Could Horse Chestnut Be an Effective Hemorrhoids Remedy?

Is horse chestnut a natural hemorrhoids remedy? It has not been tested or approved for this purpose by the FDA in the United States, but there is a long history of usage by Europeans. Horse chestnut is an herb that strengthens and tones veins. It is used to alleviate swelling in the legs caused by varicose veins. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins. This article looks at what science and experience tell us about its value as a hemorrhoids remedy.

After many years of testing throughout Europe, there is strong scientific evidence that horse chestnut seed extract is an effective treatment for varicose veins. European studies found that it increased blood flow in veins and strengthened connective tissue. Aescin, a major ingredient of horse chestnut, is the key. It strengthens the walls of veins, reduces inflammation, and improves circulation.

Hemorrhoids are varicose veins found in the anus and the rectum. So, can we conclude that horse chestnut is an effective hemorrhoids remedy? Not necessarily. Even in Europe, there is no comparable testing of this herb as a hemorrhoids remedy.

However, the use of horse chestnut seeds to treat hemorrhoids successfully has been documented as early as 1896 in France. Europeans have long applied the herb as a cream and eaten it to prevent and treat varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

The following doses (containing 50-75 mg aescin) have been tested for safety (but not by the FDA) in adults, ages 18 and older:

  • 300 mg every 12 hours, for up to 12 weeks
  • 600 mg of extract per day

Still, several critical precautions need to be observed before you consider using this solution.

Risks Associated with Using Horse Chestnuts as a Hemorrhoids Remedy

For:

  • Pregnant women
  • Breast-feeding women
  • Children
  • Diabetics

Here are some absolute don’ts:

  • Don’t use this herb if you’re pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or are trying to get pregnant.
  • Don’t use it if you’re breast-feeding.
  • Don’t give it to children, or anyone under 18.
  • Never eat horse chestnuts raw. The seeds, flowers, leaves, and bark contain a poisonous ingredient, esculin. This highly toxic form can lead to poisoning and death.

Watch out for these symptoms of poisoning:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Paralysis
  • Coma
  • Confusion and coordination problems
  • Muscle twitching

When taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding (for example, aspirin, ibuprofen, blood thinners), the raw form of this herb further increases that risk. Children have died after eating raw horse chestnut seeds or tea made from the leaves and twigs. Again, never risk eating any form of the herb raw.

Don’t use this herb if you’re diabetic, hypoglycemic, or suffer from other blood-sugar related conditions without the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider. Based on animal studies, even the extract may lower your blood sugar.

How to Shop Safely for Horse Chestnut

When properly processed, horse chestnut seed extract contains little or no esculin. Only take high-quality, or standardized, extract purchased from a reputable health supplements supplier. Then, read the directions on the label and follow them. Don’t exceed the recommended dosage.

The most common form is standardized at 16-20% aescin. Many who have used this herb successfully as a hemorrhoids remedy recommend taking capsules containing 50-300 mg of aescin two to three times daily. Expect your hemorrhoids to improve within six weeks.

Because there are so many precautions associated with taking horse chestnut seed extract, it’s a very good idea to discuss whether you should use it as a hemorrhoids remedy with your healthcare provider. Even the properly processed and standardized extract can result in side effects, such as itching or nausea. Other symptoms of an allergic reaction include dizziness, trouble breathing, a rash, or swelling.

Herbal Medicine – Inexpensive and Effective Healthcare Alternatives

Health and medicine are common topics in the news every day. Prescription medications cost too much for many of us to afford in a good year, but with the economy having so many problems right now things are much worse than normal. Because of these problems, many people have been looking for alternative medicine options, and luckily for them there are plenty.

Alternative medicine is a phrase that covers a broad range of topics. There are specific herbal remedies, as well as alternative treatments such as acupuncture, hypnosis, and massage. Even in the realm of herbal remedies, there are Chinese herbs and customs, as well as Western herbs and customs. These tend to be different in some ways.

Using natural herbs and plants as medicine is a practice which has been around for thousands of years. There is actually plenty of evidence which has shown herbal remedies and plants being used as medicine as far back into the past as 60,000 years ago. Cave paintings have even been found which indicate herbs were used for medicine, and these cave paintings are believed to have been made sometime between 13,000 and 25,000 B.C. In fact, many of our modern day man-made prescription drugs have been based on the natural healing substances found in herbs and plants.

There are many people around the world, and particularly in the United States, who do not feel that using plants and herbs as an alternative to prescription medicine should be an option. The argument is that there is not enough scientific proof and there have not been enough actual studies to confirm what works and what doesn’t. The opposite school of thought comes from people who actually specialize in using herbal remedies to treat a variety of ailments and conditions. They know from experience how well certain herbs and alternative treatments actually work.

There are arguments which say the reason few studies have actually been done on herbal remedies is because there’s no money to be had. Drug companies and large pharmaceuticals cannot patent natural plants and herbs. And if they cannot put a patent on something, they cannot charge so much money for it.

There is also a problem due to lack of knowledge and information in mainstream society. Many people do not understand how to use plants and herbs to take care of a variety of simple health conditions. They also don’t understand what may be good or bad, or exactly how different herbs and medications can interact with each other. Some people even believe that if something is natural it must be safe no matter what you do with it. This of course is not how the world works, even with natural herbs and plants. There are many plants and other natural items found throughout the world which are extremely dangerous and even poisonous.

One example of this is a simple rhubarb plant. Rhubarb is a healthy vegetable that we can eat in a variety of ways, but if you try to eat the leaves from that plant or use them in some sort of medicine, you could go into convulsions and you might even die from it.

