There is no need to describe a chestnut tree, kids and adults recognize it very well. It brings us joy in early spring, when blossoming begins – announcing warm weather, and in autumn when shining seeds fall from the tree, which kids love the most.
We find chestnut trees everywhere: in parks and in gardens. Horse chestnut originates from Balkans (northern Greece and former Yugoslavia). It was brought to other parts of Europe in the beginning of the 16th century, to Middle Europe and its southern parts.
Its seeds are also known as ’chestnut’ and had various forms of use: it was used as provender (animal food), as raw material for starch, and also there is a superstition belief that 3 chestnuts can cure from various diseases if worn in a pocket. Medications were prepared from chestnut for a long time, but ever since 1896. it was recognized medically.
Aesculus hippocastanum L.
Medicinal substances are chestnut saponin, tannins, flavone glycosides, phytosterines, purine derivatives and various vitamins. The most effective among them is aescin (escin). All the substances can be found in flowers and leafs.
Parts of the plant used as a remedy: seeds, sometimes flowers and leafs.
Medicinal properties and usages:
There was a French doctor who was intrigued by usage of chestnut in traditional medicine, who then 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.
Further medical trials he conducted had proven chestnut was good in excreting the excess water from organism, helpful with swelling and acting anti-inflammatory. However, it is not recommended to prepare tea from it. We use chestnut in various forms: ointment, tablets, capsules, even injections. People nowadays suffer more because we tend to sit more, which is very dangerous to our health.
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, sometimes even bowels uneasiness. The mixture was prepared by this recipe: chestnut was to be mashed and fried, previously mixed with flour and vinegar and it was to be put on the hurting spot as a compress. Nowadays recipes like this are not prepared anymore because our pharmacies are equipped in chestnut remedies that are prepared to help us with various problems.
With proper usage of horse chestnut galenic formulas and always reading the instructions given from a doctor, one should not be afraid to use these preparations, since they all can help.