The dried leaves of Hamame'lis virgin'iana Linné, collected in autumn before the flowering of the plants. Not more than 10 per cent. of stems and foreign matter permitted.
DESCRIPTION OF DRUG.—Leaves broadly elliptical to obovate, more or less unequal, 3.5 to 12 cm. long, 2.5 to 7 cm. broad; apex rounded, acute or acuminate; base obliquely cordate; margin sinuate or sinuate-dentate. Upper surface dark green, midrib and veins prominent, veins of the first order running nearly parallel to the margin; under surface light green, texture coarse, brittle; odor slight; taste astringent.
Twigs with nodes 2-ranked giving the younger portions frequently a zigzag outline; externally yellowish-brown, with a purplish tinge, nearly smooth, faintly longitudinally wrinkled and with small circular lenticels; fracture tough, fibrous bark easily separable from the whitish or green white, finely radiate wood, in which the annular rings are not very distinct; odor slight and characteristic.
Powder.—Dull green. Characteristic elements: The trichomes, one-celled, in groups of 8 to 15, radiating from a center; crystal fibers, calcium oxalate prisms, and stomata. Seldom employed as powder.
CONSTITUENTS.—Gallic acid; hamamelo-tannic acid, C14H14O9 + 5H2O, resin, and extractive. Distilled Extract of Witchhazel, Hamamelis Water, Aqua Hamamelidis, is prepared from hamamelis bark by macerating the bark in water for twenty-four hours, then distilling the product until the distillate reaches 85 per cent. of the bark used; then add 15 per cent. of alcohol. It has a peculiar odor, a somewhat saccharine taste, is quite stable, and presents no pharmaceutical, chemical, or therapeutical incompatibility. Its mode of preparation has been to some extent a trade secret, but the above formula furnishes a good preparation. This preparation has built up quite an industry along the Connecticut Valley, where the distillation of the liquid is performed almost exclusively.
ACTION AND USES.—It has come into extensive use as an astringent in hemorrhoids and internal hemorrhages, and as a general vulnerary. The distillate, known as "Extract of Witchhazel," is alleged to have properties which are not professionally recognized. Average dose: 30 gr. (2 Gm.).
Fluidextractum Hamamelidis Foliorum, Dose: 10 to 60 drops (0.6 to 4 mils).
200. HAMAMELIDIS CORTEX.—WITCH-HAZEL BARK. Thin pieces covered with an easily separable grayish or grayish-brown cork, more or less covered with blackish dots and scars. When deprived of this layer, the bark is pale cinnamon-brown, fibrous. Odorless; taste astringent, bitter, and somewhat pungent. Its medical properties are the same as those of the leaves. The bark and twigs are official under the above title.
A Manual of Organic Materia Medica and Pharmacognosy, 1917, was written by Lucius E. Sayre, B.S. Ph. M.