Synonym.—Witch Hazel Leaves.
Hamamelis leaves are obtained from Hamamelis virginiana, Linn. (N.O. Hamamelideae). They are also official in the U.S.P. The leaves are, usually collected in the autumn, and may be used both fresh and dried. They are from 7 to 15 centimetres in length, dark green or brownish-green on the upper surface, paler on the under surface, With an obtuse apex and a sinuate margin. They have a pinnate venation, the veins being more prominent on the under surface, and bearing branching hairs, especially when young. The odour of the leaves is slight; the taste, bitter and astringent. On incineration, they yield about 5 per cent. of ash.
Constituents.—The leaves contain tannin, gallic acid, a bitter principle, and a trace of volatile oil.
Action and Uses.—Hamamelis leaves have properties similar to those of the bark. The liquid extract is used as a local astringent, diluted with 20 to 30 parts of water, and was formerly given internally to arrest haemorrhage. Distilled extract of hamamelis is used as a mild astringent for wounds and abrasions, and as a lotion for piles. Hamamelis bark and leaves are understood to form the basis of proprietary preparations resembling Liquor Hamamelidis.
Dose.—1 to 3 grammes (15 to 45 grains).
- Extractum Hamamelidis Liquidum, B.P.—LIQUID EXTRACT OF HAMAMELIS. Syn.—Liquid Extract of Witch Hazel.
- Hamamelis leaves, in No. 40 powder, 100; alcohol (45 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. Mix the drug with 40 of the alcohol, pack in a percolator, saturate the drug with alcohol, and allow to macerate for forty-eight hours; then exhaust by percolation with more alcohol. Reserve the first 85 of percolate; concentrate the subsequent percolate to a soft extract, dissolve this in the reserved percolate, and add sufficient of the alcohol to make up the required volume. This is the most powerful preparation of hamamelis for internal administration or for local use. As an ointment for piles it is mixed with hydrous wool fat (see Unguentum Hamamelidis). For local application it may be diluted with 10 to 20 parts of water. Suppositories may be prepared containing 3 decimils (0.3 milliliters) (5 minims) in each. Internally it is given in mixture form, for its astringent action, It has no remote haemostatic effect. Dose.—3 to 10 decimils (0.3 to 1.0 milliliters) (5 to 15 minims).
- Fluidextractum Hamamelidis Foliorum, U.S.P.—FLUIDEXTRACT OF HAMAMELIS LEAVES.
- Hamamelis leaves, in No. 40 powder, 100; glycerin, 10; alcohol (32 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. Average dose.—2 mils (30 minims).
- Liquor Hamamelidis, B.P.—SOLUTION OF HAMAMELIS.
- Hamamelis leaves, fresh, 100; water, 200; alcohol, 20. Macerate in a still for twenty-four hours, and distil one-half. A clear, colourless liquid, having a faint, agreeable odour. Some commercial specimens of this preparation have been stated to contain formaldehyde and acetanilide. It is used externally as a mild antiseptic anti astringent to small wounds anti abrasions. Diluted with 10 parts of water, it is used to spray into the nostrils in acute coryza. It is applied locally for piles and injected into the rectum, undiluted or mixed with an equal quantity of water. Dose.—4 to 12 mils (1 to 3 fluid drachms).
- Pasta Hamamelidis, B.P.C.—HAMAMELIS PASTE. Syn.—Witch Hazel Snow; Witch Hazel Foam. 1 (solution) in 2.
- An excellent toilet application for the skin.
- Unguentum Hamamelidis, B.P.—HAMAMELIS OINTMENT.
- Liquid extract of hamamelis, 10; hydrous wool fat, 90. Mix the liquid extract with the hydrous wool fat. Hamamelis ointment is used as an astringent application for piles.
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.