Witch hazel – witch hazel

hazel, wintergreen, witch hazel; witch hazel


A small (up to 7 m tall) tree or shrub of the Hamamelid family. The general appearance of the plant is similar to hazel. The trunk is curved, the branches are forked; the bark is brown, smooth. The leaves are alternate, ovate, short-petiolate, unequal at the base, notched-toothed at the edge, with early falling stipules. The flowers are regular, bisexual, four-membered, collected in bunches in the axils of the leaves; sepals light-yellowish-brown, felty outside, up to 3 mm long; petals are light yellow, linear, 1.5-2 cm long. The fruit is a box. It blooms in September – October, when the leaves begin to fall. The fruits ripen the following fall.

Spread. Comes from North America. On the territory of Ukraine, witch hazel is grown in botanical gardens and parks as an ornamental plant. Procurement and storage. Leaves (Folium Hamamelidis) and bark (Cortex Hamamelidis), which are collected in autumn, are used to make medicines. The leaves are dried in ventilated rooms, stirring from time to time. The bark is dried in the open air, even in the sun, or in a dryer at a temperature of up to 50°. Some of the raw materials are used fresh for the production of extracts and homeopathic preparations.

The plant is unofficial .

Chemical composition . The leaves of the plant contain 3% p-hamamelitanin — a specific tannin of a glycosidic nature and other tannins, 12% digalol-hexose, choline (0.2%), saponin, sesquiterpene, leucodelphinin, leucocyanidin, wax, phytosterol, gallic and quinic acids, ionone , hamamelin, hamamelidin, hamamelose, derivatives of quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin, 0.5% essential oil, which contains safrole and ethers. The bark contains 1-3% of hamamelitanin and other tannins, digalol-hexose, phlobafen, fat (0.6%), essential oil (0.5%) and hamamelin (16%).

Pharmacological properties and use . Preparations from the leaves and bark of Hamamelis virgini have an astringent, bacteriostatic and vasoconstrictive effect. they are used for varicose veins, hemorrhoids, phlebitis, for the treatment of wounds and traumatic skin injuries (in the latter case, witch hazel is a full-fledged substitute for mountain arnica), to stop nasal and internal bleeding. With the same indicators, as well as with emphysema of the lungs, Hamamelis virginiani products are used in homeopathy.

The plant is official in the USA and most European countries, where it is part of many drugs, including cosmetic ones.

Medicinal forms and applications .

Internally – a decoction (10 g of bark and leaves, taken in equal parts, per 200 ml of boiling water, boil for 2 minutes) is drunk daily in 1 cup sips for phlebitis. Overdose causes a decrease in blood pressure, oliguria, rapid breathing, intestinal obstruction.

Externally – a decoction of bark and leaves (prepared as in the previous prescription) for compresses for traumatic skin injuries;

Witch hazel bark powder is used as a powder for baby care and for sunburns.

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