. Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals. Binghamton, NY: Pharmaceutical Products Press, 1994, 112-3.

19. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 148-9.

20. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenburg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum and Beaconsfield, UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd., 1988, 188-9.

21. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 148-9.

22. Hellberg K, Ruschewski W, de Vivie R. Medikamentoes bedingtes post-operatives Nierenversagen nach herzchirurgischen Eingriffen. Thoraxchirurgie 1975;23:396-9.

23. Wilhelm K, Feldmeier C. Postoperative und posttraumatische Oedemprophylaxe und -therapie. Laborchemische Untersuchungen ueber die Nierenvertraeglichkeit von beta-Aescin. Med Klin 1975;70:2079-83.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.

Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.