Hamamelis virginiana L.

Nota de alcance

PARTE UTILIZADA= Used part: Hojas y corteza.

ACCIÓN FARMACOLÓGICA= Pharmacological action: Antiinflamatorio hemorroidal sólo cuando es asociada a Gingko biloba o Plantago ovato. Astringente, propiedades bacteriostáticas.

EFECTOS ADVERSOS Y/O TOXICOLOGÍA= Adverse effects and toxicology: En tratamientos internos se aconseja el uso discontinuo debido a que los taninos podrían irritar la mucosa digestiva. El aceite volátil contiene safrol, el cual ha demostrado en altas dosis potencial carcinogenético, estados alucinatorios y cuadros espasmódicos agudos en tubo digestivo. Una cucharadita de safrol puro puede provocar la muerte en un adulto. Sin embargo la concentración de safrol en el hamamelis es muy reducida, lo que no implicaría consecuencias dentro de las formas galénicas usuales.

POSOLOGÍA= Posology: Para uso interno se usa la infusión de las hojas al 3%.

COMPOSICIÓN QUÍMICA= Chemical composition: Hamamelitaninos alfa,beta y gamma, galocatiquina, epigalocatequina, monogalihamamelosa, hexenol, safrol, etc.

ZONA GEOGRÁFICA= Geografical zone: Mundial.

Nota de alcance (en)

Origins: Dry to moist woods.

Uses: The twigs, leaves, and bark are used to prepare witch hazel extract, which has been used in shaving lotions and to treat bruises and sprains. The fresh leaves of the plant contain high concentrations of tannin, which makes them very astringent.


This plant is a shrub or small tree native to North American woodlands. The leaves and the bark of young twigs are used to make witch hazel preparations. These contain tannins and flavonoids and are used externally to soothe and tighten skin and shrink distended blood vessels. It is recommended for bruises, bites, stings, sunburn, and muscular stiffness. The name probably comes from the fact that when a new well was needed, branches of witch hazel were used by dowsers to find water underground, a process known as “witching water.” Another suggestion is that the spontaneous popping sound made by the seed pods opening in the woods made folks think that witches were about. Native Americans took witch hazel steam bathes for relief of feverish colds, heavy phlegm, and coughing.

Part used::
Leaves, Twig bark


Nota bibliográfica (en)

1) ALONSO, Jorge R. Tratado de fitomedicina : bases clínicas y farmacológicas. Buenos Aires : ISIS, 1998, p. 591.

2) A guide to medicinal plants of Appalachia/ Krochmal, Arnold; Walter, Russel S.; Doughty, Richard M.: USA: U.S.D.A Forest Service:,1959

3) Hull, Kathleen; Photog. Hull, Meredith /Indiana Medical History Museum: Guide to the Medicinal Plant Garden./ USA: Indiana Medical History Museum. 2010. -- p. 58.

Hamamelis virginiana L.
Término aceptado: 14-May-2013