Commonly known as horse chestnut, is a deciduous tree native to the Balkan Peninsula. It is well-known for its distinctive large, palmate leaves and for its flowers and fruits.
European horse-chestnut, horse chestnut
Horse chestnut is an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anti-edematous, astringent, diuretic, vasodilator, venotonic, and a vascular protective.
Horse chestnut has several potential benefits including reducing blood vessel swelling, swelling in the legs, improving circulation, and the improvement of varicose vein symptoms.
Horse chestnut has several health benefits when used medicinally. Those benefits include treating varicose veins with horse chestnut extract which is known to improve swelling symptoms and strengthen blood vessels. Horse chestnut also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that helps to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms of hemorrhoids. It also has antioxidant properties which help protect cells from oxidative stress.
Horse chestnut is commonly used has a topical gel or cream that can be directly applied to conditions such as varicose veins, hemorrhoids, or other areas of inflammation. It can also be taken orally in capsules, tablets,or liquid extracts. While not as common, it can be consumed in the form of a tea or tincture.
Aesculus hippocastanum (or horse chestnut) tree was introduced to Western Europe in the 16th century and became popular for its ornamental value. Many horse chestnut trees were planted in parks and gardens for their large, attractive flowers and distinctive leaves, however the raw seeds, known as cankers, do contain a toxic compound called esculin and caution should be applied when using. The horse chestnut tree also has symbolic significance and the seeds (cankers) have been used in traditional games and contests, especially in the United Kingdom.