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    Aescin or Escin is a mixture of saponins with anti-inflammatory, vasoconstrictor and vasoprotective effects found in Aesculus hippocastanum/indica (the horse chestnut). Aescin is the main active compound in horse chestnut and is responsible for most of its medicinal properties such as venotonic effect, treatment of cellulitism, vascular disorder, cosmetics for prevention, anti-inflammatory and free radical scavenging properties.

    Aescin is described chemically as 6-[[9-acetyloxy-8-hydroxy-4,8a-bis(hydroxymethyl)-4,6a,6b,11,11,14b-hexamethyl-10-(2-methylbut-2-enoyloxy)-1,2,3,4a,5,6,7,8,9,10,12,12a,14, 14a-tetradecahydropicen-3-yl]oxy]-4-hydroxy-3,5-bis[[3,4,5-trihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl) oxan-2-yl]oxy]oxane-2-carboxylic acid. Its molecular formula is C55H86O24, its molecular weight is 1131.26.

    Aescin exists as a white or whitish powder that is soluble in Methanol and sparingly soluble in Water. Its melting point is about 225°C.

    Clinical Applications

    Primary indication is chronic venous insufficiency. Further, Aescin is a saponin complex and its main effect is anti-inflammatory.

    Mode of Administration

    Aescin is taken orally for venous insufficiency and is available in tablet form. Oral tinctures and topical gels are also available.

    Pharmacological Effects

    Aescin appears to produce effects through a wide range of mechanisms. It induces endothelial nitric oxide synthesis by making endothelial cells more permeable to calcium ions, and also induces release of prostaglandin. Other possible mechanisms include serotonin antagonism and histamine antagonism and reduced catabolism of tissue mucopolysaccharides.

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