Horse Chestnut
Title: Horse Chestnut
Literature References: Deciduous, flowering tree, Aesculus hippocastanum L., Hippocastanaceae, bearing spiny, globular fruit capsules that contain up to 3 reddish brown, inedible seeds. Medicinal portions are the dried leaves and an extract prepared from the seeds. Habit. Balkan peninsula; widely cultivated in Northern hemisphere as a shade tree. Constit. Mixture of triterpene saponins known as escin, q.v. (3-5%); coumarins such as esculetin, fraxin, scopolin; flavonoids incl. astragalin, isoquercetin, rutin, leucocyanidin; tannins, starch, fatty acids; also contains the toxic glycoside, esculin. Comprehensive description: N. Tiffany et al., J. Herb. Pharmacother. 2, 71-85 (2002). Review of constituents and uses: J. Barnes et al., Herbal Medicines (Pharmaceutical Press, London, 2nd Ed., 2002) pp 296-299; A. Y. Leung, S. Foster, Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, (Wiley-Interscience, Hoboken, 2nd Ed., 2003) pp 304-306; J. Gruenwald et al., PDR for Herbal Medicines (Medical Economics, Montvale, 3rd Ed., 2004) pp 445-448.
 
Derivative Type: Dried extract
CAS Registry Number: 8053-39-2
Additional Names: Horse chestnut seed extract
Trademarks: Aescorin (Steigerwald); Aescusan (Jenapharm); Essaven (Cassella-med); Venalot (Schaper & Brummer); Venoplant (Schwabe); Venopyronum (Abbott); Venostasin (Klinge)
Literature References: Principle constituent is escin which is used to calculate potency. Clinical pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of formulations: D. Bässler et al., Adv. Ther. 20, 295 (2003). Review of clinical trials in chronic venous insufficiency: U. Siebert et al., Int. Angiol. 21, 305-315 (2002).
 
CAUTION: Potential symptoms of toxicity following ingestion of leaves, bark, flowers or raw seeds are vomiting, diarrhea, headache, stupor, coma, paralysis (Tiffany).
Use: In shampoos, skin care products, body and hand creams, lotions.
Therap-Cat: Seed extract in treatment of chronic venous insufficiency.

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