Aesculus hippocastanum, “Horse Chestnut” in English and “Marronnier d’Inde” in French belongs to the Sapindaceae botanical family.
It is a tree reaching 20 to 30 meters high, growing in the wild in Northern Greece and Turkey, the Balkans, in the Caucasus and in Northern India. It was introduced to Europe and many other countries from the 16th century as an ornamental tree in parks and gardens.
The parts used medicinally are mainly the seeds and sometimes the bark. They are used for veinous conditions, particularly hemorrhoids.
The main components are saponosides forming a complex mixture called ß-escin. Other compounds like flavonoids (quercetin and kaempferol) and coumarins (fraxin, esculin) may participate in the effect.