More commonly known as Chestnut, Horse Chestnut and Buckeye, Aesculus belongs to the family Sapindaceae. The name Aesculus is a roman term and means edible corn. In Britan, Aesculus trees are more commonly called Conker Trees.
CHARACTERISTICS OF AESCULUS
Though generally found in the mountain forest ranges, Aesculus trees are now cultivated in several not-so-hot-regions for their beautiful flowers. Deciduous in nature, the Chestnut tree can grow as high as 75 feet; while the tree generally flowers by late spring its fruits ripen by autumn. The leaves of the chestnut tree are palm-like, its buds sticky and its flowers are white with slight pink and yellow spikes. The chestnut fruit resembles a green-brown capsule with spikes and its size may vary from 2-5 centimeters in diameter. The chestnut fruit, often referred to as a nut or conker, may contain 1-3 red-brown seeds.
THERAPEUTIC POWERS OF AESCULUS
The use of Aesculus in traditional medicine dates back to centuries. The barks, seeds, flowers and leaves of this tree are used in manufacturing of several medicines as well as cosmetics.
Some of therapeutic uses of this tree are:
- The bark of this tree possesses diuretic properties and can also used as an astringent and anti-inflammatory.
- The bark and the oil from the seeds are used for relieving skin ulcers, lupus and eczema.
- The Aesculus leaves are used to relieve fever and whooping cough.
- The leafs of this tree are often prescribed to provide relief from menstrual pains
- The seeds of the Aesculus fruit help relieve rheumatism and joint pains and to reduce swelling in joints and fractures.
- The seeds are also used as decongestant and hence helpful in relieving cough.
- The chestnut seeds and leafs are used for relieving hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
- The extracts from this tree are often prescribed as a tonic to boost venous health.
- The extracts of horse chestnut are used in anti-ageing skin care products.
Ripe seeds of the chestnut tree comprise of 3 percent water, 5 percent oil, 11 percent crude protein and 74 percent carbohydrates. The primary constituent of this herb is aescin; aescin is a mix of saponins that contain anti-inflammatory properties as well as help stimulate blood.
CARE FOR AILMENTS
Some of the ailments that extracts from Aesculus trees help relieve are:
- Chronic venous insufficiency: Aesculus has successfully been used as a short term management for chronic venous insufficiency. The herb helps to cut down fluid leaks to neighboring tissues by reducing the size as well as the number of membrane pores in the veins.
- Diarrhea: Is prescribed to relieve diarrhea, fever and malaria.
- Skin Problems: If often used to relieve skin ailments like skin ulcers and lupus.
- Improve Kidney and liver function With its diuretic properties Aesculus helps improve kidney and liver functions. However people with weak kidney and liver functions should abstain from taking very large oral doses of the same.
- Arthritis, joint pains and back ache: Extracts from this tree are injected to help reduce swelling in joints. The saponins content of this herb have an anti-inflammatory effect and hence used to relieve conditions like arthritis.
- Skin Care:The venous tonic effect of this tree helps prevent vein and capillary fragility and is hence very useful in anti-aging skin care. Aesculus helps maintaining circulation in the skin and hence regular topical use can result in clear and glowing skin.
- Circulatory problems: Horse chestnut is used to relieve conditions caused by poor blood circulation like varicose veins, hardening of arteries, heart attack and stroke.
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONARY TIPS WHILE USING AESCULUS
One must note that raw Aesculus bark, leaves, flowers and seeds should never be ingested as they contain a toxic substance called esculin. The seeds should never be eaten raw; if consumed in large amounts they could lead to gastroenteritis and liver and kidney failure also.
In addition patients suffering from medical conditions like kidney and liver disease, heart problems and blood clots should only consume medicines made from horse chestnuts after consultation with their doctors. Pregnant and lactating women should avoid consuming products containing horse chestnut extracts.
Before using any herbs it is advisable to consult a medical practitioner.
PLANET AYURVEDA PRODUCTS THAT USE AESCULUS
Currently there are no Planet Ayurveda Products that have Aesculus as an ingredient in them; however the below mentioned Planet Ayurveda products are useful in some conditions for which Aesculus is used:
Planet Ayurveda products are manufactured as per the traditional Ayurvedic science, using only pure and natural herbs; no chemicals or preservatives are used in any of our products. Our products are also never tested on animals and are made under the most stringent quality guidelines. So opt for Planet Ayurveda herbs and supplements for a healthier you.