331. Aesculus hippocastanum.—Horse-chestnut.
331. AESCULUS HIPPOCASTANUM Linné.—HORSE-CHESTNUT. (Bark and Fruit.) Habitat: Asia; cultivated as an ornamental tree in Europe and North America. The bark contains a bitter glucosid, aesculin, isomeric with quinovin in cinchona bark, for which it is used as a substitute in Europe. It is tonic, astringent, antiperiodic, narcotic, and antiseptic. The nuts have a similar action, but in addition are antispasmodic, used chiefly in neuralgic affections. The administration of the fluidextract has been recently recommended as a palliative in haemorrhoids. Dose of bark: ½ to 2 dr. (2 to 8 Gm.); of the nuts: 5 to 15 gr. (0.3 to 1 Gm.), generally in fluidextract.
Preparation of Esculin.—Precipitate a decoction of the bark with lead acetate, treat the filtrate with H2S, evaporate and recrystallize.