Aesculus hippocastanum Linn.
Family Hippocastanaceae; Sapindaceae.
Habitat Endemic to the mountains of Balkan Peninsula and western Asia. Introduced into India; occasionally grown as an ornamental
English Horse Chestnut tree.
Unani Baloot. (Quercus incana and Q. infectoria have also been equated with Baloot in National Form ulary in Unani Medicine.)
Folk Pu.
Action Anti-inflammatory, vasodilator, astringent (used for rheumatism, venous congestion, haemorrhoids), febrifuge. Leaf— used in whooping cough.
Key application In chronic venous insufficiency, varicosis, nocturnal systremma (cramps in the calves) and swelling of the legs. (Non- invasive treatment measures should also be followed.) (German Commission E, ESCOP, The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

Horse Chestnut contains triterpenoid saponins (especially aescin, a complex mixture composed of acylated glycosides of protoaesigenin and barringtogenol-C, including hippocaesculin), coumarins and flavonoids. Aescin has been shown to eliminate oedema and reduce exudation. It antagonizes the effect of bradykinin, although it is not a direct bradykinin antagonist. It causes an increase in plasma levels of ACTH, corticosterone and glucose in rats. Hippocaesculin and barringtogenol-C-21-angelate show antitumour activity in vitro.
The hydroxycoumarin aesculin leads to increased bleeding time. (Roasting seems to destroy the toxins.) A few fruits can cause severe toxic symptoms. (Francis Brinker.) In some countries, an intravenous mixture containing aescin is used after surgery. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

Medicinal plants of India ; Ayurveda

Encyclopedia of Indian Medicinal Plants/Herbs mainly using in Ayurveda with good quality pictures and information like therapeutic usage of Medicinal Plants, cultivation, morphology, habitat, flower characters, Chemical content, parts used, research works etc.

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