The main substances in Horse balsam are:
Comfrey (Symphytum Officinale L.)
- Comfrey was the main equipment of the Greek and Roman “war bonesetters” (it brings the flesh to grow). In the Middle Ages, comfrey was commonly used to cure bone fractures, which gave rise to its common name. Grated roots were used in the same way as plaster today. The root mash sets as quickly as plaster
- Its major importance consists in its external application. It is used in the form of a compress for bruises, venous inflammations, chronic diseases, gout and varicose veins. It helps bone fracture union as well as healing of wounds, swellings, ulcers and haemorrhages. Comfrey encourages the healing tissue production, however it should not be used for deep wounds as it accelerates the surface healing before the wound is able to heal inside, which can cause abscess formation. In herbalism it is widely recommended for open varicosities and crural ulcers. It is also used as tincture or in the form of healing oils.
- Effective substances: allantoin, asparagine, laziocarpine, methylpyrinine, essential oils, tannins, a number of other alkaloids.
- In the Horse balsam formula it is used to:
improve blood circulation, stimulate regeneration, speed up healing of swellings, stimulate broken bone regeneration
Horse Chestnut (Aesculus Hippocastanum L.)
- Horse chestnut is a tall tree originally coming from the Balkans. It was imported to our region in the 18th century. It was first described as a herb by Matthioli in the 16th century. In 1615 a French traveller brought it from Istanbul and planted it in Paris. During the subsequent 100 years it spread over the whole of Europe. Californian Indians threw crushed chestnut fruits in lakes and rivers to intoxicate fish which could then be more easily fished. In 1896 there was a reference to its healing effect for haemorrhoids.
- Effective substances: aescin, quercetin, kaempherol and others.
- In the Horse balsam formula it is used for:
“heavy legs”, speeding up bruise absorption, improving circulation in blood vessels eliminating blood coagulation and preventing thrombus formation.
Common Juniper (Juniperus Communis L.)
- It is spread anywhere in Europe and Asia. Its European occurrence is nearly cosmopolitan. It can be found from lowlands up to mountain regions (Monte Rosa 3700 m a.s.l.). The Juniper’s healing glory originated in the Middle Ages when the Arabs made an unusual Juniper jam, presented in some older pharmacopoeias until now. For a long time, Juniper was associated with ritual purge and burnt in temples as a part of regular purging rituals. Several pharmacopoeias remained preserved on Egyptian papyruses coming from 1550 B.C.
- Internally it is used for urinary tract inflammations, flatulence and dyspepsia (digestive disorder – fermentation and putrefaction processes prevail in the intestines). It improves metabolism in joints which, together with its diuretic properties, predetermines it for the treatment of joint rheumatism.
- Effective substances: essential oil is rich in monoterpenes – above all the terpinol.
- In Horse balsam formula it is used for:
rheumatic pains, muscle pains, speeding up convalescence, arthritis and gout, chronic rheumatism