Clinical studies

Study 1

A clinical study evaluated the efficacy of topical emulsion (2% w/o emulsion of escin) in first stage of edema in cases of panniculopathy (cellulitis) of the thighs and breasts. A group of 50 female volunteers suffering from venousstasis in the thighs were recruited. The symptoms viz., skin roughness, increased skin pastiness, decreased skin elasticity, increased skin pliability, lipoedema, spontaneous pain, provoked pain, skin flaccidity and cold skin were evaluated in assessing the effect of the topical application. The severity of each symptom was evaluated with score-values 0 to 4, before and after the 30-day supplementation, using High Performance Contact Thermography, Infrared Photoplethysmography and Laser-Doppler flowmetry. Significant reduction in the hypothermic areas and the relative normalization of the skin temperature have been observed. The authors concluded that topical application of the escin complex improves skin and adipose tissue microcirculation, increases blood flow at the capillary level and decreases edema and stasis.

Reference

Bombardelli, E., et al. Topical anti-inflammatoy activity of complexes of escin and sterols with phospholipids. Part I. 1989: 39-44.

Study 2

Researchers of Bastyr University in Kenmore, USA, conducted a double-blind, randomized, single-dose trial on 71 healthy individuals (of which 70 completed the study) to assess the effect of topical gel (containing 2% escin) on experimentally induced bruises (broken blood vessels). The escin gel reduced inflammation and tenderness in all cases over the recorded 10-hour period.

Experimental hematoma was induced in the forearm by subcutaneous injection of 2 mL of the patient’s own blood obtained immediately before from the cubital vein. 10 g of either escin (34 subjects) or a placebo gel (36 subjects) was applied 5 minutes after the injection. Tenderness measurements were recorded initially and after supplementation using a calibrated tonometer that records the pressure at which there is the first perception of pain. The topical gel significantly improved the tenderness condition compared to placebo supplemented group (Fig. 6).

Figure 6. Effect of the extract on skin tenderness

Reference

Calabrese C, Preston P. Report of the results of a double-blind, randomized, single-dose trial of a topical 2% escin gel versus placebo in the acute treatment of experimentally-induced hematoma in volunteers. Planta Med. 1993;59(5):394-397.

Study 3

Esculin, the coumarin in the extract is also useful for topical application. The main pharmacological actions of esculin include capillary protection and the inhibition of enzymes such as hyaluronidase and collagenase. Esculin improved skin vasculature and is effective in the management of cellulitis. 20 women with chronic venous stasis and cellulitis were supplemented for two months, twice a day with an emulsion containing 3% esculin. Topically applied esculin increased the capillary density (number of capillaries open to flow per surface unit) and the structural integrity of the blood vessels (Fig. 7).

Figure 7. Effect of the extract on cellulitis parameters

Reference

Bombardelli E, Morazzoni P, Griffini A. Aesculus hippocastanum L. Fitoterapia. 1996;67:483–511.

Study 4

A fomulation containing 1% esculin, 0.5% ximenynic acid and 0.2% lauric acid reduced hair loss in people suffering from androgenic and symptomatic alopecia. In the placebo-controlled study, the formulation was applied to the scalp of male and female volunteers suffering from hair loss. The formulation induced beneficial effects on scalp microcirculation and on seborrhea, leading to improved hair vitality (Fig. 8). Trichograms (microsopic details of plucked hair) were compared to evaluate hair vitality.

Figure 8. Effect of topical application of a formulation (lotion) containing esculin on the trichogram in volunteers

Reference

Maramaldi Giada, Giacomelli Luca, Meneghin Martino, Eggenhoffner Roberto, Togni Stefano. Effectiveness of a multi-component lotion in the control of hair loss. Esperienze Dermatologiche – Dermatological Experiences. 2016;18:70-7.