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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics

Herbs
CHESTNUT

(Horse Chestnut, Red Chestnut, Sweet Chestnut)


"For Informational Use Only"
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.





  • Chestnut Herbal Description
  • Chestnut Uses, Health Benefits & Scientific Evidence
  • Chestnut Dosage Information
  • Chestnut Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Chestnut Herbal Supplements & Products




  • CHESTNUT HERBAL DESCRIPTION

    There are several types of chestnuts. The three common ones are discussed below. Horse Chestnut, Red Chestnut and Sweet Chestnut.


    horse chestnut fruit


    HORSE CHESTNUT

    HORSE CHESTNUT DESCRIPTION

    Horse Chestnut is also known as Aesculus hippocastanum, Buckeye, and Common Horse Chestnut. Aesculus hippocastanum is a large, scented, deciduous tree, commonly known as horse-chestnut or conker tree in the Hippocastanaceae (Horse Chestnut) family. Its natural habitat is the mountain woods. The horse chestnut tree grows 80 to 118 feet tall with a domed crown of stout branches. On old trees the outer branches often pendulous with curled-up tips. The leaves are opposite and palmately compound in clusters of 5 to 7 leaflets. Each leaflet is 13 to 30 cm long, making the whole leaf up to 60 cm across, with a 7 to 20 cm petiole. The leaf scars left on twigs aftere the leaves have fallen have a distinctive horseshoe shape, complete with seven "nails". The flower spikes are usually white with a small red spot and are seen growing at the ends of its branches. The flowers are produced in the spring, flowering in May, in erect panicles 10 to 30 cm tall with about 20 to 50 flowers on each panicle. Usually only 1 to 5 fruit develop on each panicle. the shell is green, spiky capsule containing one (rarely two or three) nut-like seeds called conkers or horse chestnuts. Each conker is 2 to 4 cm in diameter, glossy nut-brown with a whitish scar at the base.

    The name of the tree has many stories associated with it, but no real consensus has been reached. Aesculus hippocastanum is native to a small area in the Pindus Mountains mixed forests and Balkan mixed forests of South East Europe. It is widely cultivated in streets and parks throughout the temperate world. The common name "horse chestnut" is reported as having originated from the erroneous belief that the tree was a kind of chestnut (though in fact only distantly related), together with the observation that eating the fruit cured horses of chest complaints despite the plant being poisonous to horses.

    When the tree was brought to Britain in 1616 from the Balkans, it was called horse chestnut because the Turks would feed the seeds to their ailing horses. The tree is chiefly grown nowadays for ornamental purposes, in towns and private gardens and in parks, and along streets. The horse chestnut plant is not related to the edible chestnut, which is actually part of the oak family. Horse chestnut is relatively new to the U.S. herbal products market. Currently, it is the third best selling herbal product in Germany behind Ginkgo and St. Johns Wort.

    The seed is best sown outdoors or in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed germinates almost immediately and must be given protection from severe weather. The seed has a very limited viability and must not be allowed to dry out. Stored seed should be soaked for 24 hours prior to sowing and even after this may still not be viable. It is best to sow the seed with its "scar" downwards. If sowing the seed in a cold frame, pot up the seedlings in early spring and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer.

    horse chestnut flower


    MEDICINAL USE OF HORSE CHESTNUT

    Horse chestnut is an astringent, anti-inflammatory herb that helps to tone the vein walls which, when slack or distended, may become varicose, hemorrhoidal or otherwise problematic. The plant also reduces fluid retention by increasing the permeability of the capillaries and allowing the re-absorption of excess fluid back into the circulatory system. This plant is potentially toxic if ingested and should not be used internally without professional supervision.

    Horse Chestnut is an alterative, analgesic, hemostatic and vulnerary. The bark is anti-inflammatory, astringent, diuretic, febrifuge, narcotic, tonic and vasoconstrictive. It is harvested in the spring and dried for later use.

    The plant is taken in small doses internally for the treatment of a wide range of venous diseases, including hardening of the arteries, varicose veins, phlebitis, leg ulcers, hemorrhoids and frostbite. It is also made into a lotion or gel for external application. A tea made from the bark is used in the treatment of malaria and dysentery, externally in the treatment of lupus and skin ulcers.

    A tea made from the leaves is tonic and is used in the treatment of fevers and whooping cough. The pericarp is peripherally vasoconstrictive. The seeds are decongestant, expectorant and tonic. They have been used in the treatment of rheumatism, neuralgia and hemorrhoids. They are said to be narcotic and that 10 grains of the nut are equal to 3 grains of opium.

    chestnut bud


    An oil extracted from the seeds has been used externally as a treatment for rheumatism. A compound of the powdered roots is analgesic and has been used to treat chest pains. The buds are used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are "Failure to learn by experience", "Lack of observation in the lessons of life" and hence "The need of repetition". The flowers are used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are "Persistent unwanted thoughts" and "Mental arguments and conversations".

