Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum

What is Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum

Horse chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum, is an plant product related to, but different than, the toxic California buckeye (A. californica), Ohio buckeye (A. glabra), and yellow buckeye (A. octandra).

Horse chestnut should not be confused with these species, whose buckeyes can be very toxic if ingested. Horse chestnuts are not related to the species used for food (e.g., sweet chestnuts).

The pharmacologically active tripertine saponins of horse chestnut, aescin and aesculin, are found in and extracted from the seed; aescin is considered the major therapeutically active compound.

Horse chestnut is commonly used to improve symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, including fatigue, pain, nocturnal cramping, pruritus and swelling in the legs.

Other uses of horse chestnut seed extracts include the symptomatic relief of the inflammation and swelling of hemorrhoids, arthritis, or sport-injuries such as arthralgia, myalgia, and tendinitis. Horse chestnut is commonly used cosmetically to improve the appearance of leg varicosities.

An injectable formulation, available in Europe, has been used as an adjunct to vascular surgeries or for the treatment of phlebitis.

In Germany, horse chestnut is a frequently prescribed phytomedicinal. The German Commission E originally approved horse chestnut seed extracts in 1984 for the adjunct treatment of chronic venous insufficiency.

The FDA does not recognize horse chestnut as “GRAS” (generally safe and effective).


  1. chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)
  2. edema
  3. hemorrhoids
  4. nutritional supplementation
  5. varicose veins

For nutritional supplementation† to promote leg vein health† and good venous blood flow† in the legs

Side Effects

  1. anaphylactic shock
  2. anaphylactoid reactions
  3. anuria
  4. bleeding
  5. cholestasis
  6. confusion
  7. contact dermatitis
  8. diarrhea
  9. dyspepsia
  10. gastritis
  11. hypoglycemia
  12. lethargy
  13. lupus-like symptoms
  14. mydriasis
  15. myoclonia
  16. myopathy
  17. nausea
  18. palpitations
  19. paresis
  20. pruritus
  21. rash
  22. renal failure (unspecified)
  23. vomiting
  24. weakness

Monitoring Parameters

  • laboratory monitoring not necessary


  • anticoagulant therapy
  • bleeding
  • breast-feeding
  • children
  • coagulopathy
  • diabetes mellitus
  • hepatic disease
  • infants
  • pregnancy
  • renal failure
  • renal impairment
  • surgery


No information is available regarding drug interactions associated with Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum

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