Skip to main content

Horse Chestnut

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 21, 2021.

What are other common names?

  • A. californica
  • A. glabra
  • A. turbinata
  • Aesculus hippocastanum
  • Aescin
  • Aescine
  • Aesculaforce
  • Buckeye
  • California Buckeye
  • Castanea Equine
  • Chestnut
  • Escine
  • Essaven
  • Japanese Horse Chestnut
  • Ohio Buckeye
  • Semen Hippocastani
  • Spanish Chestnut
  • Venastat
  • Venostasin Retard
  • Venostat
  • White Chestnut

What is this product used for?

Horse chestnut has been used to help some people with leg pain and swelling caused by problems with the veins in the legs. Others use it to help with hemorrhoids. Some people believe it helps with bruising. It may also help some men with low sperm count.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with drugs or other natural products.

  • If you eat raw parts of the plant, especially the nut, horse chestnut can cause death.

  • This product may interfere with some lab tests. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this and all drugs you are taking.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor that you take this product if you are scheduled for surgery or tests.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this natural product.

  • Do not take with other drugs that have side effects on your kidneys.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to thin your blood. These are drugs like warfarin, heparin, or enoxaparin.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to dissolve blood clots. These are drugs like alteplase, reteplase, or streptokinase.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to help with swelling or inflammation. These are drugs like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:

    • Kidney problems

    • Liver problems

    • Active bleeding or bleeding problems

    • Diabetes

  • Keep hard candies, glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or juice on hand for low blood sugar, especially if you have blood sugar problems.

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach

  • Headache

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.

  • Signs of low blood sugar. These include hunger, dizziness, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, or sweating.

  • Signs of a heart problem. These include anxiety; dizziness; weakness; chest pain that goes to your neck, shoulders, or back; problems breathing.

  • Very bad throwing up

  • Very bad belly pain

  • Very bad loose stools

  • Very bad muscle twitching or spasms

  • Loss of coordination or ability to move

  • Very low mood

  • Blood in stools or dark, tarry-colored stools

  • Throwing up blood

  • Bruising or bleeding that is not normal

  • Changes in menstrual periods, like lots of bleeding, spotting, or bleeding between cycles

Where can I learn more?

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Last Reviewed Date


Consumer information use

This generalized information is a limited summary of diagnosis, treatment, and/or medication information. It is not meant to be comprehensive and should be used as a tool to help the user understand and/or assess potential diagnostic and treatment options. It does NOT include all information about conditions, treatments, medications, side effects, or risks that may apply to a specific patient. It is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for the medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a health care provider based on the health care provider's examination and assessment of a patient’s specific and unique circumstances. Patients must speak with a health care provider for complete information about their health, medical questions, and treatment options, including any risks or benefits regarding use of medications. This information does not endorse any treatments or medications as safe, effective, or approved for treating a specific patient. UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates disclaim any warranty or liability relating to this information or the use thereof. The use of this information is governed by the Terms of Use, available at


Copyright © 2022 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.