This section is from the book "A Practitioner's Handbook Of Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Thos. S. Blair. Also available from Amazon: A Practitioner's handbook of Materia Medica and Therapeutics.
Aesculus Hippocastanum, Horse Chestnut, is tonic, astringent, febrifuge, antiseptic, and narcotic, but is rarely employed except in congestion of the colon, rectum, and pelvic viscera. Its tonic action is upon the cerebro-spinal system, but it is inferior to nux vomica in this regard. As a narcotic it acts similarly to opium, but is more feeble. It acts upon the portal circulation and lessens the caliber of the rectal capillaries, thus favorably influencing hemorrhoids, and more especially the large dry locally.) If the administration is prolonged give @ I I t.i.d.
Aesculus glabra, or Ohio Buckeye, is a more toxic agent than the above-described remedy, more profoundly exerting its influence upon the nervous system. Its uses are similar, but it is to be preferred only when the action is to be directed deeper than the rectum; consequently, in congestions of the uterus and of the portal system it is of service in many cases. Regular physicians have never appreciated Aesculus for the very tangible reason that nearly all fluidextracts have been made from the dried bark, whereas it is the nut or fruit that is active. The sectarian tinctures are made of the recent nut and are highly active. The faint, anti-periodic properties possessed by the bark are of very little moment. In the popular mind, buckeye has long been esteemed in the treatment of rheumatism. Really, it has very little influence upon true rheumatism, but will relieve the backache affecting the sacrum and hips caused by portal congestion or by being upon the feet too much.