7.4.13

Aesculus hippocastanum - HORSE-CHESTNUT

Names:

Horse-chestnut, conker tree, wild chestnut.

Environment:

Nowadays, it can often be found as a decoratory tree in parks and gardens, or better said, in very tame surroundings.


Interesting Facts:

It got its name (horse chestnut) because the Ottomans primarily used it (or rather its nuts) to feed their horses.

It used to be thought that this plant could help horses with any ailments in the chest area, but it actually turned out that it only made things worse and harmed them.

Another superstition regarding this plant was that it could help cure arthritis merely if you carried it around with you in your pocket.


Attributes:

Antiexudative (for capillaries)
Antiedemic (against water contraction in the organism)
Anti-inflammatory

For the Drug:

The seeds must be processed straight away since they are inedible for humans. The flowers are picked at the very beginning of their bloom, after which they are dried and stored away in a well-closed container. Fresh or dried leaves can also be used (though rarely) just as the bark can (though even more rarely than the leaves).

It is Used for:

Subsiding fevers
Curing malaria
Stopping diarrhea
Skin diseases
Leaves: arthritis, coughing, rheumatic diseases
Capillaries (decreases damages, strengthens their walls, protects from edema)
Varicose veins
Bark: decreasing the amount of excretion from the glands in the digestive system
Bleeding from the stomach and intestines
Hemorrhoids
Dysentery
Flowers: skin blemishes
Burns
Faster healing of wounds


Preparations:

Tea:

1 teaspoon of fresh/dried leaves + 2-3dcl of water
Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
For aiding coughs, drink two to three times a day with a bit of honey. For healing the common cold, drink one cup a day with honey.
Can also be prepared using 2-3 teaspoons of dried flowers.

Tonic:

About 20 fresh, ripe nuts have to be finely chopped/grated (don't forget to clean them beforehand) and washed over with 1l (liter) of ethanol (70%). Let this mixture sit for 2 weeks and then filter it. Before using, it is necessary to dilute it with an equal amount of water. 
The compress is placed on swelled-up/sick legs, used to help with inflamed veins or as addition to sedentary foot-baths.
Warning: must not be used on damaged feet!

Sedentary Bath:

30dkg of finely shopped flowers/nuts + 5l (liters) of cold water
Leave it to sit for at least 12 hours. Filter and add to a bath of warm water. It is recommended to stay in this bath for about 20 minutes for it to take any real effect.

Compresses:

Half a teaspoon of bark is washed over with water (as is done to prepare tea) and is used only for exterior uses. It helps with sunburns, chilblain and wounds that heal slowly.

Extracts and other preparations can be ready-bought in pharmacies. Since this industry takes care to balance out all the ingredients, these preparations should be safe for both exterior and interior use. The extract is especially useful for healing hemorrhoids and can be bought in the form of gels or creams.

Warnings:

When used orally, it can cause (but not necessarily always) feelings of laxity, itchiness and stomach problems. There should be no negative side-effects for pregnant women when using the extract (on the contrary, it should help with the veins and edema), but it is recommended that a physician be consulted nevertheless.

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