Scientific name: Castanea dentata

Common names: American Chestnut, Spanish Chestnut, Sweet Chestnut

Ayurvedic names: Horse chestnuts extract, Horse chestnuts power

Chinese names: Lingjiao

Bangladesh names:  Aam Pani Phal

Arabic names:    الكستناء (al kastanaa’e)

Rain Forest names: Green Marble, brown marble

Family: Fabaceae

Approximate number of species known: 466 species

Common parts used: Bark, leaf

Collection: Autumnal

Annual/Perennial: Annual or Perennial

Height: 13 meters or 43 feet tall

Actions: Astringent, tonic

Known Constituents:

Constituents Explained:


The nut is eaten for food, while the leaf and bark is used for medicinal purposes.1  The leaf has been used specifically for the respiratory tract.1

Traditional Use:

The traditional use of chestnuts as replacements of potatoes. It is usually uesd as medicinal cough remedy and for fever relief. It is also use as food for pigs. 

Clinical Studies:

In Korea, chestnut production is increasing each year, but consumption is far below production. The effect of chestnut extracts on antioxidant activity and anticancer effects was investigated.

Ethanol extracts of raw chestnut (RCE) or chestnut powder (CPE) had dose-dependent superoxide scavenging activity. Viable numbers of MDA-MD-231 human breast cancer cells, DU145 human prostate cancer cells, and AGS human gastric cancer cells decreased by 18, 31, and 69%, respectively, following treatment with 200 µg/mL CPE for 24 hr. 

CPE at various concentrations (0-200 µg/mL) markedly decreased AGS cell viability and increased apoptotic cell death dose and time dependently. The level of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein decreased within a narrow range following CPE treatment. The levels of Trail, DR4, and Fas-L increased dose-dependently in CPE-treated AGS cells. 

These results show that CPE decreases growth and induces apoptosis in AGS gastric cancer cells and that activation of the death receptor pathway contributes to CPE-induced apoptosis in AGS cells. 

In conclusion, CPE had more of an effect on gastric cancer cells than breast or prostate cancer cells, suggesting that chestnuts would have a positive effect against gastric cancer.


Lee HS, Kim EJ, Kim SH. “Chestnut Extract Induces Apoptosis In AGS Human Gastric Cancer Cells.” 2011 June