Treat swollen legs with horse chestnuts? – AgriNews

I am a 75 year old male who was diagnosed two years ago with superficial venous insufficiency. Venous ablation was considered, but my cardiologist informed me that it would probably not improve my condition. Therefore, the best treatment is to wear compression socks and elevate my legs as much as possible. I follow the advice of my cardiologist. I recently read a recommendation to take horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) seed extract and look for products that have had the toxicant esculin removed. I discussed it with my cardiologist’s medical assistant and she saw no reason not to try it. What do you think?

A few years ago I saw a well-done study showing horse chestnut extract to be an effective treatment for the swelling associated with venous insufficiency. The usual dose studied was 300 mg of extract, standardized to 50 mg of escin, twice a day. Side effects noted in studies have been both infrequent and mild, and several patients have tried it.

Unfortunately, my patients’ experiences have not been successful. I don’t know if it was just bad luck that I had patients who didn’t respond, or if they didn’t receive effective medication.

A big problem with herbal treatments in the United States, which are sold as dietary supplements, is that purity and standardization cannot be guaranteed. They are not well regulated, compared to pharmaceuticals.

I’m sure there are ethical manufacturers who follow good practices, but the literature on supplements in general has shown that some products on sale do not contain the amount of substance they claim to contain. There is no brand that I feel comfortable recommending.

Nonetheless, I think it’s reasonable to try, especially in combination with standard therapy, which includes daytime compression stockings and at least three sessions of leg elevation above the core for 30 minutes at the time.

My 57 year old son was diagnosed with stage 1 pancreatic cancer. He chose not to have surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. He has his own personal reasons and I respect that. Do you know of any other treatments, such as diet?

Everyone has the right to request or refuse treatment. However, stage 1 pancreatic cancer is potentially curable with surgery, and time is running out. Many people have changed their minds about seeking standard treatment only after an alternative treatment has failed and their disease has progressed.

While I understand your respect for his decision, it is difficult for an outsider like me to see someone being denied a potentially curative treatment for a disease that will likely soon become incurable. Hopefully his decision was made based on a thorough and careful consideration of the facts.

Although healthy diets, herbs, massages and other therapies can help people feel better, there is no evidence that they cure this terrible disease.

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