Horse chestnut ( Aesculus hippocastanum ) is a spice capable of preventing and treating varicose veins and edema, reducing leg fatigue, as well as helping to lose weight, as long as it is used correctly.
This variety of chestnut is actually a seed of the tree known as the horse chestnut. Despite the nomenclature, this food comes from Europe. In addition to its flavor and countless uses in cooking, it is a powerful natural remedy for various health problems.
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Benefits of Horse Chestnut
Though famous for its positive effects on blood circulation and blood vessel health, the medicinal powers of horse chestnut extend far beyond that. See the main benefits below:
Helps in blood circulation
According to nutritionist Saulo Fernando Virgulino, India nuts have substances that are beneficial to blood health . And so it is widely used in the treatment and prevention of diseases related to poor blood circulation or fragility of blood vessels.
“It is indicated as an advantageous natural anti-varicose remedy with systemic action, used in the treatment of varicose veins and microvarices”, he says.
In addition, the professional emphasizes that the chestnut also helps in the treatment of venous stasis edema (blood clot inside a vessel), since the activity of β-aescin in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency is proven. This benefit is proven by a Norwegian study.
Prevents and fights hemorrhoids
Another prominent benefit of Aesculus hippocastanum is its anti-hemorrhoidal potential. According to the nutritionist, this advantage is due to the composition rich in stimulants, capable of reducing inflammation and improving blood circulation.
The hemorrhoids are characterized mainly by excessive dilation of blood vessels in the lower rectum.
“Since they are capable of contracting blood vessels , these nuts can be used in the form of natural ointments for this treatment”, says the nutritionist.
And while we’re talking about fighting inflammation, this is also a proven benefit of horse chestnuts. “Because it has anti-inflammatory activity on blood circulation, it prevents edema and various swellings”, explains the nutritionist.
Relieves pain and tiredness in the legs
According to Virgulino, this peculiar medicinal advantage of the food is due, in short, to its great anti-inflammatory, vasodilator and nutritional potential, making the lower limbs lighter.
The antiviral action of this food was proven through research carried out at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. According to the evidence, this nut contains β-aescin and other substances that together make a satisfactory antiviral agent. In this way, it prevents or even treats diseases caused by viruses, such as colds and infections .
Improves kidney function
Regular consumption of this food favors kidney health. This benefit is the result of the high anti-inflammatory potential and the composition full of medicinal substances. The Indian nut has a diuretic action , that is, to expel a greater amount of urine, enabling the kidneys to work better.
Leaves hair stronger and healthier
Also according to the expert, Indian chestnuts are strongly indicated in the treatment of hair fragility and hair loss . “Its effect on the skin, especially on the scalp, is also capable of reducing capillary retention, which stimulates hair growth ”, says Virgulino.
India nuts lose weight?
It can aid in the weight loss process , as long as it is used correctly. No studies, research or scientific evidence were found that attest to the weight loss potential of this food. However, as it is a potent anti-inflammatory and blood stimulant, its regular and moderate consumption can indeed bring slimming effects.
First, it contains a common benefit of oilseeds: the potential to increase satiety . This is due to the fibers and proteins in its composition. On the other hand, oilseeds are also known for the effect of speeding up metabolism, which also means speeding up fat burning.
How to find and how to use?
Horse chestnuts can be found in their natural form in herb houses, or alternative medicine stores, mostly. However, its extract can be marketed in capsule form as well.
The fresh consumption of a 100g serving is enough for a healthy snack.
In the case of capsules or extracts, you must follow the information on the label. Also, ask a doctor or nutritionist before starting consumption.
Care and Contraindications
Despite the various benefits, the consumption and therapeutic use of India nuts must follow some precautions so that it does not backfire.
According to the nutritionist, patients with kidney or liver deficiency or digestive mucosal lesions should avoid using this food, for several reasons, which include difficulty in digestion and metabolizing substances found in the composition.
About consumption during pregnancy , the expert explains that safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been proven. Therefore, it should not be administered during pregnancy and lactation without medical supervision.
Furthermore, this variety of nuts is contraindicated for children under the age of ten. It should also not be consumed by patients with a history of allergy to plants belonging to the hippocastanaceae family.
The nutritionist also reinforces other precautions, such as not using prolonged oral administration (periods longer than six months) and ceasing consumption in cases of known bleeding disorders.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.