Also known as:
Varicose veins, haemorrhoids (piles), phlebitis (inflammation of veins).
The use of Aesculus in venous disorders has been recognised for a long time and it has been used as a treatment for various venous conditions since the 19th Century.
It is the seed of the Horse Chestnut tree, instantly recognisable to many children as the conker, that is used medicinally. A commonly held belief in the 18th Century was that carrying Horse Chestnut seeds in one’s pocket would prevent gout, rheumatism and back pain. There does not seem to be much evidence to support this in modern research.
How it works:
The constituent of Aesculus which has been most studied is aescin. It has the ability to improve the tone of veins, reducing leakage into the surrounding tissue.
Often varicose veins are more troublesome in the summer and starting a course of Aesculus during the early summer can prevent the distressing symptoms during the warmer weather. For best results, I find that a three to four month course is advisable. Those suffering from varicose veins will also benefit from ensuring that constipation is not a factor.
Best taken with food. Do not use alongside blood-thinning medicines such as low-dose aspirin or anticoagulants such as warfarin.