Women with problem veins can be helped by horse chestnut seed extract, researchers have discovered. It may be one of the best non drug approaches to the problem, and is certainly as good as using special compression stockings.
Researchers from Karlsbad, Germany monitored 240 patients for 12 weeks, and tested them while either taking a placebo or a 50 mg twice daily dose of the extract. The rest wore the compression stockings.
The extract and the stockings were equally as good in reducing leg swelling caused by chronic venous insufficiency, they concluded.
But some doctors could be worried that the extract may be treated as a pharmaceutical but without passing the clinical tests to prove its safety. "They might remember that it is not that long since digoxin was prescribed as pills
ontaining standardized amounts of digitalis leaf," warns a Lancet editorial accompanying the research.