Horse chestnut, scientific name aesculus hippocastanum, takes its name from the Greek word hyppos, horse, since its fruits, also called conkers, were used as a stimulating remedy for horses. The conkers are the fruits of autumn, shiny and round, but they are not edible for humans since they are toxic due to the presence of a saponin called aescin. However, conkers, if applied externally in the form of a decoction, are an excellent remedy in case of stagnation, hemorrhoids, swollen legs but also couperose. It should also be remembered that it is possible to take the horse chestnut buds, in the form of glycerine macerate, useful against varicose veins and hemorrhoids. But let's understand better.
Conkers, decoction against swollen legs and couperose
Conkers are a rich source of substances such as tannins and saponins, which strengthen and tone the blood vessel walls (Raffetto et al, J Vasc Surg, 2011). Not only that, conkers are also astringent, antioxidant, thanks to the presence of quercetin and kaempferol, and anti-inflammatory (Stajner et al, ScientificWorldJournal, 2014). These properties make the horse chestnut fruits a remedy in case of poor blood circulation, edema, swollen ankles, heavy legs, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, leg cramps but also couperose on the face (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, 2012). Gather a handful of conkers and chop them into coarse pieces. Bring a liter of water to a boil with the conkers and let it simmer for ten minutes. Remove from the heat and let it rest for another 10 minutes, filter and pour into the foot bath, it will help you fight stagnation and swollen legs. If you use this decoction for sitz baths instead, it will help you in case of hemorrhoids. On the other hand, if you suffer from couperose, soak a gauze in this decoction, once it has cooled, and apply in the evening to the face for a quarter of an hour. Then continue with your normal face treatment, with a serum or cream.
Conkers against moths
Collect the conkers and cut them in half. Put the horse chestnuts in a cotton or gauze bag to store in the cupboards, it will help against moths.
Glycerine macerate of horse chestnut
The glycerine macerate obtained from horse chestnut buds contains antioxidants, such as epicatechins and proanthocyanidins, quercetin and kaempferol, and is astringent and anti-inflammatory, it acts in case of leg edema, hemorrhoids and varicose ulcers. (Oszmianski et al, Molecules, 2014 - Stajner et al, ScientificWorldJournal, 2014). You can take 50 drops once a day (Bruno Brigo, Natural Medicine from A to Z). As for possible side effects and interactions, horse chestnut extracts can interact with anticoagulant and diabetes drugs, therefore, in these cases, always ask your doctor for advice before starting any treatment (Methlie et al, Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen, 2009).