    horse chestnut


    CULINARY USES OF HORSE CHESTNUT

    Edible parts of Horse Chestnut is the cooked seed. The roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute. It can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a gruel. The seed is quite large, about 3 cm in diameter, and is easily harvested. It is usually produced in abundance. Unfortunately the seed is also rich in saponins, these must be removed before it can be used as a food and this process also removes many of the minerals and vitamins, leaving behind mainly starch. (See toxicity.) The seed contains up to 40 percent water, 8 to 11 percent protein and 8 to 26 percent toxic saponins. The seed needs to be leached of toxins before it becomes safe to eat. The Indians would do this by slow-roasting the nuts (which would have rendered the saponins harmless) and then cutting them into thin slices, putting them into a cloth bag and rinsing them in a stream for 2 to 5 days. OTHER USES OF HORSE CHESTNUT

    Other uses of the herb: Saponins in the seed are used as a soap substitute. The saponins can be easily obtained by chopping the seed into small pieces and infusing them in hot water. This water can then be used for washing the body, clothes etc. Its main drawback is a lingering odor of horse chestnuts. The seed contains variable amounts of saponins, up to a maximum of 10 percent. A starch obtained from the seed is used in laundering.

    The bark and other parts of the plant contain tannin, but the quantities are not given. A yellow dye is obtained from the bark. The flowers contain the dyestuff quercetin. The wood is soft, light, not durable. Of little commercial value, it is used for furniture, boxes, charcoal.

    HORSE CHESTNUT TOXICITY

    Known hazards of Aesculus hippocastanum: The seed is rich in saponins. Although poisonous, saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm. Saponins are quite bitter and can be found in many common foods such as some beans. They can be removed by carefully leaching the seed or flour in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also normally remove most of them. However, it is not advisable to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.






    red horse chestnut leaf and  flower


    RED CHESTNUT (RED HORSE CHESTNUT)

    RED CHESTNUT DESCRIPTION

    The Red Chestnut, also known as Aesculus carnea, or red horse-chestnut, is an artificial hybrid between A. pavia (red buckeye) and A. hippocastanum (horse-chestnut) and is not known in the wild. The origin of the tree is not known, but it probably first appeared in Germany before 1820. The hybrid is a medium-size tree to about 82 feet tall, intermediate between the parent species in most respects, but inheriting the red flower color from A. pavia. It is a popular tree in large gardens and parks. This deciduous tree, a member of the Hippocastanaceae (Horse Chestnut) family, flowers in July.

    red horse chestnut flowers


    The most commonly seen cultivar is the 'Briotii' (named in 1858 to honor Pierre Louis Briot, the nurseryman at Trianon-Versailles near Paris, France). This cultivar has 10-inch tall, deep rosy flowers and matures as a smaller tree. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Other cultivars include 'O'Neil', which produces larger (10 to 12 inch) panicles with brighter red flowers, 'Fort McNair' (named from where it was selected) it has dark pink flowers with yellow throats and resists leaf scorch and leaf blotch, 'Pendula' with arching branches, and 'Plantierensis' which has intense rose pink flowers with yellow throats and does not set fruit, which makes it less messy.

    Propagation of Red Horse Chestnut is by the seed, which is best sown outdoors or in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed germinates almost immediately and must be given protection from severe weather. The seed has a very limited viability and must not be allowed to dry out. Stored seed should be soaked for 24 hours prior to sowing and even after this may still not be viable. It is best to sow the seed with its "scar" downwards. If sowing the seed in a cold frame, pot up the seedlings in early spring and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. This species is a garden hybrid though it breeds relatively true from seed.

    red horse chestnut


    MEDICINAL USE OF RED HORSE CHESTNUT

    The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are "Excessive fear" and "Anxiety for others".

    CULINARY USES OF RED HORSE CHESTNUT

    Although there are no details for this species, but the following almost certainly apply to it. The cooked seed can be dried, ground into a flour and used as a gruel. The seed is quite large, about 20 mm in diameter, and is also easily harvested. Unfortunately, it is rich in saponins and these toxins need to be removed before the seed can be eaten. (See Toxicity.) The seed needs to be leached of toxins before it becomes safe to eat. The Indians would do this by slow-roasting the nuts (which would have rendered the saponins harmless) and then cutting them into thin slices, putting them into a cloth bag and rinsing them in a stream for 2 to 5 days. Most of the minerals and vitamins would also have been leached out by this treatment, leaving behind mainly starch. OTHER USES OF RED HORSE CHESTNUT

    Saponins in the seed are a soap substitute. The saponins can be easily obtained by chopping the seed into small pieces and infusing them in hot water. This water can then be used for washing the body, clothes etc. Its main drawback is a lingering odor of horse chestnuts.

    RED HORSE CHESTNUT TOXICITY

    Known hazards of Aesculus x carnea: The seed is rich in saponins. Although poisonous, saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm. Saponins are quite bitter and can be found in many common foods such as some beans. They can be removed by carefully leaching the seed or flour in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also normally remove most of them. However, it is not advisable to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.






    sweet chestnut


    SWEET CHESTNUT

    SWEET CHESTNUT DESCRIPTION

    The Sweet Chestnut is also known as Castanea sativa (synonyms Castanea vesca, Castanea vulgaris, and Fagus castanea). It is a species of flowering plant in the family Fagaceae (Beech), native to Europe and Asia Minor, and widely cultivated throughout the temperate world. A substantial, long-lived deciduous tree, it produces an edible seed, the chestnut, which has been used in cooking since ancient times. The tree is commonly called the "chestnut", or "sweet chestnut" to distinguish it from the Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), to which it is only distantly related. Other common names include "Spanish Chestnut", "Portuguese Chestnut" and "Marron" (French for "Chestnut"). The Latin sativa means "cultivated by humans".

