- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Benefits of Horse Chestnut – Where to Buy Horse Chestnut Extract
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If you will go through the books of naturopathy or natural/alternative medicine, you will see a lot of mention about horse chestnut which is a beautiful and tall deciduous tree. Horse chestnut extract has been used since the ancient times for treatment of various disorders of circulatory system mainly varicose veins. The scientific name of horse chestnut is Aesculus hippocastanum. This deciduous tree belongs to the family of Hippocastanaceae which is a small group of shrubs and trees that grow up to 15 to 20 meters high. It has an erect stem with grooves on it. The dark green leaves of horse chestnut tree face each other and are long stalked with oval and lanceolate leaflets and serrated margins that are much wide towards the apex. Horse chestnut tree’s flowers are pink and white yellow that are rarely grouped in cluster and form pyramids. Horse chestnut fruit is covered with a barbed capsule with seeds in between called as chestnut browns. The horse chestnut fruits ripen in the autumn month.
History and Symbolism of Horse Chestnut
Aesculus is Latin name of oak and hippocastanum means chestnut. Horse chestnut was named so because the ancient Turks used its fruits to feed their horses. It was in 1960s when Germany began serious studies on this ancient herb and eventually they found that horse chestnut extract was beneficial for treatment of diseases of leg veins like varicose veins. Buckeye native to North America is the third most common herbal product sold in Germany after St. John's Wort and ginkgo biloba for the treatment of varicose veins.
Origin and Distribution of Horse ChestnutThis big and huge tree which was native to northern India, the Balkans, Greece, Asia Minor, Caucasus, Bulgaria, and the Himalayas was brought from Constantinople to France in the year 1615. Today, horse chestnut is popular all over the world in temperate zones, especially in North America and Northern Europe.
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Extraction of Horse Chestnut
Horse Chestnut Extract is prepared with its seeds that have high content of active component aescin or escin and these are harvested in early autumn.
Many Benefits of Horse ChestnutHorse chestnut extract is antispasmodic, veinotonic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, and haemostatic. Since 1960, horse chestnut extract has been used in natural medicine for the treatment of circulatory system disorders such as venous inflammation, varicose veins, and cellulitis. Problems such as severe inflammation of blood vessels are treated by the medicinal effects of aescin and aesculina two components that have ability to prevent increased resistance of blood vessels and edema formation. Horse chestnut extract also has flavonoids and ascorbic acid or vitamin C. Some components of horse chestnut extract are beneficial in cases of capillary fragility and this herbal nut is ideal for toning the arteries and capillaries. The astringent properties of horse chestnut make it very useful for treating hemorrhoids and other skin disorders. Horse chestnut also provides a firming effect on the skin.
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Horse Chestnut Extract for SkinBark of horse chestnut is rich in allantoin which is highly protective and beneficial for the health of skin. Healing properties of horse chestnut extract make it unique from other herbs of its kind. Horse chestnut has an anti-ulcer and anti-inflammatory effect on the skin and therefore this extract is used in many creams and products. Horse chestnut has the highest proportion of allantoin and this element helps in reduction of inflammation of injuries caused by sprains, blows, and bruises by reducing edema and this is the reason why horse chestnut extract is used in sports creams and sports sprays.
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Horse Chestnut Extract for Varicose VeinsAccording to naturopathy, horse chestnut extract helps in treatment of circulatory system problems mainly varicose veins, heavy and swollen legs, poor circulation, and hemorrhoids by reducing swelling and edema. Horse chestnut extract is good for skin because of its anti-inflammatory and astringent effects. It works as a venotonic and prevents reddening of skin and open pores.