Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

    Aesculus hippocastanum

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    aesculus hippocastanum


    Etymology: aesculus: latin name for an oak with edible acorns hippocastanum: horse The name Æsculus (from esca, food) was applied originally to a species of oak, which according to Pliny, was highly prized for its acorns, but how it came to be transferred to the Horse Chestnut is very uncertain; perhaps, as Loudon suggests, it was given ironically, because its nuts bear a great resemblance, externally, to those of the Sweet Chestnut, but are unfit for food. Hippocastanum (the specific name of the common sort) is a translation of the common name, which was given - Evelyn tells us - 'from its curing horses brokenwinded and other cattle of coughs.' Some writers think that the prefix 'horse' is a corruption of the Welsh gwres, meaning hot, fierce, or pungent, e.g. 'Horse-chestnut' = the bitter chestnut, in opposition to the mild, sweet one.


    Traditional name

    English: Horse Chestnut, Buckeye

    German: Rosskastanie

    Used parts

    Homeopathic preparation: Tincture of ripe kernel, trituration of dry kernel. Tincture of fruit with capsule according to Hering is the best. [Clarke's Dictionary]


    N.O. Rosidae. Sapindales. Hippocastanaceae. Chestnut Family.


    Original proving

    Homeopathic Preparation: Tincture of ripe kernel, trituration of dry kernel. Tincture of fruit with capsule according to Hering is the best.

    Description of the substance

    The trunk of the tree is very erect and columnar, and grows very rapidly to a great height, with widely spreading branches. The bark is smooth and greyishgreen in colour: it has been used with some success in dyeing yellow. The wood, being soft and spongy, is of very little use for timber. The sturdy, many-ribbed boughs and thick buds of the Horse Chestnut make it a conspicuous tree even in winter. The buds are protected with a sticky substance: defended by fourteen scales and gummed together, thus no frost or damp can harm the leaf and flower tucked safely away within each terminal bud, which develops with startling rapidity with the approach of the first warm days after the winter. The bud will sometimes develop the season's shoot in the course of three or four weeks. The unfolding of the bud is very rapid when the sun melts the resin that binds it so firmly together.
    The large leaves are divided into five or seven leaflets, spreading like fingers from the palm of the hand and have their margins finely toothed. All over the small branches may be found the curious marks in the shape of minute horse-shoes, from which, perhaps, the tree gets its name. They are really the leaf scars. Wherever a bygone leaf has been, can be traced on the bark a perfect facsimile of a horse-shoe, even to the seven nail markings, which are perfectly distinct. And among the twigs may be found some with an odd resemblance to a horse's foot and fetlock.
    The flowers are mostly white, with a reddish tinge, or marking, and grow in dense, erect spikes. There is also a dull red variety, and a less common yellow variety, which is a native of the southern United States, but is seldom seen here.
    The fruit is a brown nut, with a very shining, polished skin, showing a dull, rough, pale-brown scar where it has been attached to the inside of the seed-vessel, a large green husk, protected with short spines, which splits into three valves when it falls to the ground and frees the nut.