- Scientific name: Hamamelis virginiana
- Other common names: Witch hazel, hamamelis, snapping hazel, winter bloom, spotted alder, tobacco wood, hamamelis water
- Part used: Bark, leaves
- Properties: Astringent, hemostatic, tonic, sedative
- Organ it affects: Skin, stomach and intestines.
Witch Hazel is a plant whose bark, leaves and twigs are high in tannins. Tannin has an astringent property making it one of the best remedies for stopping excessive menstruation and hemorrhages from the lungs, uterus, and other internal organs.
Witch hazel extract is a popular ingredient in some cosmetic and medicinal preparations. Witch Hazel is gentle enough to be used alone, or it may be combined with other ingredients or herbs.
Health Benefits of Witch Hazel:
- Witch hazel when taken as a tea can help to slow internal bleeding.
- Witch hazel tea with chamomile, mint and thyme is effective for stomach flu.
- Witch hazel is used as a vaginal douche.
- A poultice made from the inner bark is used for hemorrhoids, bedsores, oozing skin disease, varicose veins, and eye inflammation. Apply using a cloth soaked in strong witch hazel tea 3 to 4 times daily.
- Witch hazel combined with a small amount of peppermint oil, is useful as a mouthwash, for a sore throat, or inflamed gums.
- Witch Hazel can help reduce bags and puffiness around the eyes by letting a cotton pad soaked in the fluid and rest on closed eyelids for 10 minutes.
- Witch hazel is often used as a cleanser or toner to reduce pore size and for the treatment of acne.
- Witch hazel is also use as aftershave.
- Witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory properties take the itch out of a mosquito bite.
- Witch hazel draws out liquid out of the blister, making it less likely to open and become infected.
Preparation and Dosage of Witch Hazel:
- Infusion (leaves): Steep 10 -15 minutes. Take 6 oz. as needed, up to 2cups daily.
- Tincture (bark): Take 15-60 drops as needed.
- Fluid extract (bark): Take ½ tsp. as needed.
- Powder (bark): Take 5-10 capsules as needed.
How to use Witch Hazel:
- For conditions such as bedsores, bruises, hemorrhoids, poison ivy or oak, bruises, sore muscles, swelling, or diaper rash, Witch Hazel extract can be applied using a compress.
- For skincare, Witch Hazel extract can be easily added to facial cleansers, astringents, masks, toners, cream or lotion and then apply to the skin.
- For sore muscles, Witch Hazel extract can either be used as a compress or cream, or may be added to bath water. Athletes rub Witch Hazel extract onto their arms or legs limbs prior to workouts to help prevent muscle strain, or after a workout to help relieve soreness.
Precaution: Witch Hazel extract is intended for external use, if you intend to use it internally you should ask the advice of a reputable herbalist.
“This post was originally published on May 28, 2012 @ 14:31”