Hamamelis (Hamamelis virginiana L., 1753) is a native plant from the Hamamelidaceae family in the eastern regions of the United States and Canada that is also widely grown in Europe. The healing properties of the Hamamelis decoction were already known to Native Americans in the 19th century, who used it to treat wounds. History tells that the distillate obtained from the leaves was used by European settlers against sunburns and eye irritations after a long light exposure. The main biologically active substances present in the extract are:
flavonoids, tannins, gallotannins, catechins, proanthocyanidoli, essential oil saponins (in the leaf), mucilages, bitter principle, quercetol glycosides. The greatest documented activity is given by the tannins, endowed with the following properties: decongestant, astringent and hemostatic. They are also useful against hemorrhoids, varicose veins and phlebitis. Some experimental studies have shown that the topical use of Hamamelis helps to develop a local astringent and hemostatic action at the level of peripheral capillary microcirculation, a fundamental action to help the healing process.
The extract of this officinal plant promotes the growth of epithelial cells and accelerates the healing process of wounds and excoriations, similar to what has been observed for Morinda citrifolia. Excellent results have been obtained with the application of Hamamelis cream also in pediatrics, on the delicate skin of children since the preventive application allows to form a subtle layer of the substances with a protective action from the bacterial aggression.