Hamamelis. - Synonym. - Witchhazel. The leaves of Hamamelis virginiana Linne (nat. ord. Hamamelaceae), collected in autumn.

Habitat

North America, in thickets.

Characters

Short petiolate, about 10 cm. long, obovate or oval, slightly heart-shaped and oblique at the base, sinuate-toothed, thickish, nearly smooth; inodorous; taste astringent and bitter.

Composition

The chief constituents are - (1) Tannic Acid, 8 per cent. (2) A bitter principle not yet isolated. (3) Resin.

Preparation

Extractum Hamamelidis Fluidum. Fluid Extract Of Hamamelis

By maceration and percolation with Glycerin, Alcohol and Water, and evaporation.

Dose, 1/2 to 2 fl. dr.; 2. to 8. c.c.

Action And Therapeutics Of Witchhazel

Hamamelis is, because of its tannic acid, astringent and haemostatic. The fluid extract is used for capillary haemorrhage from wounds, for bleeding from the nose, the sockets of the teeth, the gums, or from piles, and it may be injected into the bladder in vesical haemorrhage. For all these purposes it is diluted with water; the fluid extract in 10 or 20 parts of water is commonly employed. Locally applied, hamamelis, either as the ointment B. P., 1 to 10, made from the fluid extract or the diluted fluid extract, is used as an astringent in bruises, sprains, pharyngitis, and nasal catarrh. The ointment is often used for piles. Given by the mouth, hamamelis may check diarrhoea, dysentery, etc.; and it is reputed to be a remote haemostatic and astringent, but this is probably incorrect. Hazeline is a distilled extract from the leaves. A preparation of witchhazel in popular use is known as Pond's extract.