    sweet chestnut leaf and seed


    Sweet Chestnut attains a height of 66 to 115 feet with a trunk often 7 feet in diameter. The bark often has a net-shaped (retiform) pattern with deep furrows or fissures running spirally in both directions up the trunk. The oblong-lanceolate, boldly toothed leaves are 6 to 11 inches long and 2 to 4 inches broad. The flowers of both sexes are borne in 4 to 8 inches long, upright catkins, the male flowers in the upper part and female flowers in the lower part. In the northern hemisphere, they appear in late June to July, and by autumn, the female flowers develop into spiny cupules containing 3 to 7 brownish nuts that are shed during October. The female flowers eventually form a spiky sheath that deters predators from the seed. Some cultivars ('Marron de Lyon', 'Paragon' and some hybrids) produce only one large nut per cupule, rather than the usual two to four nuts of edible, though smaller, size.

    The tree requires a mild climate and adequate moisture for good growth and a good nut harvest. Its year-growth (but not the rest of the tree) is sensitive to late spring and early autumn frosts, and is intolerant of lime. Its natural habitat is the woods in mountains. Under forest conditions, it will tolerate moderate shade well. The leaves provide food for some animals, including Lepidoptera such as the case-bearer moth Coleophora anatipennella.

    For propagation of Sweet Chestnut, the seed is sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in a seed bed outdoors. The seed must be protected from mice and squirrels. The seed has a short viability and must not be allowed to become dry. It can be stored in a cool place, such as the salad compartment of a fridge, for a few months if it is kept moist, but check regularly for signs of germination. The seed should germinate in late winter or early spring. If sown in an outdoor seedbed, the plants can be left in situ for 1 to 2 years before planting them out in their permanent positions. If grown in pots, the plants can be put out into their permanent positions in the summer or autumn, making sure to give them some protection from the cold in their first winter.

    sweet chestnut fruit and nuts


    MEDICINAL USE OF SWEET CHESTNUT

    Although more commonly thought of as a food crop, sweet chestnut leaves and bark are a good source of tannins and these have an astringent action useful in the treatment of bleeding, diarrhea etc. The leaves and bark are anti-inflammatory, astringent, expectorant and tonic. They are harvested in June or July and can be used fresh or dried.

    An infusion has been used in the treatment of fevers and ague, but are mainly employed for their efficacy in treating convulsive coughs such as whooping cough and in other irritable conditions of the respiratory system. The leaves can also be used in the treatment of rheumatism, to ease lower back pains and to relieve stiff muscles and joints. A decoction is a useful gargle for treating sore throats.

    The plant is used in Bach flower remedies. The keywords for prescribing it are "Extreme mental anguish", "Hopelessness" and "Despair".

    sweet chestnut nuts


    CULINARY USES OF SWEET CHESTNUT

    The edible parts of Sweet Chestnut is the seed, raw or cooked. A somewhat astringent taste raw, it improves considerably when cooked and is delicious baked with a floury texture and a flavor rather like sweet potatoes. The seed is rich in carbohydrates, it can be dried, then ground and used as a flour in breads, puddings, as a thickener in soups etc. The roasted seed can be used as a coffee substitute. A sugar can be extracted from the seed.

    OTHER USES OF SWEET CHESTNUT

    Tannin is obtained from the bark. The wood, leaves and seed husks also contain tannin. The husks contain 10 to 13 percent tannin. On a 10 percent moisture basis, the bark contains 6.8 percent tannin and the wood 13.4 percent. The meal of the seed has been used as a source of starch and also for whitening linen cloth. A hair shampoo is made from the leaves and the skins of the fruits. It imparts a golden gleam to the hair. The wood is hard, strong, light. The young growing wood is very durable, though older wood becomes brittle and liable to crack. It is used for carpentry, turnery, props, basketry, fence posts etc. A very good fuel.

    SWEET CHESTNUT TOXICITY

    There are no known hazards of Castanea sativa.





    CHESTNUT USES, HEALTH BENEFITS & SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE

    HORSE CHESTNUT

    Cultivation for its spectacular spring flowers is successful in a wide range of temperate climatic conditions provided summers are not too hot, with trees being grown as far north as Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the Faroe Islands, and Harstad, Norway. This tree and the red flowering cultivar A. hippocastanum 'Baumannii' have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. In Britain and Ireland, the nuts are used for the popular children's game conkers. During the two world wars, horse-chestnuts were used as a source of starch which in turn could be fermented via the Clostridium acetobutylicum method devised by Chaim Weizmann to produce acetone. This acetone was then used as a solvent which aided in the process of ballistite extrusion into cordite, which was then used in military armaments.

    The nuts, especially those that are young and fresh, are slightly poisonous, containing alkaloid saponins and glucosides. Although not dangerous to touch, they cause sickness when eaten; consumed by horses, they can cause tremors and lack of coordination. Some mammals, notably deer, are able to break down the toxins and eat them safely.

