Common name: Horse Chestnut
Latin name: Aesculus hippocastanum
Other names: Bark Bongay, Buckeye, Conker Tree, Konker Tree
Family: Sapindaceae, Hippocastanaceae
Habitat: Horse Chestnut is native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
Description: Horse chestnut is a large tree, which grows up to 35 meters in height. It has stout shoots and sticky buds. Leaves are large, palm-like and opposite. Flowers are white, with four to five petals, with a pink to yellow basal spot. Flowering occurs in late spring. Fruits are black-brown, glossy nuts, hidden in a green to brown husk.
Parts used: Bark, leaves, seed.
Useful components: Coumarin, flavonoids, tannins, triterpene glycosides
Medicinal use: Used externally, Horse Chestnut is said to help in case of varicose veins. It reduces eczema, and acts as a herbal remedy for different types of skin conditions, sores and rashes. It is also recommended in cases of swelling and inflammations of joints, muscles and hemorrhoids. It is also proven to be helpful in cases of leg ulcers, frostbite, whooping cough and fevers. Tea made from the plant is useful in treatment of arthritis and rheumatic pains.
Safety: The seeds of the horse chestnut tree are harmful if eaten. In large amounts they can cause gastroenteritis, kidney and liver failure. Some herbs could react with certain medication. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption of any herb.