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Horsechesnut seed (Aesculus hippocastinum)
There’s more to these beautiful seeds than conker fights!
They contain Saponins collectively called ‘Aescin’ and Flavonoids.
Therapeutically they have an unusual ability to tone and strengthen the capillaries (small blood vessels) by reducing the size and number of pores. This has a knock on effect of reducing inflammation and water retention (oedema) in the tissues. They are used specifically to treat weakened veins including varicose veins, haemorhoids, acne rosacea and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). They also work well on wrinkles as they tighten the skin.
A cream, infused oil or ointment is made from an extract of the seeds to apply externally, or a combination of an infused oil and tincture are blended to create a liniment. A tincture can also be taken internally to compound the treatment, although this is taken in small doses as the saponins can cause gastric irritation.