Latin name: Aesculus cashmerina/ Aesculus hippocastanum Linn
Family: Hippocastanaceae (Horse-chestnut Family)
Cashemerian name : Handun
English name : Horse chestnut, Buckeye
Distribution : Phalgam, Gulmarag, Daksum, Kokernag, Bandipore, Doda
Ecological notes : Introduced in Dawar, does not grow naturally in Gurez.
Status : Rare in Gurez-Tilel. Cultivated from low-land to mountainous elevations, ornamental tree.
Medicinal use of Horse Chestnut: The seed is astringent, acrid and narcotic. An oil from the seed is applied externally in the treatment of skin disease and rheumatism. The juice of the bark is also used to treat rheumatism. A paste made from the oil cake is applied to the forehead to relieve headaches. The seed is given to horses suffering from colic. It is also used as an anthelmintic on horses to rid them of intestinal parasites.
Parts Uses : Leaves, Bark, Seeds, Fruits
Other uses: Wood is used as fodder. Horse chestnut seed and leaf are used for treating varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and swollen veins (phlebitis).
Horse chestnut seed is used for diarrhea, fever, and enlarged prostate.
Chemical composition : Ripe seeds reported to contain 3% water, 11% crude protein, 5% oil and 74% carbohydrates (DuKE) Extract of whole herb contains Saponins, seeds contain upto 10% Saponin (Chem. Abst. 1941,3032; Coumarin aesculin present; therapeutically remarkable substance in flowers is a flavonoid aglycone, bark contains tannins. (M.K.Kaul)
Propagation of Horse Chestnut : Seed - best sown outdoors or in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed germinates almost immediately and must be given protection from severe weather. The seed has a very limited viability and must not be allowed to dry out. Stored seed should be soaked for 24 hours prior to sowing and even after this may still not be viable. It is best to sow the seed with its "scar" downwards. If sowing the seed in a cold frame, pot up the seedlings in early spring and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer.
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