Aesculus Hippocastanum Horse Chestnut Extract uses in natural skin care products
The horse chestnut tree, also known as the aesculus hippocastanum, is a large, deciduous hardwood tree that grows in temperate climates.
It has large, green leaves with five to seven lobes and white flowers. The seeds of the horse chestnut tree grow in green, spiny cases. When the cases split open, the seeds inside are round, brown and extremely shiny. Horse chestnut extract is made from the glossy brown seed of the horse chestnut tree.
Horse chestnut extract contains a saponin called escin, which has anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, escin strengthens the walls of the veins and arteries, giving it vasoprotective properties. The condition of capillaries is improved because horse chestnut extract reduces the presence of elastase and hyaluronidase, enzymes that break down protein. Horse chestnut extract also thins the blood by impairing the action of platelets. When taken orally, escin has been scientifically proven to be effective in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency, a condition which prevents deoxygenated blood being pumped back to the heart effectively. Blood can pool in the lower extremities, leading to swelling of the legs and ankles. Leg injuries can trigger this debilitating condition. Women tend to be more susceptible to chronic venous insufficiency than men.
High levels of escin also make horse chestnut extract an effective treatment for varicose veins and hemorrhoids due to its vasoconstricting properties. Both varicose veins and hemorrhoids are caused by enlarged, protruding veins. Horse chestnut extract tightens and shrinks enlarged varicose veins and hemorrhoids, making them less visible. Horse chestnut extract is also used as a herbal treatment for diarrhea.
Eye creams containing horse chestnut extract effectively lighten dark circles under the eyes by thickening the skin and strengthening fragile capillaries.
Spider veins are a mild type of varicose veins that are not dangerous, but can make individuals self-conscious about their appearance. Horse chestnut extract’s capillary constricting and strengthening properties make it a useful ingredient in skin care creams that have been formulated to treat visible spider veins and unsightly red threads. This includes creams designed to improve the condition of the delicate skin under the eyes. Eye creams containing horse chestnut extract effectively lighten dark circles under the eyes by thickening the skin and strengthening fragile capillaries.
Horse chestnut extract boosts the condition of the skin by improving the circulation and delivering oxygen-rich blood to the dermal matrix. By inhibiting enzymes elastase and hyaluronidase, horse chestnut extract helps the skin to battle the signs of aging that deplete collagen and elastin from the skin. Reduced levels of collagen and elastin are a primary cause of wrinkles and sagging skin that are typical of aging skin.
When applied topically as a 2% gel or balm, the escin in horse chestnut extract is an effective treatment for bruised skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce swelling, while the broken capillaries under the skin that cause the blue/black discoloration are strengthened and repaired. External, topical application of horse chestnut extract can be effective in treating sports injuries.
Horse chestnut extract helps the skin to battle the signs of aging that deplete collagen and elastin from the skin.
Horse chestnut extract is often found in products that contain centella asiatica, because these two botanical extracts work together in synergy to provide highly effective results.
Horse chestnut is a plant. Its seed, bark, flower, and leaves are used to make medicine. Horse chestnut contains significant amounts of a poison called esculin and can cause death if eaten raw.
Be careful not to confuse aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut) with aesculus californica (California buckeye) or aesculus glabra (Ohio buckeye). Some people call any of these plants horse chestnut. This information applies to aesculus hippocastanum.
Horse chestnut extract tones and strengthens blood-vessels and skin. Has astringent properties. Improves collagen synthesis. potent anti-inflammatory powerful anti-oxidants properties. Horse chestnut seed and leaf are used for treating varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and swollen veins (phlebitis). Horse chestnut seed is used for diarrhea, fever, and enlarged prostate.
Horse chestnut seeds can be processed so that the active chemicals are separated out and concentrated. The resulting “extract” is used for treating a blood circulation problem called chronic venous insufficiency.
Horse chestnut leaf is used for eczema, menstrual pain, soft tissue swelling from bone fracture and sprains, cough, arthritis, and joint pain. Some people apply horse chestnut branch bark to the skin for lupus and skin ulcers.
Varicose veins and other circulatory problems (chronic venous insufficiency). Taking horse chestnut seed extract can reduce some symptoms of poor blood circulation, such as varicose veins, pain, tiredness, swelling in the legs, itching, and water retention.
Horse chestnut contains a substance that thins the blood. It also makes it harder for fluid to leak out of veins and capillaries and weakly promotes fluid loss through the urine to help prevent water retention (edema).
Are there safety concerns?
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. 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.
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.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: 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. Don’t 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, it’s 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. Don’t use it if you have kidney problems.
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.
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.
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.
Horse chestnut extract contains a saponin called escin, which has anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, escin strengthens the walls of the veins and arteries, giving it vasoprotective properties.