    In the past, Horse Chestnut seeds were used in France and Switzerland for whitening hemp, flax, silk and wool. They contain a soapy juice, fit for washing of linens and stuffs, for milling of caps and stockings, etc., and for fulling of cloth. For this, 20 horse-chestnut seeds were sufficient for six liters of water. They were peeled, then rasped or dried, and ground in a malt or other mill. The water must be soft, either rain or river water; hard well water will not work. The nuts are then steeped in cold water, which soon becomes frothy, as with soap, and then turns milky white. The liquid must be stirred well at first, and then, after standing to settle, strained or poured off clear. Linen washed in this liquid, and afterwards rinsed in clear running water, takes on an agreeable light sky-blue color. It takes spots out of both linen and wool, and never damages or injures the cloth.

    In Bavaria the chestnut is the typical tree for a beer garden. Originally they were planted for their deep shade which meant that beer cellar owners could cut ice from local rivers and lakes in winter to cool the Mrzen Lager beer well into summer. Nowadays guests enjoy the shade to keep their heads cool.

    Horse-chestnuts have been threatened by the leaf-mining moth Cameraria ohridella, whose larvae feed on horse chestnut leaves. The moth was described from Macedonia where the species was discovered in 1984 but took 18 years to reach Britain. The flower is the symbol of the city of Kiev, capital of Ukraine. Although the horse-chestnut is sometimes known as the buckeye, this name is generally reserved for the New World members of the Aesculus genus.

    MEDICINAL USES

    The seed extract standardized to around 20 percent aescin (escin) is used for its venotonic effect, vascular protection, anti-inflammatory and free radical scavenging properties. Primary indication is chronic venous insufficiency. A recent Cochrane Review found the evidence suggests that Horse Chestnut Seed Extract is an efficacious and safe short-term treatment for chronic venous insufficiency. Aescin reduces fluid leaks to surrounding tissue by reducing both the number and size of membrane pores in the veins. Up to half of all people over the age of fifty have at least some of these prominent, torturous veins in their legs. Not only are varicose veins a cosmetic problem, but they can cause significant leg swelling, tiredness, and leg pain. Once varicose veins have developed, treatment usually consists of sclerotherapy where a special solution is injected into the involved veins causing them to seal off or laser therapy. Both of these treatments can be costly. Fortunately, there's a natural way to treat poor venous circulation and varicose veins. Studies have shown that horse chestnut for varicose veins may be effective.

    White chestnut is a Bach flower remedy produced from the white flowers of the tree Aesculus hippocastanum which is commonly called the Horse-chestnut or conker tree. White chestnut itself is an herbal remedy intended to treat anxiety and racing thoughts. However, no clinical studies have ever proven this effect - like all of the flower remedies designed by the English homeopath Edward Bach in the 1930s, white chestnut was selected as a remedy based on Bach's own personal intuition as to its powers and strengths, not on any scientific methodology. Though Bach's flower remedies are not true homeopathic treatments, white chestnut is often available from homeopathic health practitioners and is regularly recommended by acupuncturists treating patients for anxiety-related disorders.

    SWEET CHESTNUT

    The species is widely cultivated for its edible seeds (also called nuts) and for its wood. As early as Roman times, it was introduced into more northerly regions, and later was also cultivated in monastery gardens by monks. Today, centuries-old specimens may be found in Great Britain and the whole of central, western and southern Europe. The tree was a popular choice for landscaping in England, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries. C. sativa was probably introduced to the region during the Roman occupation, and many ancient examples are recorded. More recently, the tree has been planted as a street tree in England, and examples can be seen particularly in the London Borough of Islington. A tree grown from seed may take 20 years or more before it bears fruits, but a grafted cultivar such as 'Marron de Lyon' or 'Paragon' may start production within five years of being planted. Both cultivars bear fruits with a single large kernel, rather than the usual two to four smaller kernels. The ornamental cultivar C. sativa 'Albomarginata' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

    FOOD USES

    The raw nuts, though edible, are astringent and unpleasant to eat, with a pithy skin around the seed. Chestnuts are traditionally roasted in their shells, the shells being discarded and the hot chestnuts dipped in salt before eating them. Roast chestnuts are traditionally sold in streets, markets and fairs by street vendors with mobile or static braziers.

    The skin of raw chestnuts can be relatively easily removed by quickly blanching the nuts after having made a cross slit at the tufted end. Once cooked, chestnuts acquire a sweet flavor and a floury texture not unlike sweet potato. The cooked nuts can be used for stuffing poultry, as a vegetable or in nut roasts. They can also be used in confections, puddings, desserts and cakes. They are used for flour, bread making, a cereal substitute, coffee substitute, a thickener in soups and other cookery uses, as well as for fattening stock. A sugar can be extracted from them. The Corsican variety of polenta (called pulenta) is made with sweet chestnut flour. A local variety of Corsican beer also uses chestnuts. The product is sold as a sweetened paste mixed with vanilla, creme de marron, sweetened or unsweetened as chestnut puree or pure de marron, and candied chestnuts as marron glaces. In Switzerland, it is often served as Vermicelles. Roman soldiers were given chestnut porridge before entering battle.

    MEDICINAL USES

    Leaf infusions are used in respiratory diseases and are a popular remedy for whooping cough. A hair shampoo can be made from infusing leaves and fruit husks.

