Horse chestnut is a tree that produces seeds that are also called horse chestnut. The horse chestnut tree is native to Eastern Europe and has been naturalized all over the northern hemisphere. The botanical name for horse chestnut is Aesculus hippocastanum, and it’s also sometimes called buckeye or Spanish chestnut.1,2 Horse chestnut gets its name from traditionally being used to treat conditions in horses.3
Horse chestnut seeds are a round, brown nut with a shiny exterior and a green husk interior. The seeds, leaves, flowers and bark of the horse chestnut trees are all used for medicinal purposes. The extract from the horse chestnut seed is a common natural remedy sold in a variety of forms.1
Horse Chestnut Health Uses and Health Benefits
Horse chestnut benefits have been extensively studied as a natural treatment for several conditions. Primarily, horse chestnut benefits act on circulatory conditions and inflammation. Horse chestnut uses for skin are also important. Horse chestnut can naturally help reduce pain, burning, itching and swelling caused by skin conditions.1
Horse chestnut has natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and astringent health benefits. It contains natural substances that help to restrict the blood vessels. Horse chestnut benefits include:
- Reducing fever
- Treating joint pain and swelling
- Reducing fluid retention
- Helping restore fertility in some men
- Treating bladder and gastrointestinal problems
Horse chestnut uses for treating ailments include the following:
- Hemorrhoids - Horse chestnut helps heal hemorrhoids by helping to strengthen the veins around the hemorrhoids. It also helps to alleviate pain and swelling.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis - Horse chestnut can be applied topically to help alleviate fluid retention and swelling caused by deep vein thrombosis.
- Eating Disorders - Horse chestnut extract is believed to help improve eating disorders in certain people.
- Sprains, Strains and Sprained Ankle - Using horse chestnut on sprained and strained muscles and joints can help to alleviate pain and reduce swelling. Horse chestnut can help sprains and strains heal faster.
Horse Chestnut Side Effects and Precautions
Do not take raw and unprocessed versions orally as it can cause poisonous horse chestnut side effects. Toxic horse chestnut side effects may include nausea, vomiting, headache and convulsions. Always consult a qualified herbalist before taking horse chestnut for any condition.1