The horse chestnut, a plant whose scientific name is  Aesculus Hippocastanum , which belongs to the genus of  aesculus, this plant has large leaves, white flowers and a fruit that is extremely peculiar, due to its rounded shape and small spikes.

This plant has a large number of components that make it useful to prevent and treat different diseases, as well as conditions, among which are: circulatory problems, skin inflammations, among others.

Horse chestnut benefits

The benefits of horse chestnut are extremely peculiar, this is because it has properties that are not found in some plants, among the most outstanding benefits that can be obtained with the consumption of horse chestnut are:

Prevents the appearance of varicose veins

Among the most relevant benefits of this plant is its usefulness to help prevent the appearance of varicose veins, as well as to eradicate this disease; This is due to the fact that horse chestnut has vasoconstrictor properties, which are responsible for reducing the size of the veins and eliminating the appearance of varicose veins.

Acts as an anti-inflammatory

According to scientific research, horse chestnut has components that act as sedatives and anti-inflammatories, which is why its consumption is recommended to combat pain caused by inflammation in the muscles, as well as to reduce inflammation of the muscles.

Effective against hemorrhoids

Another of the benefits offered by this plant is its usefulness to combat hemorrhoids, since there is a large number of natural medicines, as well as industrial ones, which are prepared based on this plant; which serve to reduce pain and other symptoms that are caused by hemorrhoids.

Fight diarrhea

Horse chestnut has astringent properties, due to the tannins found in its composition, this means that it acts positively in the body to combat digestive disorders such as diarrhea.

Improves the appearance of the skin

Cellulite, wrinkles, as well as skin damage caused by sunlight can be fought with the consumption of horse chestnut, this is because its components help to strengthen the veins and improve blood circulation. Therefore, these conditions are greatly reduced.

Combat menstrual disorders

The infusion prepared with horse chestnut is extremely beneficial to reduce menstrual disorders, this is due to the fact that the plant has emmenagogue properties, which act in the form of soothing with respect to the conditions that occur before and during menstruation.

Among the conditions that can be prevented with the consumption of horse chestnut are menstrual cramps, abdominal inflammation, pain, spasms, among others.

Combat oral conditions

Oral conditions such as gingivitis can be combated with the consumption of horse chestnut, because it acts as an antibiotic, allowing the disease to be eradicated and to maintain better health in the oral cavity.

Serves to fight fever

It is known that horse chestnut is used to treat some of the common conditions, among them is fever, because due to the properties that this plant possesses it is possible to combat this disease, as well as reduce its sequelae, which are usually dehydration and muscle pain.

Properties of the horse chestnut

The benefits obtained by this plant are due to the variety of components it has, among which the following stand out:

  • Flavonoids.
  • Aescina.
  • Saponins
  • Aesculina
  • Tannins
  • Citric, uric, acetic and angelic acid.
  • Proteins
  • Starch.

How can you get the benefits of horse chestnut?

The horse chestnut is a relatively dangerous plant, because both its leaves, its fruits and roots can be poisonous if eaten without being cooked, which is why it is recommended to acquire its industrial presentation, since it allows making infusions. However, it is also possible to make infusions with artisanal material, which can be found in health food stores.

On the other hand, it is also possible to obtain the benefits of this plant through topical use, which can be with the following methods:

  • Creams
  • Ointments.
  • Oils

To prepare such means to use the horse chestnut it is necessary to use the seeds, leaves and bark of the plant, however, it is necessary to be extremely careful not to ingest or apply it to the eyes, nose or ears.

Contraindications of horse chestnut

Although the consumption of horse chestnut can be extremely positive in some aspects of health, as well as its topical use, there are certain cases in which contact and consumption of this plant should be limited, this is because it could be counterproductive.

Among the most frequent cases in which horse chestnut is contraindicated are the following:

By consuming anticoagulant treatments

Horse chestnut should not be combined with medications, or with anticoagulant treatments, because it could react negatively with these and cause vascular accidents.

In case of having digestive ulcers

The components of this plant can be intolerable for individuals who have disorders of this type, therefore, its consumption is totally prohibited.

Being diagnosed with gastritis

The components of horse chestnut can be intolerable for individuals with gastritis, due to the amount of acids that the plant has, therefore, its consumption should be totally avoided.

In case of having kidney disease

Individuals who have been diagnosed with kidney failure, kidney problems, or nephritis, should avoid taking horse chestnut tea until directed otherwise by their physician.

When suffering from hepatitis

The consumption of horse chestnut can be extremely harmful in individuals with hepatitis, due to the weakness that the body presents when having this disease, therefore, it is necessary to avoid its consumption, until the specialist sees it prudent.

Side effects produced by horse chestnut

There are certain adverse reactions that can occur in the body if the consumption of horse chestnut is inappropriate, among the most recurrent side effects are the following:

Poisoning

It is possible that the consumption of infusions prepared with horse chestnut causes intoxication in the body, which may be accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Abdominal swelling

It should be noted that these symptoms can vary with each individual.

Gastrointestinal damage

The time of consumption of the infusion of this plant must be taken care of, since too long a period could cause digestive disorders; leaving side effects such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches.
  • Stomach ache.
  • Constipation.

Is the consumption and / or use of horse chestnut really recommended?

The horse chestnut is one of the most peculiar plants, due to how useful and dangerous it can be. However, by taking into account the recommendations regarding its consumption, it is possible to take advantage of its benefits; Besides that these can also be obtained with its topical use.

Therefore, it is possible to determine that the consumption of its infusions is recommended, but they should not be used as a means to replace conventional medicine, this is because the results would not be as effective as with current medicine methods. 

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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