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Treat broken veins with Planetary Formulas Horse Chestnut Cream

Is a Solution for:
Dry Skin, Cellulite, Stretch Marks, Sagging Skin
July 29, 2009 Reviewed by Marta 15 Comments
Horse chestnut is one of the few things that we know can help treat broken capillaries and varicose veins. I've even gone so far as to make my own thread vein treatment with horse chestnut extract. Looking at Planetary Formulas Horse Chestnut Cream ($10.99), I think I'd be better served channeling my inner formulator on something else. With a whopping 20% horse chestnut extract, this has to be one of the bargain's of the decade.

For anyone who cares: horse chestnut trees (particularly the seeds) contain a saponin called escin. This is supposed to strengthen veins and capillaries by blocking an enzyme called hyaluronidase, which can breakdown of proteoglycans (part of the structure of capillary walls).

Planetary Formulas has several other helpful plant extracts. In particular, there is butcher's broom, which contains chemicals that attach to and strengthen blood vessels. There is an attention to detail about this product that I find impressive at any price. For example, the witch hazel extract comes from the bark, which has 31 times more hamamelitannin (antioxidant) and proanthocyandins than the leaves. I also like the inclusion of astringent rosemary and white oak.

Myrrh is an intriguing ingredient. Most of us know it as the stuff that the Three Kings carted around whilst following stars in search of baby Jesus. Although used in days gone by as an incense in churches, its main function is far less romantic. The bottom line is that myrrh is an antibacterial and is most useful as a mouthwash. Recently, however, researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey found that myrrh can kill cancer cells by inactivating a protein called Bcl-2.

There are a couple of parabens in Planetary Formulas Horse Chestnut Cream, but overall it looks to be a much better bet than Derma e Clear Vein Creme, which with its 3% horse chestnut did nothing for me.


Horse Chestnut Seed/Bark Extract (Standardized to 20% aescin), Butcher's Broom Leaf Extract, Witch Hazel Bark Extract, White Oak Bark Extract, Myrrh Gum Extract, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Purified Water, Aloe Vera Gel, Glyceryl Stearate (Emulsifier), Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides (Emollient), Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Beeswax, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Methyl Glucose (from Sugar Plant), Lecithin Phospholipid, Jojoba Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Natural Vitamin E), Xanthan Gum, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Sorbic Acid (Preservatives)
  • November 19, 2016

    by Sarah

    Hi L,
    I've tried this under my eyes for dark circles and it is AMAZING. Some people use the cream to treat hemorrhoids so it works similarly to monistat, which has been touted by some in the past as the HG for dark circles (crazy). I've tried tons of remedies before (chamomile, cucumber, cold compresses, iron, almond/grape seed oil, vitamin C and K creams, iron pills, massaging to increase circulation and reduce fluid retention, expensive eye creams) to little success. Vitamin C cream was moderately successful in reducing the dark circles but OMG the horse chestnut cream immediately took away 1/3 of my dark circles and tightened my undereye area. Be careful around your eyes and test a small amount to make sure you don't have a sensitivity. Good luck!

  • January 20, 2015

    by Heather

    JUST QUICKLY - This product contains Horse Chestnut Seed Extract standardized to 20% Aescin which is the active ingredient within the Extract. Basically Aescin is extracted from Horse Chestnut Seed Extract and then put back into the extract - so it has a 20% more concentrated active ingredient content. It does not contain 20%. If it did it would be thicker than mud!! I would suggest it has no more than 2% as a total in the formula. Possibly less :)

  • September 19, 2013

    by yesenia

    What store do u get horse chestnut cream plz help

  • July 10, 2013

    by Terri

    i was going to attempt to make the recipe marta posted, but after finding it at my local natural food store for under $11.00, and reading the other active ingredients I couldn't find a reason to make a potion out of the Horse chestnut when this jar of cream seem to have plenty of the same ingredience. And let me tell you, it works! not only does it work, it also can be used as a tinted moisturizer.As I should add the color in fairly deep and it is unfortunatelysomewhat drying on the skin at least mine in my fifties, so adding your favorite moisturizer conbats the dryness and evens out the color this cream imparts on the skin. Couldn't be happier, especially at this tremendously low price and effectiveness. Unsure why it's unavailable on the TIA site? At least as far as my search, I could only find referrence to it, but not something you can buy through this site. I would be more than happy to give a review on this great product, although i think I already did. Lol

