Specification & Spread
Virginian hamamelis leaves — folia hamamelidis virginianae
Virginian hamamelis bark — cortex hamamelidis virginianae
Virginian hamamelis – hamamelis virginiana l.
hamamelidaceae family — hamamelidaceae
It is a tall shrub, less often a small tree (up to 3 m tall) with a light grey bark.
The leaves are falling, alternate, short-petiolate, broadly obovate, acuminate, unequal at the base, with large-toothed margins and prominent veins, about 12 cm long. Above it is dark green. The young leaves from the bottom are installed with rusty-brown tufts of hairs, below the old leaves are bare and yellowish-green.
The flowers are androgynous, tetramerous, collected in axillary amentiform inflorescences of 2-5. The petals are narrowly linear and golden-yellow.
The fruit is a brown oval capsule, half enclosed in a calyx and broke down by 4 glumes.
It grows wild in the deciduous forests of North America (Canada, USA). It is cultivated in the subtropics of Europe, Asia and Africa.
In nature, hamamelis grows in forests and along rivers in East Asia, on the east coast of North America and in some places in the Caucasus. Hamamelis has very valuable medicinal properties, so in Europe it is often planted in «physic gardens».
Virginian hamamelis leaves contain:
- 7-11% tannins of the hydrolyzable group (hamamelidine dihalloyl glucose);
- free gallic acid;
- essential oil;
- flavonoids (quercetin, astragaloside, myricitroside, etc.).
Hamamelis bark contains:
- about 10% tannins,
- representing a mixture of digalloylglucose and monogalloylgammelloside;
- gallic acid.
Harvesting and storage of raw materials
For medicinal purposes the leaves and hamamelis bark are used. Hamamelis leaves harvesting season is the autumn. After harvesting it is quickly, but carefully dried. The bark harvesting occurs in the spring. It is removed from the branches, and then spirally cut into pieces 15-20 cm long. The removed bark is dried in the sun.
Properties and application
The pharmacological properties of hamamelis:
Application of hamamelis
Virginian hamamelis leaves are included in the European Pharmacopoeia and the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.
In the form of a liquid extract, they are used as:
- astringent and
- anti-inflammatory agent for local use,
- as well as a styptic for:
- domestic and
- hemorrhoidal bleeding.
Infusion of leaves is used when:
- mucous colitis,
- hemorrhoids and
Hamamelis bark is included in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.
In the form of tincture, it is used for hemorrhoids, mucous colitis, diarrhea as:
- anti-inflammatory agent.
For medicinal purposes the leaves and hamamelis bark are used. The harvesting of hamamelis leaves is made in the autumn. After harvesting it is quickly, but carefully dried. The bark harvesting occurs in the spring. It is removed from the branches, and then spirally cut into pieces 15-20 cm long. The removed bark is dried in the sun.