Herbal Guide to Horse Chestnut

Also known as, Aesculus Hippocastum; Horse Chestnut is a beautiful tree with wide spread branches and grayish-green bark. In late spring the tree produces spikes covered in white/pink flowers. In the fall the flowers turn into sharp spiked shells that contain shiny brown nuts.

The best time to harvest these nuts for medicinal use is in Late October and early November. However, Horse Chestnut is poisonous to ingest for humans and should not be confused with sweet chestnut.

Horse Chestnut was originally native to southeast Europe and was traditionally used for horses and cattle as a protein source to keep them healthy in the winter. Red deer also eat the nuts in the winter to put on a layer of protective fact against the cold.

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PARTS OF THE PLANT USED:

  • Ripe nuts
  • Bark

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ACTIVE INGREDIENTS:

  • Coumarins
  • Flavonoids
  • Glycosides
  • Saponins
  • Tannins

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Available for use as:

  • Ointment
  • Gel
  • Homeopathic Tincture

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Actions:

  • Astringent
  • Antithrombotic

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Has been known to help with:

  • Varicose Veins: apply an ointment or gel gently, as directed to ease pain and assist the circulation to the local area, as well as shrink the veins externally.
  • Aching legs: massage ointment or gel twice a day.
  • Poor circulation
  • Hemorrhoids: apply an ointment or gel to the affected area 2-3 times daily, especially after bowel movements, to soothe pain, itching and encourage shrinkage of swollen veins.

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CULINARY USE:

  • None

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SAFETY INFORMATION:

  • Homeopathic tincture of horse chestnut should only be used under the guidance of a professional homeopath.
  • Always consult your doctor if you are on medication or plan to use for medical purposes.

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GROWING AND HARVESTING

  • Harvest in late October or early November when nuts are ripe.
  • Should be stored in a cool dry place to prevent mold.

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Sources:

Book: Herbs by Jennie Harding (ISBN-13: 978-0-7858-3568-4

Information pulled September 29, 2021

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay

Image by utroja0 from Pixabay

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