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Horse Chestnut

Compilation by Armando Gonzalez Stuart, PhD

Scientific Name:

Aesculus hippocastanum

Other Common Name:

Castaño de Indias.

Parts of the plant used:

The dried seed.

How is it used?

Horse Chestnut is used mostly as a seed extract. For oral ingestion, tablets and tinctures are available. Suppositories are used against hemorrhoids. Externally, liquid extracts can be applied as gels, ointments or lotions. The raw seed is toxic. Do not confuse horse chestnut with sweet chestnuts. Sweet chestnuts belong to a different plant species and are non toxic.

What is it used for?

Preparations made from the seed are used principally against circulatory disorders, such as varicose veins, hemorrhoids, chronic venous insufficiency and edema (abnormal accumulation of liquid under the skin).


Safety / Precautions


  • The raw, unprocessed seeds can be toxic. Avoid ingestion.
  • Its use during pregnancy and lactation has not been fully validated, especially in the first trimester. Use only under professional supervision.
  • Avoid internal use in children.
  • Avoid internal use in patients with kidney or liver disease.
  • Do not apply gels, ointments, or lotions on ulcerated or broken skin.
  • In rare cases, side effects such as nausea, gastric upset and rash may occur.
  • Since horse chestnut contains active principles that may interfere with normal blood clotting, patients with bleeding disorders or those taking aspirin or warfarin should consult a health care professional before taking this herb.
  • Discontinue internal use of this herb at least one week before surgery.

Before you decide to take any medicinal herb or herbal supplement, be sure to consult with your health care professional first. Avoid self-diagnosis and self-medication: Always be on the safe side!