Planta Med 1996; 62(3): 241-245
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-957868

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Antiviral and Antiphlogistic Activities of Hamamelis virginiana Bark

C. A.J. Erdelmeier1 , J. Cinatl2  Jr. , H. Rabenau2 , H. W. Doerr2 , A. Biber1 , E. Koch1
  • 1Dr. Willmar Schwabe Arzneimittel, Research and Development, D-76227 Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 2Centre of Hygiene, Department of Virology, Clinics of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, D-60596 Frankfurt, Germany
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Publication History



Publication Date:
04 January 2007 (online)


A crude hydroalcoholic extract from Hamamelis virginiana bark was subjected to ultrafiltration (UF) with a cut-off limit of 3 kDa to obtain a higher and a lower molecular weight fraction. Characterisation of the fractions was attempted with TLC, HPLC, acidic hydrolysis, and chromatography over Sephadex LH-20. The UF-concentrate was shown to consist mainly of oligomeric to polymeric proanthocyanidins (PA). This fraction was found to exhibit significant antiviral activity against Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). In addition, the UV-concentrate displayed radical scavenging properties, inhibited α-glucosidase as well as human leukocyte elastase (HLE), and exhibited strong antiphlogistic effects in the croton oil ear edema test in the mouse. With the exception of the antioxidant potential and the inhibition of HLE-action the lower molecular fraction possessed weaker activities and contained mainly hamamelitannin, catechin, and further, unidentified constituents.