The horse chestnut dry extract is a standardized herbal extract of the seeds of Aesculus hippocastanum L.
(Fam. Hippocastanaceae), a tree widely distributed throughout
the temperate zones of Europe and Asia.
The horse chestnut seed extract contains starch, proteins, triterpensaponins, fatty oil, cellulose and flavonolglycosides.
Triterpene saponins of the diester of the b-amyrine-type form a complex mixture of b-aescin,
kryptoaescin, a-aescin (a mixture of b-aescin and kryptoaescin) and aescinoles. Furthermore, flavonolglycosides have been detected in the drug.
The most important active ingredients are the triterpene saponins.
Particular attention should be paid to b-aescin as it is mediating the antiexsudative effect of Hippocastani semen extract.
Another compound of interest is proantho-cyanidin A2, a dimeric procyanidine arising from the condensation of monomeric flavanols,
which has been found to be a strong inhibitor of oxidative activity .
The extracts of horse chestnut are used in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) stage I and stage IIIa caused by various conditions (e.g. postthrombotic syndrome).
It is also recommended for the treatment of inflammatory edema after minor injuries.
The therapy with horse chestnut offers protection against leg edema and venous ulcers, relief of inflammatory and
non-inflammatory edema as well as cramps of the legs.
Subjective symptoms such as pruritus, pain and feeling of heaviness in the legs are also improved.