Chemical Components

Horse chestnut seed contains 3-6% escin (aescin), a complex mixture of triterpene saponins (including the triterpene oligoglycosides escins la, lb, I la, lib, and Ilia) (Yoshikawa et al 1996), the acylated polyhydroxyoleanene triterpene oligoglycosides escins 1Mb, IV, V, and VI and isoescins la, lb, and V (Yoshikawa et al 1998), and the Horse chestnut 707

sapogenols hippocaesculin and barringtogenol-C (Konoshima & Lee 1986), flavonoids © 2007 Elsevier Australia

(including flavonol oligosides of quercetin and kaempferol) (Hubner et al 1999), condensed tannins, quinines, sterols (including stigmasterol, alpha-spinasterol, and beta-sitosterol) (Senatore et al 1989), sugars (including glucose, xylose, and rhamnose) (Hubner et al 1999), and fatty acids (including linolenic, palmitic, and stearic acids) (Herbalgram 2000). It also contains the toxic glycoside esculin (aesculin), a hydroxycoumarin that may increase bleeding time due to antithrombin activity (NMCD 2006).

Horse chestnut bark and flowers also contain the sterols stigmasterol, alpha-spinasterol and beta-sitosterol (NMCD 2006).

Although the majority of trials in the scientific literature have focused on the benefits of the HCSE extract, some authors suggest that the flavonoids contained in A. hippocastanum may provide additional benefits (Mills & Bone 2000).

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