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Horse Chestnut

  • Aesculus hippocastanum
  • Origin: Hungary
Horse Chestnut


Common Name

Standardized: horse chestnut

Botanical Name

Aesculus hippocastanum L.
Plant Family: Hippocastanaceae



The horse chestnut tree grows 80 feet (25 meters) tall with leaves in clusters of 5 to 7 and white flower spikes growing at the ends of its branches. The name of the tree has many stories associated with it, but no real consensus has been reached. When the tree was brought to Britain in 1616 from the Balkans, it was called horse chestnut because the Turks would feed the seeds to their ailing horses. The tree is chiefly grown nowadays for ornamental purposes, in towns and private gardens and in parks, and along streets. The horse chestnut plant is not related to the edible chestnut, which is actually part of the oak family. Horse chestnut is relatively new to the U.S. herbal products market. Currently, it is the third best selling herbal product in Germany behind Ginkgo and St Johns Wort.


Bark: coumarins, fraxin, scopolin, aesculetin, quercetin, sterols, tannins, and saponins. Leaf: coumadins, aesculin, scopolin, fraxin, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol, rutin.

Parts Used

Whole nuts (used to make herbal extracts and infusions for balms and creams)

Typical Preparations

Traditionally the leaves and bark are used as a tea, and can also be used to make tinctures, creams, and infusions. The whole nut is preferable over the leaf and bark when it is to be used for external applications. Sometimes the leaf and bark are combined with other herbs to make cough syrups. The whole nuts are poisonous and are only to be used for external application, unless by a qualified practitioner.


Specific: Contains tree nut.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.