Horse chestnut ordinary – wild chestnut

chestnut – Aesculus hippocastanum L. Ukrainian name – wild chestnut. 

Horse chestnut family – Hippocastanaceae.

The seeds and leaves are used for medicinal purposes.

It occurs in culture almost throughout Ukraine, more often in forest-steppe and steppe regions. They are grown mainly in parks, on the streets, in yards, as well as in roadside plantations.

Stocks of raw materials are large. Dozens of tons of seeds and leaves can be harvested annually.

The average annual procurement of chestnut seeds in the republic for three years (1974-1976) amounted to 107 g.

Horse chestnut is a tree up to 30 m tall, with a dense rounded crown. The bark on the trunks is dark brown, fissured, on young branches it is light brown. The kidneys are large, sticky. The leaves are opposite, petiolate, palmately compound, up to 25 cm in diameter. The leaflets are obovate, pointed at the apex, doubly serrated along the edge, dark green above, with prominent veins, wrinkled, lighter below, pubescent along the veins with reddish hairs. Flowers in erect, many-flowered pyramidal panicles. Corolla five-lobed, irregular, white, with red spots. The fruits are rounded, tricuspid, prickly capsules up to 6, and in diameter, with one, less often two rounded seeds. The seed coat is thin, leathery, shiny, dark brown, with a large gray spot at the base. The plant blooms in May. The fruits ripen in September – October.

Seeds are harvested in the fall when the fruits ripen, collecting them under the trees, sometimes shaking them off the trees.

Dry in attics under an iron roof or under sheds with good ventilation, laying out a thin layer on paper or cloth. The temperature in the dryers must be no higher than 25 ° if good ventilation is observed. The darkened seeds are separated after drying.

The raw material is exported and, in agreement with foreign firms, it should consist of rounded seeds of light brown

color, odorless, bittersweet taste. Humidity is not higher than 13%.

Dry seeds are packed in bags of the same weight. Store in dry, well-ventilated areas on pallets or racks.

The leaves are harvested during the flowering period, plucking or cutting them without petioles and immediately discarding the leaves that have turned yellow, stained, damaged by pests.

They are dried in attics under an iron roof or under sheds with good ventilation, spreading a thin layer (2-3 cm) on paper or cloth.

The raw material is exported and, in agreement with foreign firms, it consists of whole wrinkled leaves, dark green above, lighter below, odorless and tasteless. Humidity is not higher than 13%. In raw materials, no more than 3% is allowed. darkened and browned leaves, 2% of other parts of horse chestnut and 0.5% of organic and mineral impurities.

Dry leaves are pressed and packed into bales of the same weight. Store in dry and well-ventilated areas on pallets or racks.

The seeds contain flavonoid glycosides quercetin and kaempferol, saponin escin, fatty oil, tannins and within 50% starch. The leaves contain flavonoids, carotenoids, etc. They serve as raw materials for the manufacture of products used in diseases of peripheral vessels (varicose veins, thrombosis, inflammation, hemorrhoids).

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