(Hamamelis-apa, hama, like to, pueyis, melis, an apple tree. Some of the plants bear a slight resemblance to small wild apple trees)
This shrub indigenous to the United states and Canada, need no to concern us now in reference to its pretended occult powers in locating water-courses on ore bodies; but it is of interest top recall that “the many varied uses of a watery infusion of Witchhazel bark were fully known to the aborigines of this country, whose knowledge of our medical flora has been found by in provings to have been strangely correct (Millspaugh).
The introduction of Hamamelis to the notice of our school in 1850, was through Dr. Hering, who learned or heard of its virtues while attending Mr. Pond, the manufacturer or Pond’s Extract.
The fresh bark of the young twigs, or roots is used to prepare our tincture.
The curative power of hamamelis “seems to be confined almost wholly to the venous system of blood vessels” (Hale); “venous congestions; hemorrhages” (Hering); and it is to the veins what Aconite is to the arteries, Arm,. is to the muscles and Hypericum is to the nerves. In general, hamamelis has been found of value for venous dilations, inflammations and hemorrhages.
It is useful for varicose veins externally on the abdomen, for varicose veins of the extremity (205) with soreness, and for varicose ulcers and varicose veins of the legs and feet “during pregnancy (Hering). In phlebitis it is of value wen we have soreness and great swelling.
In the eye HAMAMELIS has proved valuable in intraocular hemorrhages (74) as it hastens the absorption of the blood. It is of frequent use for traumatic iritis, with hemorrhage into the iris, and for ecchymoses in eyes from bruises, the black-eye of commerce.
In the nose it is indicated in epistaxis, either vicarious (138) or idiopathic, of dark blood (142), with tightness in the bridge of he nose and pressure in forehead between the eyes. It
is especially indicated in diseases of the nose (146) pharynx and mucous membranes generally, when there is a varicose condition of the small blood vessels, which bleed easily. The gums are spongy and bleed easily (84).
Hamamelis is useful for hemorrhage of dark blood from the stomach, intestines, rectum and kidneys (85). In haemorrhoids (85) the flow is apt to be painless, dark and thick, and Lilienthal gives added prominence to the symptom, “when the loss of even a small amount of blood is followed by prostration out or proportion of the loss of blood.” It is to be thought of for “haemorrhoids after confinement’ (Hering).
Hamamelis has pain running down the spermatic cords to the testicles and is of value of varicocele and in orchitis (188) due to injuries.
In the female it is useful in ovaritis due to injuries and in hemorrhage from uterus of dark, venous blood, Hering gives prominence to the symptom, “various bleeding (138) from nose or stomach.”
It is to be thought of for hemorrhage from the lungs of dark blood (28), for hemorrhagic measles (131), hemorrhagic smallpox and purpura haemorrhagica (158). It is of value in low types of fever, especially typhoid, with weak, rapid pulse and hemorrhage from the bowels (193).
I have used Hamamelis only in the tincture.