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Horse chestnut edibility.

Botanical name:

Date: Fri, 6 Oct 1995 00:14:10 +0000
Sender: HERB.TREARNPC.EGE.EDU.TR
From: christopher hedley <christopher.GN.APC.ORG>
Subject: Horse Chestnut

Ari Solovyova wrote;
>Does anyone know if horse chestnuts can be used as food (baked or otherwise)?
>Thanks a lot in advance!

Short answer... No,

Horse Chestnuts contain saponins which break up red blood cells [... if they get into the blood. Don't inject them, eh? - Henriette, Feb02]. The tincture may be used for blood stasis, eg. as in varicose veins, at a reasonable maximum of 15 drops three times daily. Eating them as a food will greatly exceed that level. Just as well that they are very bitter. Mind you, my brother used to eat them from time to time when he was a child.

Christopher Hedley


From: Jack van Luik <jackv.PACIFIER.COM>

> Does anyone know if horse chestnuts can be used as food (baked or otherwise)?

Need to soak them a day & toss the water, boil them & toss the water. Then what is left is edible (but it's more trouble than it is worth).


From: James Morley <jm12kg.LION.RBGKEW.ORG.UK>

> Does anyone know if horse chestnuts can be used as food (baked or otherwise)?

Aesculus hippocastanum seeds are most definately *not* edible and are reported by many sources to be poisonous. However, the saponins it contains, aesculin being the best known, are poorly absorbed in the gastro-intestinal tract of healthy humans, and very few cases have been reported in accidental ingestion that have given any more than mild upset due to internal irritation on the mucous membrane. Just to reinforce the part about being inedible - it has been suggested that repeat exposure can lead to damage to the gastro-intestinal tract, which itself leads to greater absorption of the toxin etc. etc.......

Large ingestions have been reported to cause unconciousness and paralysis.



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