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Some hemostatic herbs stop blood flow by acting as antihemorrhagic agents. The hemostatic effects of antihemorrhagic and styptic herbs are often due to mechanisms such as tannin astringency rather than enhancement of coagulation, although there are a few hemostatic herbs have been shown to reduce clotting times and have inhibitory effects on the Platelet Aggregation Factor (PAF).
The hemostatic herbs can shorten bleeding time by promoting the coagulation of platelets at the site of bleeding, prevent bleeding from fragile capillaries, and they can inhibit infection and inflammation that leads to vessel leakage and damage. Herbs and herbal formulas to inhibit bleeding are effective for eliminating minor bleeding or for limiting more substantial bleeding; ultimately, the cause of the bleeding must be resolved.
Preparations of certain medicinal plants are also used as hemostatics. These include infusions, tinctures and liquid extracts of the flowers and leaves of the nettle, extracts and infusions of the yarrow, and preparations of the peppery waterwort.
A hemostatic effect is found in certain preparations that lower arterial blood pressure and in preparations that produce contraction of the uterine musculature (preparations of ergot, cotarnine chloride, pituitrin).
Herbs in the hemostatic category include