Health Guide

Horse chestnut seed

What is it?

Horse Chestnut Seed is an herbal medicine used to treat varicose veins (blue veins usually seen in the legs) and hemorrhoids.

Other names for Horse Chestnut include: Aesculus hippocastanum, Aescin Extract, and Escin.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have liver or kidney problems, or problems with thrombosis (blood clotting)
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Horse Chestnut Seed you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Horse Chestnut Seed. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.


  • Before taking Horse Chestnut, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You should not take Horse Chestnut if you have liver or kidney problems (5,6)
  • Do not take if you have a history of thrombosis (blood clotting) (6)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • High doses of aescin (an ingredient in Horse Chestnut) may cause liver and kidney damage (5)
  • Stomach upset (4)


1. Schlesser JL (ed): Drugs Available Abroad. Gale Research Inc, Detroit, MI; 1991.

2. Reynolds JEF: Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopoeia. Pharmaceutical Press, London, UK; 1998.

3. Fachinformation: Reparil(R)-Sportgel, Aescin, Diethylamin-salicylat. Madaus AG, Koeln, Germany; 1994.

4. Newall CA, Anderson LA & Phillipson JD: Herbal Medicines, A Guide For Health-care professionals. Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, UK; 1996.

5. de Smet PAGM, van den Eertwegh AJM & Lesterhuis W: Hepatotoxicity associated with herbal tablets. Brit J Med 1996; 313:92.

6. Brandt D (ed): Reparil(R) ampoules. MDR, MIMS Desk Reference vol 28. MiMS, Pretoria, 1992/1993.

7. ABDA-Datenbank: Hippocastani semen (Rosskastaniesamen) Trocken extract. WuV, Eschborn; Micromedex Inc, Englewood, CO; 1996.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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