Clinical studies

Study 1

A placebo-controlled study compared the effects of horse chestnut extract supplementation (300 mg standardized for 50 mg escin, 2 capsules per day for 12 weeks) with standard leg compression stocking (the standard therapeutic measure for chronic venous insufficiency) in ameliorating the chronic venous insufficiency condition.

The supplementation of the horse chestnut extract improved the condition and the effect was comparable to standard compression therapy with better compliance (Fig. 3).

Figure 3. Effect of the extract on the lower leg volume compared to standard therapy

Diehm C, Trampisch HJ, Lange S, Schmidt C. Comparison of leg compression stocking and oral horse-chestnut seed extract therapy in patients with chronic venous insufficiency. Lancet.1996;347(8997):292-294.

Study 2

A German multi-centric study compared the clinical efficacy of two leading natural pharmacological measures in the management of CVI, oxerutins (a standardized mixture of hydroxyethyl derivatives of rutin), and standardized horse chestnut extract. 155 female postmenopausal subjects participated, out of which 37 subjects completed the 19-week study. The study design was a double-blind placebo-controlled with random allocation of the subjects to the supplement groups. Three different supplements were investigated:

  • Oxerutins 1000 mg/day
  • Oxerutins 1000 mg/day initial dose for 4 weeks followed by 500 mg/day maintenance dose
  • Horse chestnut extract 600 mg/day (the supplement was supplied as capsules each containing 300 mg horse chestnut extract standardized to 50 mg escin/capsule)

One-week placebo run was followed by 12 weeks of the extract supplementation and a six weeks follow-up period without supplement. The extract showed effective reduction in leg volume (Fig. 4).

Anti-edema effects of oxerutin and horse chestnut extract over time
Relative efficacy of oxerutins and horse chestnut extract
Figure 4. Effect of the extract and its combination with the oxerutin on the leg volume

Rehn D, Unkauf M, Klein P, Jost V, Lücker PW. Comparative clinical efficacy and tolerability of oxerutins and horse chestnut extract in patients with chronic venous insufficiency. Arzneimittelforschung. 1996;46(5):483-487.