    WOOD USES

    This tree responds very well to coppicing, which is still practiced in Britain, and produces a good crop of tannin-rich wood every 12 to 30 years, depending on intended use and local growth rate. Tannin is found in the following proportions on a 10 percent moisture basis: bark (6.8%), wood (13.4%), seed husks (10 to 13%). The leaves also contain tannin. The tannin renders the young growing wood durable and resistant to outdoor use, thus suitable for posts, fencing or stakes. The wood is of light colour, hard and strong. It is used to make furniture, barrels (sometimes used to age balsamic vinegar), and roof beams notably in southern Europe (for example in houses of the Alpujarra, Spain, in southern France and elsewhere). The timber has a density of 560 kg per cubic meter, and due to its durability in ground contact is often used for external purposes such as fencing. It is also a good fuel, though not favored for open fires as it tends to spit.





    CHESTNUT DOSAGE INFORMATION

    HORSE CHESTNUT

    Horse Chestnut Constituents: Bark: coumarins, fraxin, scopolin, aesculetin, quercetin, sterols, tannins, and saponins. Leaf: coumadins, aesculin, scopolin, fraxin, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol, rutin.

    Parts Used: Leaves, Bark and Whole Nuts (used to make herbal extracts and infusions for balms and creams).

    Typical Preparations: Traditionally the leaves and bark are used as a tea, and can also be used to make tinctures, creams, and infusions. The whole nut is preferable over the leaf and bark when it is to be used for external applications. Sometimes the leaf and bark are combined with other herbs to make cough syrups. The raw whole nuts are poisonous and are only to be used for external application, unless by a qualified practitioner that knows how to remove the toxic saponins from the nut.

    The recommended dose of horse chestnut for treatment of varicose veins is 300 mg. twice a day. When this dose is taken for up to three months, side effects have been mild including mild digestive upset, headache, and skin itching. Diabetics and those with low blood sugar should use this supplement under a health care provider's guidance since it has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in animals.

    For poor blood circulation (chronic venous insufficiency), take 300 mg of horse chestnut seed extract containing 50 mg of the active ingredient, aescin, twice daily.

    SWEET CHESTNUT

    Sweet Chestnut Flower Essence Dosage: Single remedy use 2 drops in water and sip at intervals or add to 30ml mixing bottle containing still spring water. Take 4 drops a minimum of 4 times a day.

    Multiple Flower Essence remedy use by adding 2 drops of each remedy (max 7 remedies) to a mixing bottle and use as above. Flower essence remedies are a 5X dilution of flower extracts of Sweet Chestnut (castanea sativa) in a grape alcohol solution.

    Warning: Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your health care professional.





    CHESTNUT SAFETY, CAUTIONS & INTERACTIONS INFORMATION

    HORSE CHESTNUT

    Horse chestnut is likely safe for most people when a standardized seed extract product is used short-term. Standardized products have been tested to contain exact amounts of a verified chemical. Look for products which have had the toxic substance esculin removed. Horse chestnut products can sometimes cause side effects such as dizziness, headache, stomach upset, and itching.

    Aesculus hippocastanum is used in Bach flower remedies. When the buds are used it is referred to as "chestnut bud" and when the flowers are used it is referred to as "white chestnut".

    Raw horse chestnut seed, bark, flower, and leaf are unsafe and can even cause death when taken by mouth. Signs of poisoning include stomach upset, kidney problems, muscle twitching, weakness, loss of coordination, enlarged eye pupils, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, paralysis, and stupor. Accidental ingestion of horse chestnut requires prompt medical attention. Children have been poisoned by drinking a tea made from the leaves and twigs or eating seeds.

    CAUTIONS

    The Horse Chestnut raw, unprocessed whole nut is not for internal use, unless administered by a qualified practitioner. Not recommended while pregnant. Not to be applied to broken or abraded skin.

    Two preparations are considered; Whole Horse Chestnut extract (whole HCE) and purified beta-aescin. Historically, whole HCE has been used both for oral and IV routes (as of year 2001). The rate of adverse effects are low, in a large German study, 0.6 percent. consisting mainly of gastrointestinal symptoms. Dizziness, headache and itching have been reported. One serious safety issue is rare cases of acute anaphylactic reactions, presumably in a context of whole HCE. Purified beta-aescin would be expected to have a better safety profile.

    Another is the risk of acute renal failure. When patients, who had undergone cardiac surgery were given high doses of horse chestnut extract I.V. for postoperative edema. The phenomenon was dose dependent as no alteration in renal function was recorded with 340 g kg-1, mild renal function impairment developed with 360 g kg-1 and acute renal failure with 510 g kg-1. This almost certainly took place in a context of whole HCE.

    Three clinical trials were since performed to assess the effects of aescin on renal function. A total of 83 subjects were studied; 18 healthy volunteers given 10 or 20 mg iv. for 6 days, 40 inpatients with normal renal function given 10 mg iv. two times per day (except two children given 0.2 mg/kg), 12 patients with with cerebral edema and normal renal function given a massive iv. dose on the day of surgery (49.2 ± 19.3 mg) and 15.4 ± 9.4 mg daily for the following 10 days and 13 patients with impaired renal function due to glomerulonephritis or pyelonephritis, who were given 20 to 25 mg iv. daily for 6 days. In all studies renal function was monitored daily resorting to the usual tests of renal function: BUN, serum creatinine, creatinine clearance, urinalysis. In a selected number of cases paraaminohippurate and labelled EDTA clearance were also measured. No signs of development of renal impairment in the patients with normal renal function or of worsening of renal function in the patients with renal impairment were recorded. It is concluded that aescin has excellent tolerability in a clinical setting.

