Chestnut trees bring us joy in early spring when blossoming begins. They announce warm weather. We find chestnut trees everywhere: in parks and in gardens.
Horse chestnut originates from the Balkans (northern Greece and former Yugoslavia). It was brought to other parts of Europe at the beginning of the 16th century. Its seeds also known as ’chestnut’ had various forms of use: they were used as provender (animal food), as raw material for starch, and also there was a superstition belief that 3 chestnuts can cure from various diseases if carried around in your pocket.
Medications were prepared from chestnut for a long time and in 1896 the health benefits from chestnuts were recognized medically.
Aesculus Hippocastanum L.
Chestnuts are rich in chestnut saponin, tannins, flavone glycosides, phytosterines, purine derivatives and various vitamins. The most effective among them is aescin (escin). The parts of the plant that are used as a remedy are the seeds and sometimes the flowers and leaves.
Medicinal Properties And Usages:
There was a French doctor who was intrigued by the usage of chestnut in traditional medicine. He prepared a tincture from it which was proven very helpful. In 1896, he treated hemorrhoids with success and later discovered it was helpful with varicose veins too.
What is more, he conducted further medical trials and had proven that chestnut was good in excreting the excess water from the organism, helpful with swelling and acting anti-inflammatory. However, preparing tea from it is not recommended. We use chestnut in various forms: ointment, tablets, capsules, even injections.
Horse Chestnut In Traditional Medicine
It is known that chestnut was mixed with traditionally prepared brandies. It was used for treating varicose veins that caused pain, rheum and bowels uneasiness. The mixture was prepared by this recipe: the chestnut was mashed and fried mixed with flour and vinegar, then it was put on the painful spot as a compress.
Nowadays, recipes like this are not prepared anymore because our pharmacies are equipped with over the counter chestnut remedies that can help us with various problems.
With a proper usage of horse chestnut galenic formulas and always reading the instructions given from the doctor, you should not be afraid to use these remedies.