  • June 10, 2012

    by Pam

    Ihave been using a supplement called Vital Vein with great results. It's great for my broken capillaries & rosacea in general. It has 300mg Horse Chestnut Extract, 200mg Butchers Broom, 120mg Gotu Kola with Vit.C & Bilberry. You can get it from Puritans Pride.

  • September 14, 2010

    by L

    Has anyone used this successfully under the eyes yet?
    I wonder if it would help puffy eyes...

  • July 3, 2010

    by I_Fortuna

    Planetary Herbals has been around for years with a great reputation. The creator of this company has written several books (some of which I have read) and certainly has maintain a high level a credibility with me as I have studied homeopathic and Chinese traditional medicines myself.

    The products are based on scientific results using non traditional and traditional medicinal herbs that are combined in a specific way to be used and directed to do a particular job in a particular area of the body.

    I have used horse chestnut extract directly on bruised and broken veins in my legs and have had great success with fading them. Therefore, I would guess that this product with it's large infusion of horse chestnut will be effective especially in combination with the other ingredients.

    I can't wait to try it on my legs and small red veins on my face because I got out of the habit of using anything like this for a while now. This is going to be a real treat and the price is certainly reasonable.

  • November 17, 2009

    by Jennifer

    BTW, this stuff smells horrible (to me) and I use it on my face so I mix it with my serum and I also use essential oils and that seems to take the smell away.

    I read that is also works better as a tincture (alcoholic extract) so I will use up this cream so that my skin can become accustom to it and then I am going to try making my own serum with Vit C and jojoba oil.

  • November 16, 2009

    by Jennifer

    I just pick this up at Publix GreenWise (a FL grocery store) and it is called "Planetary Herbals" and it does not have the parabens in it.

    I also bought the supplement so maybe I will get double the results! :-)

    Thanks for the answer about using on the face as that is what I bought it for.

  • September 8, 2009

    by marta

    Sarah and Bev,

    Here is what Planetary Formulas said about using the horse chestnut cream on the face:

    Horse chestnut is a traditional botanical that has been widely used in Europe to support vein integrity, especially in the legs. The Horse Chestnut Cream is designed to support a healthy vascular system and help improve the appearance of varicose veins. The Horse Chestnut Cream is designed for external use only. As such, we recommend consulting a qualified health professional with any further questions you might have regarding the appropriate use of this product. That being said, I am not aware of any specific contraindications against using the Planetary Formulas Horse Chestnut Cream on the face. However, if you have a tendency towards sensitive skin, it might be advisable to conduct a patch test (try it on a small area) before using the product on the entire face. If irritation occurs, use of the product should be discontinued.

  • September 6, 2009

    by marta

    Hi Bev and Sarah,

    My guess would be yes, but I have written to Planetary Formulas and will let you know when I hear back.

  • September 5, 2009

    by Sarah

    I'm looking for the answer to Bevs question, is it ok to use this product on my face?

  • July 30, 2009

    by Cristina

    One of the reasons I love TIA....I didn't even know they made skin care...I've been taking one of their sleep supplements for a long time. Wonder what other goodies they make....

  • July 29, 2009

    by Bev

    Is this product OK to use on your face, particularly if you have sensitive skin & rosacea?

  • July 29, 2009

    by Niall

    One thing I like about reading this blog is that every so often you will review a product that I've been using so long I don't even consider it a "product" anymore, and that I thought was so obscure anyway no one would ever notice it. So it is with Planetary's Horse Chestnut cream. It's been a staple in my medicine cabinet for years. And it really, really works.

    Great to see it get such a positive review.

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