    Raw Horse Chestnut seed, leaf, bark and flower are toxic due to the presence of esculin and should not be ingested. Horse chestnut seed is classified by the FDA as an unsafe herb. The glycoside and saponin constituents are considered toxic. Horse chestnuts are poisonous in their natural state and have to be processed before being ingested. The nuts should never be eaten directly from the tree. Safe, processed versions of this supplement can be purchased from vitamin distributors.

    Aesculus hippocastanum is used in Bach flower remedies. When the buds are used it is referred to as "chestnut bud" and when the flowers are used it is referred to as "white chestnut".

    Quercetin 3,4'-diglucoside, a flavonol glycoside can also be found in horse chestnut seeds. Leucocyanidin, leucodelphinidin and procyanidin A2 can also be found in horse chestnut.

    Pollen from the horse chestnut flower can cause allergic reactions. Rectal (suppository) use of horse chestnut may cause inflammation and itching in the anal area.

    SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS & WARNINGS

  • Pregnancy & Breastfeeding: Taking the raw seed, bark, flower or leaf is unsafe and can lead to death. Not enough is known about the safety of using horse chestnut seed extract from which the poisonous esculin has been removed during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using horse chestnut if you are pregnant or nursing.

  • Diabetes: Horse chestnut might lower blood sugar. If you have diabetes, watch for signs of too low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and check your blood sugar carefully.

  • Digestion Problems: Horse chestnut seeds and bark can irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Do not use it if you have bowel or stomach disorders.

  • Liver Disease: There is one report of liver injury associated with using horse chestnut. If you have a liver condition, its best to avoid horse chestnut.

  • Latex Allergy: People who are allergic to latex might also be allergic to horse chestnut.

  • Kidney Disease: There is a concern that horse chestnut might make kidney disease worse. Do not use it if you have kidney problems.

  • MEDICATION & SUPPLEMENT INTERACTIONS

    Moderate - Be cautious with this combination.

  • Lithium: Horse chestnut might have an effect like a water pill or diuretic. Taking horse chestnut might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

  • Antidiabetes Drugs: These are drugs used to treat diabetes. Horse chestnut might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking horse chestnut along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed. Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

  • Anticoagulant & Antiplatelet Drugs: These are medications that slow blood clotting. Horse chestnut seed might slow blood clotting. Taking horse chestnut seed along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

  • Herbs & Supplements For Lowering Blood Sugar: Horse chestnut might lower blood sugar. Taking it along with other herbs or supplements that also lower blood sugar might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Some of these herbs and supplements include alpha-lipoic acid, chromium, devil's claw, fenugreek, garlic, guar gum, Panax ginseng, psyllium, Siberian ginseng, and others.

  • Herbs & Supplements For Slowing Blood Clotting: Horse chestnut might slow blood clotting. Using it with other herbs that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in some people. These herbs include angelica, clove, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, Panax ginseng, red clover, and others.
  • Food Interactions: There are no known interactions with foods.

    SWEET CHESTNUT

    Sweet (European) Chestnut seems safe for most adults when taken by mouth. There is not enough information to know whether it can be safely applied to the skin as a medicine.

    Do not use during pregnancy or breastfeeding as there is not enough known about the use Sweet Chestnut during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

    Sweet Chestnut contains a large amount of chemicals called tannins. Tannins absorb substances in the stomach and intestines. Taking European chestnut along with medications taken by mouth can decrease how much medicine your body absorbs, and decrease the effectiveness of your medicine. To prevent this interaction, take Sweet Chestnut at least one hour after medications you take by mouth.





    CELANDINE HERBAL & RELATED PRODUCTS

  • Horse Chestnut Herbal Products
  • Red Chestnut Herbal Products

  • Sweet Chestnut Herbal Products



  • QUALITY PRODUCTS & SUPPLEMENTS



    HORSE CHESTNUT HERBAL PRODUCTS

    MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS PRODUCTS

    Mountain Rose Herbs: Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), Certified Organic, Bulk Organic Herbs & Spices


    STARWEST BOTANICALS PRODUCTS

    Starwest Botanicals: Horse Chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum), Cut & Sifted, Organic, 4 oz.
    Starwest Botanicals: Horse Chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum), Cut & Sifted, Organic, 1 lb.
    Starwest Botanicals: Horse Chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum), Cut & Sifted, 1 lb.


