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Horse Chestnut Seed

Aesculus hippocastanum

Horse chestnut seed was traditionally used in the treatment of rheumatism and neuralgia and conditions of venous congestion, particularly with dull, aching pain and fullness. Other major uses include rectal complaints and reflex conditions attributed to rectal involvement (including headache, spasmodic asthma, dizziness, disturbed digestion). Research now suggests the herb as a suitable remedy for lower limb circulatory disorders such as varicose veins.


200mg 1-3 times daily, standardised to contain 18-20 percent aescin. May be used long term within normal dosage range.

Potential applications

Prophylactic use to decrease the incidence of deep vein thrombosis following surgery (DVT). Useful for economy class syndrome (long haul airline travel). Venous insufficiency (especially varicose veins, haemorrhoids), rheumatism, neuralgia and disease states associated with inflammatory congestion e.g. leg ulceration. Also beneficial in disorders of local tissue oedema such as carpal tunnel syndrome, Bell's palsy, dysmenorrhoea, intervertebral disc lesions, soft tissue injuries, swelling and minor surgery.

Known contraindications

Should not be applied to broken or ulcerated skin.


As with all saponin-containing herbs, oral use may cause irritation of the gastric mucous membranes and reflux in a few cases. No known drug interactions.

Use in conjunction with

Although effective in isolation, horsechestnut may be used along with other vascular protective agents such as grapeseed/pycnogenol, antioxidants, flax seed oil, quercetin, ester C and hawthorn berry.

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