The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Horse chestnuts to treat chronic venous insufficiency

    When your leg veins can’t pump enough blood back to your heart, you have chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Today, standardized horse chestnut seed extract (HCSE) is a well-established treatment for CVI and edema. It’s a common ingredient in lotions, creams, massage oils, and other skin care products, often in combination with other herbal ingredients.

    How does it work?

    The active component in HCSE is aescin. And in clinical trials, 50 mg of aescin given 2 to 3 times daily for CVI resulted in a positive effect that was, in part, due to its ability to strengthen capillaries, which leads to a reduction in swelling.

    The benefits for those who take HCSE include reductions in lower-leg volume and in leg circumference at the calf and ankle, as well as improvement in symptoms such as leg pain, pruritus, fatigue, and tension. Adverse reaction are rare.

    Illustration: Art.com

    9/25/06 21:00 JR

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