Hamamelidis cortex

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 04.02.2023

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cortex hamamelidis; Hamamelis bark

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Cortex Hamamelidis is the officinal extract of the bark of Hamamelis virginiana, the Virginian Witch Hazel (Ph.Helv.7; DAC).

Quality specified in the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.):

HMPC -Monograph: traditional-use: itching, burning, slight bleeding in hemorrhoids grade I u. II. Inflammation of the mucous membrane in the anal region.
ESCOP monograph: internal: diarrhea, external: minor injuries and local inflammation of the skin and oral mucosa; hemorrhoids; in varicose vein complaints,
Commission E monograph: external: minor skin injuries, local inflammation of the skin and mucosa, hemorrhoids, varicose vein complaints.

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Hamamelidis cortex contains tanning agents of the tannin type (3-10 %), among them above all beta-hamamamelitannin, a glycosidic tanning agent from gallic acid and hamamelose. Furthermore ellagitannin, flavonoids(fighterol, quercetin, astragaline), saponins and essential oil.

Field of application/use
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Naturopathic as tonic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, locally haemostatic.

Used mainly for inflammatory changes in the mucous membrane area. Also for minor skin injuries and local inflammation of the skin (WHO monograph), also of the scalp (Trueb RM 2014). For the often propagated dermatitis solaris, a 1% hydrocortisone cream should be more effective than a hamamelistopic.

Undesirable effects
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Contact allergies possible

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Pregnancy and lactation nor sufficient data, as well as in children and adolescents under 18 years.

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  1. Duckstein SM et al (2012) Conversion of phenolic constituents inaqueous Hamamelis virginiana leaf extracts during fermentation. Phytochem Anal 23:588-597.
  2. Gloor M et al. (2002) Antiseptic effect of a topical dermatological formulation that contains Hamamelis distillate and urea. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd 9:153-159.
  3. González MJ et al. (2010) Impact of thermal processing on the activity of gallotannins and condensed tannins from Hamamelis virginiana used as functional ingredients in seafood. J Agric Food Chem 58:4274-4283.
  4. Theisen LL et al.(2014) Tannins from Hamamelis virginiana bark extract: characterization and improvement of the antiviral efficacy against influenza A virus and human papillomavirus. PLoS One 9:e88062.
  5. Trüeb RM (2014) North American Virginian Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana): Based Scalp Care and Protection for Sensitive Scalp, Red Scalp, and Scalp Burn-Out. IntJ Trichology 6:100-103.
  6. Wolff HH et al. (2007) Hamamelis in children with skin disorders and skin injuries: results of an observational study. Eur J Pediatr 166:943-948.
  7. https://arzneipflanzenlexikon.info/zauberstrauch.php.
  8. https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/herbal-monograph/final-community-herbal-monograph-hamamelis-virginiana-l-folium-cortex-aut-ramunculus-destillatum_en.pdf