Horse Chestnut Extract

Horse Chestnut Extract

Aesculus hippocastanum belongs to the Sapindaceae family and the plant is commonly known as horse chestnut. Horse chestnut trees are flowering large trees that can grow up to 40 meters. They have palmate leaves and upward-pointing triangular clusters of white-pinkish flowers. The inedible seeds of Aesculus hippocastanum are also known as horse chestnuts which are brown nut-like fruits encased in a green shell sparsely covered with sharp spikes.


Medicinal Usage

Aesculus hippocastanum has been used for centuries to treat venous problems. Many clinical studies approve the use of horse chestnut extract in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency. A research was carried out on patients who complained of their venous health between 1976 and 1978. The positive impact on the symptoms of taking horse chestnut extract compared to the placebo was observed. (1) In later years, in another research conducted on patients with diagnosed chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins, a decrease in leg volume was observed in the patients taking horse chestnut extract. (2) A leg volume reduction was also stated in a research which compares horse chestnut extract therapy and compression therapy. Both therapies demonstrated similar anti-oedematous effects. (3) In the studies involving healthy volunteers or patients with impaired renal function, the lack of toxicity of horse chestnut extract is confirmed by monitoring the kidney efficiency of individuals. (4)


Chemistry Behind

Horse chestnut contains flavonoids: quercetin and kaempferol, proanthocyanidins, sterols and starch. However, the major active compound of horse chestnut extract responsible for the anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, astringent and venotonic properties is aescin which is a mixture of acylated triterpene glycosides. Aescin increases the contractile action of veins and improves the blood flow through vessels. (6) Bionorm’s high quality horse chestnut extract contains more than 20% triterpene glycosides as aescin.



  1. Friederich, H.C., Vogelsberg, H., Neiss, A., 1978. Ein Beitrag zur Bewertung von intern wirksamen Venenpharmaka. Z. Hautkrankheiten. 53, 369–374.


  1. Diehm, C., Vollbrecht, D., Amendt, K., Comberg, H.U., 1992.Medical edema protection – clinical benefit in patients with chronic deep vein incompetence. VASA 21, 188–192


  1. Diehm, C., Schmidt, C., 2001. Venostasin retard gegen Plazebo und Kompression bei Patienten mit CVI II/IIIA. Final Study Report. Klinge Pharma GmbH Munich, Germany. Reported in: Ottillinger B et al. BMC Cardiovasc. Disord. 1, 5.


  1. EMEA(EuropeanMedicinesAgency), 2012. ScienceMedicines Health. EMEA, London (accessed November 2014).



  1. Marlena Dudek-Makuch, Elżbieta Studzińska-Sroka, Horse chestnut – efficacy and safety in chronic venous insufficiency: an overview, Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia, Volume 25, Issue 5, 2015, Pages 533-541, ISSN 0102-695X.