Aesculus hippocastanumis L.
Also known as Buckeye
History: Horse Chestnut is leafy tree native to the Balkan countries of Europe. The tree was, and continues to be grown, primarily for ornamental purposes and can be found throughout towns and parks in the temperate regions of the Europe and the United States. The Horse Chestnut Tree produces copious amounts of a shelled nut which resemble small, prickly brown eggs and which can be used medicinal. In the western United States, Native Americans use the crushed unripe seeds of the California Buckeye (a relative of the Horse Chestnut that is native to North America) to scatter into streams to stupefy fish. They would also use the leaves to make tea to clear congestion.
Modern Uses: The Commission E approved the use of horse chestnut seed for treatment of complaints found in pathological conditions of the veins of the legs (chronic venous insufficiency, CVI), for example, pain and a sensation of heaviness in the legs, cramps in the calves, pruritis, and swelling of the legs.
Horse chestnut seed preparations are indicated for treatment of CVI, varicose veins, edema of the lower limbs, and hemorrhoids. It is reported to combine well with other herbs that improve peripheral circulation such as ginkgo leaf, gotu kola leaf, and bilberry fruit.
Active Ingredients: triterpene saponin mixture called escin, , condensed tannins, quinines, sterols and fatty acids (including linolenic acid, palmitic acid and steric acid), and coumarins (including aesculetin, fraxin [fraxetin glucoside], and scopolin [scopoletin glucoside
Actions: tonic, astringent, febrifuge, narcotic, antiseptic