Horse Chestnut – Health Benefits and Precautions

Updated on April 14th, 2020
horse chestnut

Horse Chestnut also known as buckeye, Spanish chestnut have been used for medicinal purposes for years. Being native and abundant around the Northern Hemisphere, the bark, leaves, seeds, and flowers of the tree are used as a folk medicine to treat swelling, inflammation in the body and also to strengthen the blood vessels’ walls. Horse chestnuts (1) benefit the skin in treating diseases like eczema, ulcers, and lupus.

A study for eight weeks observed that 54 % of participants who were on horse chestnut supplements with a dosage of 20 mg 3 times daily and had topically applied aescin gel showed reduced symptoms of varicose veins compared to the placebo group. Read more to know about its other benefits.

Horse Chestnut Tree Facts

  • It belongs to the Hippocastanaceae family of trees and shrubs and doesn’t belong to chestnuts at all.
  • There are 15 species of horse chestnuts available in the world, but the most common one to be used in herbal medicine is European Horse Chestnut.
  • The outer layer of the chestnut is spiky, green color.
  • Horse chestnut fruit can’t be eaten by humans due to the presence of glycosides and saponins.

Horse Chestnut Benefits

horse chestnut fruit

1. Relieves Symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Horse chestnuts benefit as it has medicinal properties and is rich in aescin that is useful to treat CVI. It circulates blood flow in the body and improves symptoms.

Studies indicate that consuming 600 mg of horse chestnut supplements with 50 mg of aescin daily for eight weeks lowered symptoms of CVI, mainly itching, pain, and swollen legs.

2. Powerhouse of Antioxidants

It is rich in powerful antioxidants. These molecules fight against the free radicals that cause cellular damage to the body and help to fight the disease.

It contains two significant antioxidants quercetin and kaempferol glycosides famous to fight against diseases with high intensity.

An animal study stated that the compounds in this makeup for the loss of glutathione while recovering from a liver injury.

[Read: Benefits of Horse Gram]

3. Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is a response to fight an infection in the body. It causes swelling in the body due to fluid retention.

Horse chestnut extracts benefits as it contains Aescin, a compound that is known to possess anti-inflammatory properties that treat inflammation related to a wound, injury, or swelling.

An observation was deduced from 17 studies that the extracts from these seeds were effective in treating inflammation and swelling in legs and feet caused by CVI.

Additionally, applying an ointment topically with aescin as an ingredient also relieves swelling caused after surgery, injury, or trauma.

4. Improves Fertility in Men

Horse chestnut supplements are great to treat infertility in men as they contain aescin. It is an effective way to treat infertility caused by varicocele.

A study was conducted on 100 men for over two months in men associated with varicocele infertility. It concluded that when 30 mg of aescin is taken 12 hourly, it refines sperm quality, sperm density, and sperm motility. There was a noticeable reduction in the size of varicocele.

5. Horse Chestnut for Varicose Veins

Varicose veins act up as swollen veins commonly in the legs and are triggered by CVI. It is widespread in advanced pregnancy.

To treat this naturally, horse chestnut seed extract is highly recommended by natural practitioners. The supplement increases and improves blood flow in the veins and reduces the redness, swelling, and pain caused by varicose veins.

6. Horse Chestnut for Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids, commonly known as piles, are swollen blood vessels found around the anus. Usually, they are present without symptoms causing a further delay in the diagnosis. It can disrupt a healthy life as it is uncomfortable and causes pain and itching.

It can be treated naturally using horse chestnut oil. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce symptoms of hemorrhoids and swelling in the anus region.

7. May Kill Some Forms of Cancer

Tests conducted in labs show that it has cancer-fighting abilities in leukemia, breast cancer, and cervical cancer. It nearly caused a 94 % cell death rate in Jurkat Cells, which tests acute T-cell leukemia.

Precautions to Be Undertaken

  • It may cause gastrointestinal problems, nausea, itching, and headache.
  • Always consult with your doctor before you use this herb to treat any chronic condition.
  • If you are suffering from any bleeding disorder, you must avoid it.
  • It may interact with drugs like warfarin, aspirin, and anti-platelet medications if taken without any medical supervision.

The Bottom Line

The dosage of Horse Chestnut  is limited to 400-600 mg per day and must be divided twice daily with a 12-hour gap. Before using it, you must do thorough research of its interactions as it could interfere with other drugs. Take advice from your health provider before starting it as a regime.


1. How Long Does It Take to Work?

Depending upon your condition, the time should differ. However, it takes up to 4 weeks for the symptoms to improve.

2. Does It Help in Hair Growth?

Horse chestnut benefits hair as it is rich in omega 3 fatty acids required for hair growth.

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