Witch hazel is a shrub from North America, formerly employed by the Indians, who attributed mysterious properties. It was introduced in Europe in the late nineteenth century. It is a large shrub that can reach 7 m. In height if ground conditions permit it. Its leaves, shortly petiolate, are alternate, entire, oval, asymmetric at the base and winding-toothed or serrated. The flowers have 4 petals bright yellow. The fruits are small capsules at the base surrounded by the calyx.
Witch hazel was not known by our ancestors, but since it was introduced in Europe achieved much popularity it still retains today.
Flowering occurs between autumn and winter, when it is stripped of leaves. The question that concerns for medicinal purposes are the leaves, but sometimes also used the bark. The leaves are collected during the summer, before empardezcan; their drying in the shade should be done as quickly as possible. The dry drug is odorless and its flavor is slightly bitter and astringent. This plant is often falsify sometimes hazel leaves when selling to markets and health food stores, so you should not buy from sites of questionable reputation.
The leaves contain a high proportion of tannins. It also presents gallic and caffeic acid and flavonoids with various glycosides myricetin, quercetin and kampferol. It is also particularly rich in essential oils. The chemical composition of the crust is quite similar to that of the leaves.
The leaves have witch hazel astringent, vasoconstrictor, hemostatic, vitamin and antimicrobial. They are used mainly in the venous circulation disorders, such as varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and phlebitis, and is also widely used in menopausal disorders. In external use is used as an astringent and healing in stubborn wounds, in some dermatitis, etc.., Being the best witch hazel distilled water to disinfect wounds, irritated skin decongestion as dressing in sprains and bruises.
The most common forms of administration are the dye (2-5 g / day), fluid extract (1-4 g / day), tea made with 2-4 g of leaves in a cup of boiling water and dust at a rate of 0.5-1.5 g. Day. It is also used as eyedrops for their astringent and vasoconstrictor to relieve tired and irritated eyes. Finally, homeopathy is a very common plant that becomes part of numerous remedies both externally and internally.
HABITAT: North America
FLOWERING: Fall and winter
PART USED: Sheets
CASTILIAN: Avellano de bruja
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