Common Names: horse chestnut, buckeye, Spanish chestnut.
Horse chestnut's botanical properties were first described by Italian medical botanist Mathiole in 1565.
If your legs feel heavy and achy at day's end, your problem could be chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Caused by sluggish circulation and weak vein walls that leak fluid into surrounding tissues, CVI can lead to varicose veins and spider veins. You can get relief with horse chestnut (aesculus hippocastanum). This proven remedy works by strengthening blood vessel walls, which reduces leakage and improves blood flow to the heart.
Other Benefits: Prevents foot and ankle swelling after a long period of sitting, such as on a long flight.
Although horse chestnut is sometimes called buckeye, it should not be confused with the Ohio or California buckeye trees, which are related but not the same species.
What Science Says
Small studies have found that horse chestnut seed extract is beneficial in treating chronic venous insufficiency and is as effective as wearing toeless compression stockings.
For centuries, horse chestnut seeds, leaves, bark, and flowers have been used for a variety of conditions and diseases. Horse Chestnut is a popular herbal aid for promoting circulation, especially to the legs. Herbalists recommend Horse Chestnut for those struggling with unsightly varicose leg veins.
Horse Chestnut can dramatically improve the tone of veins and increase the flow of blood through them. Scientific studies have also shown that Horse Chestnut can reduce edema.
Horse chestnut is also known to be an effective remedy for hemorrhoids.
Horse Chestnut Supplement
Nature's Way Horsechestnut Standardized Extract. For anyone who suffers from swelling in the legs, this is the pill to take. To quote one testimonial: "Then a vein specialist told my husband to try Horse Chestnut Extract...It worked! I have been telling everyone.....It is great!". People are also reporting a reduction in the swelling of their lower calves in the first 3 days by at least half. Also reported was visable improvement in the over-all skin tone in both legs. Available on Amazon.com.
Horse Chestnut Caution
Horse Chestnut should be avoided by anyone with liver or kidney disease. Do not use this product it if you are pregnant or breast feeding. There have been isolated cases of contact allergic reactions to topical horse chestnut gel.
Horse Chestnut History
On July 4, 1776, Mr. Whipple proudly penned his signature on the Declaration of Independence, and when he came back to Portsmouth he planted a horse chestnut in the side yard, which has flourished into the beautiful tree which we admire so much today.
See also: Horse Chestnut as an Herb
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