Treat Varicose Veins and Other Leg Problems with Horse Chestnut
Posted Dec 13 2009 12:39am
The Europeans have been using horse chestnut for years for a variety of vascular roles, particularly the legs. This natural supplement is now gaining ground in the United States and other places around the world because it has shown in a number of clinical trials its effectiveness in treating a variety of conditions.
Horse chestnut trees are native to Greece, Albania, Bulgaria and other countries in the Balkan Peninsula. However, you can find these trees elsewhere in the world as well. Also called the Spanish chestnut and the buckeye, horse chestnut should not be confused with the buckeye trees in California and Ohio. It is important when you use horse chestnut that you choose a seed extract supplement form rather than preparing a treatment yourself as some parts of the tree are poisonous.
If you have varicose veins, leg swelling, nerve twitching and itching, restless legs, skin ulcers or general leg pain, you could benefit from horse chestnut. Most often found as a seed extract, this supplement is also effective with a condition called CVI or chronic venous insufficiency, which also presents some of the symptoms above.
Evidence of Effectiveness
In a number of tests, horse chestnut seed extract was used in patients with CVI. In a large percentage of cases, leg swelling decreased significantly as well as pain, nerve itchiness and even leg tiredness. Restless leg occurrences were reduced as well. While some professionals are still unsure of this natural supplement, many people who suffer from a variety of vascular leg conditions have found that horse chestnut is just as effective as the common treatment of wearing compression stockings.
Other Conditions Possibly Treated
Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of horse chestnut, there are a few other conditions that might benefit from its use. Rheumatoid arthritis, deep venous thrombosis, hemorrhoids, menstrual cramps and even a variety of skin conditions could find relief with this natural supplement. People with tinnitus and post-trauma swelling have found relief too.
Some Warnings to Note
If you are otherwise in good health, horse chestnut can definitely help with inflammatory conditions. However, some people may have adverse reactions if they take anticoagulants or have hepatic or renal problems. Children should not take this supplement. If you have a metabolic condition like diabetes, medical professionals advise against using horse chestnut. Always consult with your personal physician before adding any supplement to your daily medication regiment.
Remember, children under the age of 18 should not take horse chestnut. If you get the go-ahead from your doctor to try this natural supplement, look for it in seed extract form. A typical adult can take a 300 milligram dose of horse chestnut seed extract twice a day (once every 12 hours) for up to three months. After the three month period, your health status should be evaluated to determine the supplement’s effectiveness. Allow a rest period of at least a month before trying the supplement again.
If you develop upset stomach, diarrhea, allergic reactions, asthma, itching or nausea, you should discontinue the horse chestnut supplement. This natural treatment for vascular leg problems is not for everyone. However, for those it does help, the effects can be quite spectacular.