General Description: The
seeds from Aesculus hippocastanum, a member of the Hippocastanaceae
family, are used to formulate horse chestnut extract. The bark of
young branches should be used. Older bark is poisonous.
chronic venous insufficiency including pain, swelling
Action: The active ingredient is
aescin that reduces edema. They also have anti-inflammatory
properties and antioxidant properties.
Dosage: 100-150 mg P.O. daily of
aescin component in one or two divided doses has been clinically tested.
Ingestion of whole seed can be toxic. Has produced anaphylaxis and allergic responses.
GI upset, twitching, weakness and dilated pupils.
with other Drugs: Anticoagulants, aspirin: increases the risk of
disorders and GI conditions.
patients it will not cure varicose veins.
Warn patients of the difference of whole horse chestnut seed –
toxic and classified unsafe by the FDA.
Horse chestnut seed extract has the toxic constituents removed.
Sweet chest nut is used for cooking, not the same as horse chestnut
Venastat is an OTC
that became available in 1998 for maintenance of leg health. It does
not contain the toxic component, aesculin. It increases venous blood
flow and may enhance venous tone.
Monitor liver function tests and yellowing of skin or eyes.
Warn patients that their urine may be red.
Instruct patients to report unusual bleeding, fatigue, or fever.
Tell patients to not use with OTC medications that may contain aspirin.