    HERBSPRO PRODUCTS

    HerbsPro: Horse Chestnut Extract, Herb Pharm, 1 fl. oz.
    Horse Chestnut Extract is prepared from the seeds of Aesculus hippocastanum trees which are custom wildcrafted in their natural wild habitat and are never fumigated or irradiated. To assure optimal extraction of Horse Chestnut's bioactive compounds, the seeds are hand-harvested in late summer and are then taken directly to our laboratory and promptly extracted while still fresh and succulent. Horse Chestnut reduces blood vessel permeability and thereby reduces vascular fragility and moderates inflammatory swelling; increases ability of blood vessels to reabsorb excess fluids from intercellular tissue spaces. Reduces swelling caused by injury and inflammation: bruises, fractures, brain trauma and strokes; especially effective for varicose veins, spider veins, thrombophlebitis and hemorrhoids; chronic venous insufficiency (tiredness, heaviness, cramps, pain, itching and swelling in the legs); leg cramps at night; congested uterus and cervix; congestion of portal vessels. Take 30 to 40 drops in half-cup of water, 2 to 4 times per day.
    HerbsPro: Horse Chestnut Extract, Eclectic Institute Inc, 1 fl. oz.
    Fresh Organic Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum).Organic Grape Alcohol Content: 45%.Filtered water.Fresh Herb Strength: 1:1.
    HerbsPro: Horse Chestnut Extract, Eclectic Institute Inc, 2 fl. oz.
    Fresh Organic Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum).Organic Grape Alcohol Content: 45%.Filtered water.Fresh Herb Strength: 1:1.
    HerbsPro: Horse Chestnut Extract, Herb Pharm, 4 fl. oz.
    Horse Chestnut Extract is prepared from the seeds of Aesculus hippocastanum trees which are custom wildcrafted in their natural wild habitat and are never fumigated or irradiated. To assure optimal extraction of Horse Chestnut's bioactive compounds, the seeds are hand-harvested in late summer and are then taken directly to our laboratory and promptly extracted while still fresh and succulent. Horse Chestnut reduces blood vessel permeability and thereby reduces vascular fragility and moderates inflammatory swelling; increases ability of blood vessels to reabsorb excess fluids from intercellular tissue spaces. Reduces swelling caused by injury and inflammation: bruises, fractures, brain trauma and strokes; especially effective for varicose veins, spider veins, thrombophlebitis and hemorrhoids; chronic venous insufficiency (tiredness, heaviness, cramps, pain, itching and swelling in the legs); leg cramps at night; congested uterus and cervix; congestion of portal vessels. Take 30 to 40 drops in half-cup of water, 2 to 4 times per day.
    HerbsPro: Chestnut Bud Dropper, Flower Essence Services, 0.25 fl. oz.
    Positive qualities: Ability to cultivate life wisdom, understanding the laws of karma, intelligence derived from life experience. Used for patterns of imbalance: Poor observation of one's experiences, failure to learn life's lessons, repeating the same mistakes.
    HerbsPro: Chestnut Bud Dropper, Flower Essence Services, 1 fl. oz.
    Positive qualities: Ability to cultivate life wisdom, understanding the laws of karma, intelligence derived from life experience. Used for patterns of imbalance: Poor observation of one's experiences, failure to learn life's lessons, repeating the same mistakes.
    HerbsPro: Chestnut Bud Flower Essence, Bach Flower Essences, 20 ml
    Essence of Chestnut Bud (Aesculus hippocastanum), Alcohol 27%. Take 2 drops in a small glass of water and sip at intervals or take directly on the tongue.
    HerbsPro: White Chestnut Dropper, Flower Essence Services, 0.25 fl. oz.
    HerbsPro: White Chestnut Dropper, Flower Essence Services, 1 fl. oz.
    HerbsPro: White Chestnut Flower Essence, Bach Flower Essences, 20 ml
    White Chestnut (aesculus hippocastanum) is a flower essence indicated for individuals having unwanted or obsessive thoughts, mental arguments, worry and various thoughts seeming impossible to control which can lead to depression; when balanced, feelings of peace of mind, clear thinking, and trust are experienced. Essence of White Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanium) in 27% alcohol. Take 2 drops in a small glass of water and sip at intervals or take directly on the tongue. The Bach Flower Essences are homeopathically prepared plant and flower based essences. Each one is specially devised to treat a different emotion and help you to manage the demands of everyday life. White Chestnut is for people who have persistent unwanted thoughts. There may be a preoccupation with some worry or episode. They may also have mental arguments that go around and around and lead to a troubled, depressed mind.
    HerbsPro: Horse Chestnut Seed, Standardized, Natures Answer, 250 mg, 90 VCaps
    Horsechestnut Seed Standardized is very effective to Promotes Healthy Leg Circulation.
    HerbsPro: Horse Chestnut, Standardized Extract, Natures Way, 250 mg, 90 Caps
    HerbsPro: Horse Chestnut With Grape Seed Extract, Natural Factors, 300 / 50 mg, 60 Caps
    Natural Factors Standardized Horse Chestnut with Grape Seed is a unique antioxidant combination that supports the circulatory system. Escin (Horse Chestnut active component) strengthens veins to prevent the fluid leakage out of blood vessels which can lead to swelling. Grape Seed is a free radical scavenger. Together, Horse Chestnut and Grape Seed are effective in maintaining the structural integrity of veins and capillaries that are frequently exposed to stress.
    HerbsPro: Horse Chestnut, Thompson, 300 mg, 60 Caps
    Horse Chestnut ( Aesculus Hippocastanum) helps reduces blood vessel permeability and thereby reduces vascular frigidity. Horse Chestnut helps with the therapy of varicose veins, hemorrhoids, reduces swelling, bruising, fractures, brain trauma, strokes, spider veins, thrombophlebitis, venous insufficiency, leg cramps, congested uterus and cervix and congestion of the portal vessels.
    HerbsPro: Horse Chestnut Extract, Standardized, Circulatory Support, Now Foods, 300 mg, 90 Caps
    Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is commonly used in a European herbalism. Horse Chestnut is ricly used in saponins and flavones that have been scientifically shown to support the integrity of the vascular system and connective tissue. Rutin, a powerful antioxidant, has been included as a synergist.
    HerbsPro: Full Spectrum Horse Chestnut, Planetary Herbals, 300 mg, 120 Tabs
    Horse chestnut is rich in saponins and flavones, which modern research has shown help support the normal integrity of the vascular system and connective tissue.
    HerbsPro: Horse Chestnut Seed Extract, Circulation Support, Natures Life, 400 mg, 50 Caps
    HerbsPro: Horse Chestnut Cream, Tonifier For Tissues Vein Appearance, Planetary Herbals, 2 oz.
    Horse Chestnut Cream combines a concentrated extract of horse chestnut (20% aescin) with the other renowned tonifiers butcher's broom, witch hazel, white oak and myrrh. An advanced liposomal delivery system that helps to support tonification and deep moisturizing. Horse Chestnut Cream is especially useful for improving the appearance of varicose veins.
    HerbsPro: Horse Chestnut Cream, Tonifier For Tissues Vein Appearance, Planetary Herbals, 4 oz.
    Horse Chestnut Cream combines a concentrated extract of horse chestnut (20% aescin) with the other renowned tonifiers butcher's broom, witch hazel, white oak and myrrh. An advanced liposomal delivery system that helps to support tonification and deep moisturizing. Horse Chestnut Cream is especially useful for improving the appearance of varicose veins.


