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Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is a plant extract with a group of molecules known as aescins, which are beneficial to circulatory health. Supplementation of horse chestnut appears to be beneficial for varicose veins and veinous insufficiency.

Our evidence-based analysis on horse chestnut features 70 unique references to scientific papers.

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Reviewed by
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Last Updated:

How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

Horse chestnut tends to be taken in the 400-600mg range, although it seems that the overall dose is less important than the standardization for aescin which should ultimately reach 100-150mg daily.

Supplementation tends to be divided into two daily doses divided by 12 hours (so, a morning and evening dose at 8am and 8pm as an example), which is due to the active components (aescins) requiring about 12 hours to reach baseline concentrations.

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Human Effect Matrix

Unlocked for Examine Plus members

The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Horse Chestnut has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine Plus members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b Notable Very High See all 3 studies
Due to the venotrophic effects of aescin supplementation, disease states associated with blood pooling in extremities are significantly and fairly reliably treated with horse chestnut.
grade-b Notable Very High See all 3 studies
Symptoms of leg swelling and varicose veins appear to be fairly reliably reduced with the recommended oral doses of horse chestnut supplementation.
grade-b Minor - See study
The pain associated with chronic venous insufficiency may be alleviated when that condition is treated by horse chestnut extract.
grade-c Minor - See study
Preliminary evidence suggests that the classical usage of horse chestnut for the treatment of hemorrhoids may be relevant to oral supplementation, with benefits within a week of usage.
grade-d - - See study
No significant influence on HDL-C levels associated with horse chestnut extract supplementation.
grade-d - - See study
No detectable influence on LDL cholesterol concentrations associated with horse chestnut extract.

Studies Excluded from Consideration

  • Confounded with troxerutin[1]

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Things to Note

Primary Function:

Also Known As

Aesculus hippocastanum, Conker tree, Rosskastanie, venostasin

Goes Well With

  • Glucocorticoids (Horse chestnut augments the antiinflammatory properties of glucocorticoids)

Caution Notice

Due to potential blood thinning and known circulatory properties, horse chestnut extract should not be paired with pharmaceutical blood thinners such as Warfarin.

  • It may be possible to be allergic to the β-aescin component of horse chestnut extract

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Click here to see all 70 references.