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How Effective Is Horse Chestnut for Varicose Veins?

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  • Written By: Kristeen Moore
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2016
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Horse chestnut is a type of plant that is used in the manufacture of herbal supplements for a variety of health conditions, and its use for varicose veins is considered as an alternative, or nontraditional form, of treatment. The supplement is a proven treatment for varicose veins, but patients should only use horse chestnut under the supervision of a doctor to prevent associated risks and side effects. Virtually all portions of the horse chestnut plant are used to make supplements, including the seeds, bark, and flowers, but the seeds are the primary component used to treat varicose veins as they are thought to help improve blood circulation throughout the body. Other benefits of taking horse chestnut for varicose veins include the decrease of other symptoms associated with the condition, as well as a potential decrease of pain and itchiness that the condition causes in some patients.

Generally taken as an oral supplement, as of 2011, the recommended dose of horse chestnut for varicose veins is 300 mg, taken twice a day. Some supplements also contain an active ingredient called aescin. Taking more than the recommended daily dose will not improve the efficacy of the herb, nor will it speed up the process of the possible decreased appearance of varicose veins. These supplements are intended for temporary use only.

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This type of treatment is designed to help alleviate minor varicose veins. Although many of these veins do not pose serious health problems, they can be potentially life threatening in other cases. Patients should consider checking with a doctor beforehand to ensure that their veins do not require more serious forms of treatment, such as surgical removal.

Horse chestnut for varicose veins should only be taken as a supplement derived from seed extracts of the plant. Consuming raw parts of the plant carries the risk of poisoning. Patients should check with their doctor before using horse chestnut with other herbs or medications to reduce the chances of drug interactions. Combining horse chestnut with other types of herbs might significantly decrease blood sugar levels.

The herb was first studied by Germans in the 1960s, and is one of the most popular supplements in European markets. Research has stemmed to other areas of possible health treatments, but horse chestnut is only proven as effective for improved blood circulation as of 2011. Horse chestnut supplements are widely available in health food stores as well as online.

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literally45
Post 3

I want to warn that horse chestnut is naturally toxic. When it's processed properly, the toxicity reduces and it becomes relatively safe. But pregnant women and those with kidney or liver disease should not use horse chestnut products. There are basically no studies on this herb and products containing it are not regulated. So some products may actually be toxic to the liver.

bear78
Post 2

@turquoise-- I've read a lot of customer reviews about horse chestnut products. It seems to work great for some people while it does nothing for others.

For me, it has been working fairly well. My vericose veins are less apparent and their color is lighter as well. It has also helped lighten the color of spider veins.

You're right that horse chestnut has to be used for a long time for it to be effective though. Some manufacturers recommend using it for at least 6 weeks. I have been using it for three months, twice a day.

turquoise
Post 1

I've been using horse chestnut cream for varicose veins for a month now. I do see that sometimes my varicose veins are less bulging than before, but the difference isn't very noticeable. I plan on continuing the cream, I suspect that it might work better with time.

A friend mentioned that this cream is also great for leg edema but I have not tried it for that, so I don't know. I'm on the fence about horse chestnut cream for varicose veins though.

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