7 Health Benefits of Horse Chestnut Extract

Medically Reviewed on 8/4/2022
7 Health Benefits of Horse Chestnut Extract
For adults, 300 to 600 mg of horse chestnut extract orally every day for 8 to 12 weeks.

Horse chestnut seed extracts have not been the subject of much research, but some studies report anecdotal evidence to support their use and effectiveness.

The main potential health advantages of utilizing this extract include lowering cancer risk, enhancing male fertility, healing varicose veins, and reducing inflammation.

Research indicates that horse chestnut extract could help manage chronic venous insufficiency. It can moderate the pain and reduce the symptoms. However, it is unclear what the product's long-term impacts are. Hence, use with care and be aware of any side effects. Consult your doctor right away if you suffer any side effects.

7 health benefits of horse chestnut extract

1. May help treat chronic venous insufficiency

This medical condition is identified by the pooling of blood in the veins of the legs. Among the symptoms are:

Although the condition commonly affects the legs, it can affect the arms.

In the United States, up to 40 percent of the population may suffer from chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). It occurs more frequently in middle-aged and older adults and women, especially after several pregnancies.

Compression therapy is usually the standard medical approach to treating CVI. However, due to the associated discomfort, many patients dislike this approach.

Some studies suggest that horse chestnut extract may be safe and effective for the short-term therapy of CVI.

According to some sources, butcher's broom combined with cream containing horse chestnut extract is a successful way to treat varicose veins, which are a precursor to CVI.

2. May help fight certain cancers

Future studies are required to determine whether horse chestnut extract is a viable cancer treatment and if it significantly contributes to the death of those cancer cells.

Horse chestnut extract has demonstrated anticancer effects on cells associated with leukemia and cervical and breast cancer in laboratory settings. Jurkat cells were employed to investigate aggressive cancer called acute T cell leukemia, and testing discovered a cell death rate of about 94 percent.

3. Powerful antioxidants

Horse chestnut contains two antioxidants, quercetin, and kaempferol glycosides, which are acclaimed for their potent disease-fighting properties.

Additionally, a study on animals discovered that horse chestnut may help prevent the body's loss of glutathione (an antioxidant) and liver damage.

4. May increase effects of prebiotics

Prebiotics are a particular class of nondigestible fiber substance that is fermented in the colon by the gut flora.

A study on rats in 2011 reported that flaxseed oil and horse chestnut extract increased the potency of prebiotics. Prebiotics are effective treatments and preventatives for colon cancer according to the researchers of the study.

5. Potentially beneficial for wound healing

A preliminary study suggests that horse chestnuts promote wound healing. A 2006 lab study reported that horse chestnut extract can help activate the fibroblasts, essential cells in the wound healing process. However, more human trials are required.

6. May help with male fertility

Escin, a component in horse chestnut supplements, should not be mistaken for the lethal esculin present in raw horse chestnuts. Escin can safely raise sperm count and quality in males with varicocele-associated infertility according to a 2010 research study. This effect could be achieved through similar mechanisms to those that explain how horse chestnut improves chronic venous insufficiency.

This specific type of infertility, which is brought on by swollen varicose veins in the scrotum, affects 40 out of 100 males who are diagnosed with or are predisposed to infertility, as well as 15 out of 100 males overall.

7. Relieves hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins that are located around your anus and rectum. Hemorrhoids can cause itchiness, irritation, rectal bleeding, and discomfort. Horse chestnut seed extract, however, can relieve these symptoms by lowering swelling and inflammation in the affected veins, mostly because of the extract's anti-inflammatory properties.


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What are horse chestnuts?

Horse chestnuts belong to a family of plants and shrubs. While there are 15 known species, the European horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is the one that is most frequently used in complementary and herbal medicine.

Horse chestnuts are covered in a prickly, greenish outer coat on the tree and drop to the ground as the lustrous, brown fruit that was once mistaken for a type of chestnut. Horse chestnuts are somewhat harmful to most animals, except deer and wild boar.

Horse chestnuts are unfit for human consumption due to the glycosides and saponins they contain. The nontoxic components of this plant and tree are used in nutritional supplements.

What are the side effects of horse chestnut extract?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not consider unprocessed horse chestnut seeds unsafe because they contain a compound called esculin. Poisoning symptoms include paralysis, coma, depression, muscle twitching, and death.

Horse chestnut seed extract has been associated with some side effects, including:

They may interact with the following medications:

  • Oral diabetes medications: When combined with diabetes medication, horse chestnut can cause extremely low blood sugar levels.
  • Lithium: Horse chestnut can have a diuretic impact, slowing down how rapidly your body processes lithium (the drug lithium is used to treat certain psychiatric illnesses).
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Horse chestnut can reduce their absorption in the body.
  • Blood thinners: The effects of blood thinners, such as Coumadin, are increased by horse chestnut, and it may delay blood coagulation.

What is the correct dosage of horse chestnut extract?

For adults, 300 to 600 mg of horse chestnut extract orally every day for 8 to 12 weeks. Most horse chestnut extract products include 16 to 20 percent triterpene glycosides (saponins).

Make sure you only utilize horse chestnut goods that have had the toxic ingredient esculin eliminated. Find out from a healthcare professional what dosage might be appropriate for your condition.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/4/2022
Image Source: iStock image

Horse Chestnut - Uses, Side Effects, and More. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1055/horse-chestnut

Horse chestnut seed extract for chronic venous insufficiency. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23152216/

Horse Chestnut. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/horse-chestnut