Horse chestnuts, conkers or buckeyes are unsafe and not to be consumed. Found in forests and backyards where even animals do not consume them, they cause poisoning that results in stomach irritation, vomiting, kidney problems, paralysis and even death. The sweet chestnut is edible and healthy for consumption by humans.
While both nuts are brown with light spots on them, there are distinguishable differences between the nuts and husks. Horse chestnuts are round in smooth husks with a few warts on them, while sweet chestnuts have pointed tips in prickly husks that are as sharp as a needle. While horse chestnuts are not safe for human consumption, the chemicals from its seeds can be processed and separated from each other to help treat blood circulation problems, fever, diarrhea and enlarged prostate, states WebMD.