This review discusses historical and recent pharmacological and clinical data on the anti-edematous, anti-inflammatory, and venotonic properties of escin (Reparil ®). Escin, the active component of Aesculus hippocastanum, or horse chestnut, is available as orally absorbable dragées and as a transdermal gel. The anti-inflammatory and anti-edematous effects of escin have been studied over many years in pre-clinical models. More recent data confirm the anti-inflammatory properties of escin in reducing vascular permeability in inflamed tissues, thereby inhibiting edema formation. The venotonic effects of escin have been demonstrated primarily by in vitro studies of isolated human saphenous veins. The ability of escin to prevent hypoxia-induced disruption to the normal expression and distribution of platelet endothelial cell-adhesion molecule-1 may help explain its protective effect on blood vessel permeability. Escin oral dragées and transdermal gel have both demonstrated efficacy in blunt trauma injuries and in chronic venous insufficiency. Both oral escin and the transdermal gel are well tolerated.