Traditional uses of horse chestnut

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Directory > Medicinal Trees > Traditional uses of horse chestnut

traditional uses of horse chestnut

Horse chestnut is a magnificant tree that was naturalised here in the 17th century and has been traditionally used for treating vascular problems. They can grow up to 40 meters tall, live for up to 300 years and can be found growing in parks, country estates and planted along city streets.

  • Common name: Horse chestnut
  • Latin name: Aesculus hippocastanum
  • Family: Hippocastanaceae

Parts used

  • Seeds and bark


  • Sterols, triterpenes, fatty acids, flavonoids, coumarins, allantoin, tannins


  • Astringent, anti-inflammatory, febrifuge, anticoagulant and expectorant

Medicinal uses of horse chestnut

Traditional uses of horse chestnut include:

  • Diarrhoea – the bark is rich in astringent tannins
  • Varicose veins and haemorrhoids – the aescin in horse chestnut strengthens venous walls by improving their elasticity, assisting in venous return and blood flow.
  • Oedema and leg cramps – improvements in venous blood flow help to reduce leg cramps and oedema
  • Rheumatism and arthritis – aescin also has anti-inflammatory effects, which help in relieving joint pains


  • Horse chestnut is toxic and must be specially prepared prior to use.
  • It should not be used in pregnancy and lactation.
  • It should not be used in children.
  • It should not be used alongside anticoagulants and salicylates.

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