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Since May 10th 2008


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Hamamelis virginiana

Hypericum perforatum
Harpagophytum procumbens
Humulus lupulus
Hydrastis canadensis


 

 

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Hamamelis virginiana L. (Hamamelidaceae).

Synonyms
Hamamelis androgynaWalt., H. carolinianaWalt., H. corylifolia Moench., H. dentata Moench., H. dioica Walt., H. estivalis Raf., H. macrophylla Pursh., H. nigra Raf., H. parvifolia Raf., H. rotundifolia Raf., H. virginata sic, H. virginiae L., H. virginiana ssp. parvifolia Nutt., H. virginica L., Trilopus dentata Raf., T. estivalis Raf., T. nigra Raf., T. parvifolia Raf., T. rotundifolia Raf., T. virginica Raf.

Local names
Amamelide, Amerikamansaku, cortice de hamamelis, feuilles d’hamamélis, feuilles du noisetier de la sorcière, folhas de hamamelis, hamamelis, hamamélis de virginie, Hexenhasel, magician’s rod, noisetier de sorcière, oczar, pistachio nut, snapping hazelnut, spotted alders, striped alder, tobacco wood, varázsdió levél és kéreg, vilin virginsky, virginische Zaubernuss, virginischer Zauberstrauch, white hazel, winter bloom, witch hazel, Zauberhasel, Zaubernuss

Description
A tall shrub or small tree, up to 4.6 m high. Branches highly branched. Leaves alternate, stipulate, short-petioled, unequilaterally ovate or rhomboid-ovate, with oblique base and sinuate or sinuate-dentate margin. Flowers thread-like, golden-yellow; appear in axillary clusters as leaves fall in autumn and at about the same time as fruits ripen from blossoms of the previous year. Fruit a2-beaked, 2-celled, woody capsule dehiscing loculicidally from the top, each cell containing a single black seed

Plant material used
dried and fresh leaves, and dried bark

Chemical assays
Folium: contains not less than 3% tannins. Cortex: contains not less than 4% tannins. Thin-layer chromatography is used for qualitative and quantitative analysis of tannins. A high-performance liquid chromatography method for quantitative analysis of condensed and hydrolysable tannins has been developed

Major chemical constituents
The major constituents of the dried leaf and bark are tannins (up to 10%). Both hydrolysable and condensed tannins are present, with the latter predominating. Folium tannins are a mixture of gallic acid (10%), hydrolysable hamamelitannin (1.5%) and condensed proanthocyanidins (88.5%). Cortex tannins are similar qualitatively, but have a much higher hamamelitannin level (up to 65% of a hydroalcoholic extract)

Medicinal uses
Uses supported by clinical data
Topically for minor skin lesions, bruises and sprains, local inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes, haemorrhoids and varicose veins.

Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
Topically as a haemostat.

Uses described in traditional medicine
Treatment of colitis, diarrhoea, dysentery, dysmenorrhoea, eye inflammations, haematuria, kidney pains, neuralgia, nosebleeds and excessive menstruation. Also as a tonic

Proven pharmacological activity
Animal studies
Astringent, Venotonic, Antibacterial, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory

Human studies
Haemorrhoids, Anti-inflammatory, Eczema, Analgesic, Antiviral

Contraindications
No information available.

Warnings
No information available.

Precautions
Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
Aqueous extracts of the dried leaves were not carcinogenic when administered subcutaneously to rodents (10 mg/animal).

Other precautions
No information available on general precautions or precautions concerning drug interactions; drug and laboratory test interactions; teratogenic and nonteratogenic effects in pregnancy; nursing mothers; or paediatric use. Therefore, Folium et Cortex Hamamelidis should not be administered during pregnancy or lactation or to children without medical supervision.

Adverse reactions
Allergic contact dermatitis may occur in sensitive individuals.

Dosage forms
Dried leaves and bark for decoctions; steam distillate, ointment and suppositories. Fresh leaves and twigs are collected in the spring and early summer to make a steam distillate. Store in a well-closed container, protected from light.

Posology
(Unless otherwise indicated)
External use: steam distillate, undiluted or diluted 1 : 3 with water to make poultices; 20–30% in semisolid preparations.
Extracts: in semisolid and liquid preparations corresponding to 5–10% of the crude drug.
Crude drug: decoctions from 5–10 g to 1 cup (250 ml) water for poultices and wound irrigation.
Rectal suppositories: 1–3 times daily the quantity of a preparation corresponding to 0.1–1.0 g crude drug, use Hamamelidis water undiluted or diluted 1 : 3 with water.
Other preparations: several times daily, corresponding to 0.1–1.0 g drug in preparations, or witch hazel water undiluted or diluted with water

 

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