Leafy tree reaching almost 25 metres in height originating in Northern India, the Caucasus, Asia Minor and Greece. Preparations based on horse chestnut have long been used in popular medicine, yet several studies have now confirmed its Vitamin P effect, which strengthens capillaries, reduces their permeability, and, lastly, has anti-inflammatory and anti-edematous effects. The substance most interesting from a pharmacological point of view and which is contained in the seeds, is escin, a saponin for which the following properties have been recognised – it is decongestant, anti-reddening, brightening, astringent and vasoconstrictory. Other pharmacological properties are to be ascribed to the effect of other active ingredients: flavonoidal compounds, vitamins from groups B, C, and K; some proteins; sugars, starches, fats, purines etc. In a fatty oil derived from the seeds, there have been identified, apart from a portion of insaponifiable, some unsaturated essential fatty acids (EFA) which are linoleic and linolenic. It is used in the preparation of products for skin which has become reddened, irritated, with acne or couperose, of massage creams for the stimulation of peripheral circulation and in preparations for the stimulation of blood circulation. Certainly well known is the use of horse chestnut extracts (again with regard to the effects of escin) in the preparation of cosmetic products for the external treatment of cellulite.
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