Just like prescription drugs, there are certain herbs and medicinal plants which have the potential to create problems for certain people. An herb known as goldenseal for example, can cause problems for diabetics and people who have hypoglycemia because it is a natural form of insulin. This herb is also excellent to use as a natural infection fighting antibiotic, but if someone with low blood sugar takes it, there could be severe side effects if their blood sugar levels drop too low.

Most people are aware that prescription drugs, or even over-the-counter medications, can interact with each other badly. What they don’t know however, is that the same thing can happen with herbal remedies, and medicinal plants. These herbs can also conflict with prescription medications too. For example, one herb which is popular to use for boosting your energy is ginseng. Many people don’t realize, that if they take ginseng and drink large amounts of caffeine at the same time, they run the risk of having heart out the patience or even more severe emergencies such as a heart attack. The same types of risks can apply if you’re taking certain prescription drugs along with ginseng too.

These examples are just a few, but they should stress the importance of how powerful herbal medicine can be. Whether you want to start using herbal medicine as an inexpensive alternative to modern drugs, or you simply want to start taking better care of yourself, you need to become fully educated on exactly what herbs you choose to use. Just as you need to be careful with prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications, you also need to be informed and aware of what herbal medications can and cannot do.

Herbal remedies can be an extremely powerful way to take care of many common health problems and ailments. They’re very inexpensive to use, and there are generally many less side effects than you might see from prescription drugs. These are all excellent reasons to start learning about herbal remedies and possibly find ways to reduce your own health care expenses naturally, and safely.

Statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA.

Natural Remedies for Colds – Are Natural Remedies Effective on Viruses?

Modern Medicine

In modern times we have made ourselves an “I want it now” society. This includes our healthcare. We want to go to the doctor or grocery store, buy a medicine, and see immediate results.

Globally we spend $4.5 trillion dollars per year on healthcare; however, everywhere we go are the implications of a society driving itself further into a health crisis. So, are we healthier because of the money we spend on our immediate results?

The answer is NO.

Modern medicine is actually the synthetic reproduction of isolated natural agents. In other words, scientists will isolate a molecule from a plant understanding that it will help with a common ailment. They will then synthetically reproduce this in the lab, add a bunch of fillers, and put it on the market.

Nevertheless, synthetically reproduced molecules aren’t metabolized by our systems like natural ones. The product may help with one symptom but it will cause a host of other symptoms, to which, we then turn around and take another medication for, right?

So we are a culture of treating symptoms… not root causes.

Natural Medicine

Despite what most believe, there are natural remedies that can and do help with common ailments. However, you have to have the right ones.

So let’s discuss a few common natural cures and which are best to use.

Herbs:

Herbs are dried pants; whether they are dried in the sun or in a dehydrator they are still exposed to heat for an extended amount of time. In general, herbs lose approximately 50% of their nutritional value and healing ability when dried. For example, although there are roughly 1620 micrograms of beta-carotene and 27 milligrams of Vitamin C in a standard portion of mint; when dry, these nutrients are reduced to 810 micrograms beta-carotene and 13.5 milligrams of Vitamin C. So their healing ability and nutritional value aren’t anywhere near what this herb can deliver raw.

Essential Oils:

I am quite partial to essential oils; however, there are a TON of fakes out there on the market. First, let me tell you why essential oils work and then I will explain what oils you need to get the most healing benefit.

Essential oils are the volatile liquids that are distilled from the seeds, bark, leaves, roots, stems, flowers, or fruit of a plant. Each essential oil differs in its chemical constituents and therefore its ability to heal certain things in the body. This chemical makeup can be affected by many things prior to and during the distillation process. Things like the fertility of the soil, fertilizer used, geographic region, climate, altitude, method of harvest, and method of distillation can greatly impact the quality of each essential oil.

For example, what do you think of when you think about where oranges come from? Florida, right? So if I brought an orange tree from Florida and decided to grow it in Wyoming, do you think it would bear the same quality fruit? The answer is emphatically, NO. The fruit probably wouldn’t grow as big or be as sweet. The same thing goes for essential oils, they come from plants so there quality can be affected by things that are sometimes completely overlooked.

Essential oils exemplify the regenerating, oxygenating, and immune-strengthening properties of a plant that, when pure, can penetrate the very selective cellular membrane around each of our cells. In truth, they can actually affect every cell of the body within 20 minutes and once in the body they are metabolized like other nutrients.

Because essential oils can penetrate the plasma membrane of a cell they can inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses. How does this happen? Essential oils have actually been proven to inactivate a protein in viruses that prevents it from reproducing. They have also been proven to cause apoptosis (or programmed cell death) in bacterial and cancer cells without affecting normal healthy cells.

Unlike herbs, essential oils are not dried and therefore retain all of their nutritional value and healing ability if distilled properly. In reality, they are 50-70 times more powerful than herbs.

What to choose?

Natural remedies are definitely the way to go. There are things out there that can help you live healthier and heal from every kind of health problem, but it’s sometimes difficult to know which remedies to choose.

In my humble opinion, essential oils are much more effective than anything you find dried or frozen; however, if there aren’t any FDA regulations on the essential oils sold in health food stores which ones do you buy?

There is a company out there (I won’t name names) that sells CPTG or Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. This means that all of their oils are third party tested for purity.

Well then what constitutes purity, right? Well, the third party tests each oil to make sure all of its constituents a) come from the plant that was distilled b) contain no fillers, pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals and c) are in the right proportion to one another and makeup an oil profile that is of the upmost purity for that particular oil. I personally use these oils in my daily life and recommend you do the same.