The horse chestnut poisoning: symptoms, treatment

Horse chestnut can be found in almost every green city. It is often used not only for decorative purposes in landscaping (deciduous tree has a very showy bloom), but also used for the manufacture of medicines. The tree was well established as a "healer", but in spite of this, improper use, cause this disease, as poisoning a horse-chestnut.

Properties of horse chestnut

In nature there are species of horse chestnut, where much of the fruit unfit for eating. To eat only suitable chestnut (the official name of Mille Castanea sativa). Horse chestnut is different from the noble, primarily because of its structure. The crown is wider and may reach 30 m in height. In some countries, for example, in France, the roasted chestnut is one of the most popular treats.

Horse chestnut has a special chemical composition, so is used to develop various medicines. Depending on the characteristics of bark, flowers and seeds, the chemical and quantitative composition of chestnuts can vary. In any case, all kinds of chestnut contain flavonoids, which determine the therapeutic effect on the body. In addition, the fruit contains minerals, a small amount of protein, sugars, fats and vitamins (b, C and A).

The fruits have a very important property is to reduce blood viscosity and prevent thrombus formation. That is why chestnuts are part of many medicines used in the treatment of various vascular diseases. For example, a very useful fruit for the treatment of varicose veins, inflammation of veins, thrombophlebitis, etc.

Quite often horse chestnut is used in folk medicine for the treatment of various diseases. (Often used also tree flowers) made medicinal teas, tinctures and alcoholic extracts. Folk medicine uses remedies based on chestnut for the treatment of joint diseases, hemorrhoids, prostatitis, some gynecological diseases. The extract of the fruit contains a substance escin and helps to normalize blood pressure, swelling of the feet and improve the tone of veins.

The fruits of the tree contain a lot of starch, but due to the fact that the composition are also bitter glycosides, chestnuts become unfit for human consumption. To emphasize the unsuitability of the fruit for food, chestnuts and got the name "horse". However, fruits in small quantities can be fed to pigs or cattle, as these animals do not pay much attention to the bitterness.


Despite the pharmacological properties of the chestnuts, there are a number of conditions in which medicinal products based on the fruit is unsafe. So, you can not use recipes with chestnut, if available:

  • thrombocytopenia – a condition in which not enough normal number of platelets in the blood;
  • of blood clotting;
  • hypotension, chestnuts tend to reduce the pressure;
  • atonic constipation;
  • diabetes mellitus;
  • gastritis with low pH of the hydrochloric acid;
  • the menstrual cycle;
  • pregnancy and breast-feeding.

It is very important to monitor the level of prothrombin during long-term treatment with horse chestnut. By reducing the normal level of the protein should stop taking the drug, otherwise there may be bleeding.

The quality of the drug largely depends on environmentally friendly raw materials. If the drug is made from fruit that are grown in impure from an environmental point of view, they are unusable.

Overdose, and possible side effects

When using drugs (especially infusions, decoctions and other people's money) on the basis of horse chestnut it is very important to adhere the dosage and duration of the course. The uncontrolled intake of these drugs can lead to overdose. Symptoms of overdose are convulsions of the hands and lower extremities. Also, the patient can pinch.

To start treatment using horse chestnut, you must, after consultation with the doctor. In individual cases, after intake may be signs of Allergy, nausea, or heartburn. In the presence of side effects the intake of therapeutic agents should be discontinued. During therapy it is necessary to control blood clotting.

Poisoning a horse-chestnut

It should be clearly understood that for human consumption the horse chestnut. These fruits are only useful for therapeutic purposes, while in medicines, but in raw form they are toxic and can cause quite serious poisoning.

Chestnut poisoning may occur if to taste them. Note that the fruit is quite bitter, especially the immature. The intensity of intoxication and the symptoms depend on the number trapped in the body of the toxin.

If you accidentally eat horse chestnuts in food may cause various disorders of the internal organs and systems. May include the following complications:

  • violation of the gastrointestinal tract (nausea, bloating, symptoms of irritation, burning, urge to vomit,diarrhea);
  • cramps of the extremities;
  • tachycardia;
  • menorrhagia;
  • allergic reactions.

If the victim has any disease of the liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract or blood, it is possible exacerbation of the disease.

If you experience symptoms of intoxication it is necessary to take measures to rid the body of toxin. To do this, you should immediately gastric lavage to prevent further penetration of the poison into the body. Victim should drink large quantities of water (preferably lukewarm and salty), and then induce vomiting. The procedure should be repeated until then, until the stomach do not go completely clear water.

After gastric lavage, symptomatic therapy is carried out, depending on which organs or systems have been knocked out. Methods of treatment determined by the physician. In severe cases treatment should be in hospital.

With any poisoning is very useful to adopt a sorbent (activated carbon, POLYSORB, enterosgel, white coal etc.). Sorbents absorb all the toxic substances and excreted naturally.

Chestnut: a horse or edible

Chestnuts belong to different families: edible belongs to the family of beech, and horse to Hippocastanaceae, that is, to consolestream. Despite the fact that the fruits have the same name, they do not belong to the same genus (Castanea).

Many in ignorance can confuse edible chestnuts with horse. To understand chestnut is poisonous or not, you need to pay attention to external characteristics. At first glance, the chestnuts look the same, with shiny skin, but in fact, there are striking differences, which are expressed in the shell. Fruit inedible chestnuts have boxes bright green in color with numerous spines and contain one (seldom more) orehovitsa seed.

Also worth bearing in mind that in Russia edible chestnut is practically not found, and those chestnuts that we see in city parks – this is a horse.


To avoid intoxication, it is necessary to be vigilant when eating chestnuts. The fruits must be purchased in stores or food marketsto be sure about their edibility.

The use of edible chestnuts should also be aware. You should not eat the suitable chestnuts in excess amounts, to not cause constipation or bloating.