    KALYX PRODUCTS

    Kalyx: Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), Cut & Sifted, Starwest Botanicals, 1 lb: C
    Kalyx: Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), Cut & Sifted, Organic, Starwest Botanicals, 1 lb: C


    AMAZON PRODUCTS

    Amazon: Horse Chestnut Grocery & Gourmet Food Products
    Amazon: Horse Chestnut Herbal Supplement Products



  • Nutrition Basics: Chestnut Herbal Information



  • RED CHESTNUT HERBAL PRODUCTS

    HERBSPRO PRODUCTS

    HerbsPro: Red Chestnut Dropper, Flower Essence Services, 0.25 fl. oz.
    HerbsPro: Red Chestnut Dropper, Flower Essence Services, 1 fl. oz.
    HerbsPro: Red Chestnut Flower Essence, Bach Flower Essences, 20 ml
    Red Chestnut (Aesculus carnea) is a flower essence for those who have a fear or sense of over-concern for others, especially family, close friends, and patients often experienced by caregivers, nurses, and counselors, etc. Essence of Red Chestnut (aesculus carnea) in 27% alcohol. Take 2 drops in a small glass of water and sip at intervals or take directly on the tongue.


    KALYX PRODUCTS

    Kalyx: Red Chestnut Flower Essence, Bach Flower Remedies, 0.7 fl oz: HF


    AMAZON PRODUCTS

    Amazon: Red Chestnut Herbal Supplement Products

  • Nutrition Basics: Chestnut Herbal Information



  • SWEET CHESTNUT HERBAL PRODUCTS

    The Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativia) is a large tree, native of southern Europe. These contain only 2 percent protein but the highest sugar content of any nuts. They are a good source of potassium, calcium and magnesium and have small amounts of B-group vitamins. The nuts can be roasted or boiled and eaten whole or ground into flour and used in soups, stews, pancakes, bread and cakes. Tinned pure is an excellent substitute for the flour. If the nuts are very dry they should be soaked overnight before use.

    HERBSPRO PRODUCTS

    HerbsPro: Italian Chestnut Flour, FunFresh Foods, 4 Pack (Case of 4)
    Imported from Italy, our chestnut flour is full of sweet, nutty flavor. The perfect ingredient for adding flavor to all your baked goods. Replace up to one-third of the flour in your favorite recipes with chestnut flour. Unlike other nut flours, chestnut flour is remarkably low in fat and has a low glycemic index.
    HerbsPro: Sweet Chestnut Dropper, Flower Essence Services, 0.25 fl. oz.
    HerbsPro: Sweet Chestnut Dropper, Flower Essence Services, 1 fl. oz.
    HerbsPro: Sweet Chestnut Flower Essence, Bach Flower Essences, 20 ml
    Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) is a flower essence for balancing and relief of extreme mental anguish, such as having feelings of being at the end of one's rope and seeing the future as hopeless. Ingredients include Sweet Chestnut (Castenea sativa) in 27% alcohol 27%. Take 2 drops in a small glass of water and sip at intervals or take directly on the tongue. The Bach Flower Essences are homeopathically prepared plant and flower based essences. Each one is specially devised to treat a different emotion and help you to manage the demands of everyday life. Sweet Chestnut is for those feeling hopeless despair.


    KALYX PRODUCTS

    Kalyx: Sweet Chestnut Leaf (Castanea sativa), Cut & Sifted, Frontier Herbs, 1 lb: K


    AMAZON PRODUCTS

    Amazon: Sweet Chestnut Herbal Products
    Amazon: Chestnut Flour Grocery & Gourmet Food Products



  • Nutrition Basics: Chestnut Herbal Information






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    AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES


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    AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES


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