Aesculus hippocastanum

1567px-Aesculus_hippocastanum_—_Flora_Batava_—_Volume_v12-1

Sipp, C. (1865). Flora Batava of Afbeeldingen en Beschrijving van Nederlandsche Gewassen, XII. Deel. Retrieved from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aesculus_hippocastanum_%E2%80%94_Flora_Batava_%E2%80%94_Volume_v12.jpg

Botanical Name: Aesculus hippocastanum
Common name: Horse Chestnut (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 524)
Family: Hippocastanaceae (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 686)
Parts used: Seeds and pericap (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 524)

History/Folklore: Native to Asia Minor and grown ornamentally through Europe (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 685).

Constituents:

  • Saponins (referred to as escin), notably β-escin (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 686)
  • Flavonoids
  • Coumarin derivatives: esculetin and esculin (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 524)
  • Fatty acids: linolenic, palmitic and steric acids (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 524)
  • Sterols: stigmasterol, α-spinasterol and β-sitosterol (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 524)

 

Actions

  • Venotonic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 685; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 524)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 685; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 524)
  • Astringent (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 524)

 

Indications

  • Chronic venous insufficiency (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 685)
  • Varicose veins (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 685)
  • Varicose ulcer (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 685)
  • Oedema of lower limbs (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 685)
  • To decrease incidence of deep venous thrombosis following surgery (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 685)
  • Haematoma (topical) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 685)
  • Contusions (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 685)
  • Non-penetrating wounds (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 685)
  • Sports injuries involving oedema (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 685)
  • Restless leg syndrome (Bone, 2003, p. 281)
  • Hamorrhoids (Bone, 2003, p. 281)
  • Neuralgia (Bone, 2003, p. 281)
  • Rheumatism (Bone, 2003, p. 281)

 

Preparation & Dosage:

  • 2-5mL liquid extract (1:2)/day
  • 15-35mL liquis extract (1:2)/week

(Bone, 2003, p. 281)

  • Infusion: 1-2tsp dried fruit/tds (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 524)

 

Cautions & Contraindications:

  • Should not be applied to broken or ulcerated skin due to irritating nature of saponins (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 695)
  • Pregnancy and lactation (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 695)
  • Caution to be taken in individuals with pre-existing cholestasis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 695)

 

Interactions

  • Reported interaction of escin with antibiotic gentamicin (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 695)
  • Coumarin derivatives may theoreticallt interact with anticoagulant medications (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 524).
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