Species Name: Hamamelis virginiana
Also Known As: hazel nut, Spotted Alder, Winterbloom, Snapping Hazelnut, tobacco wood, Witch Hazel Bark, Witch Hazel Leaf, Hamamelis, hamamelis water, and American Witch Hazel.
Native to the Atlantic area of North America, the Witch Hazel tree is a deciduous tree or shrub that has been cultivated in Europe and Asia.
Reaching a height of only fifteen feet the Witch Hazel tree blooms in the fall, producing threadlike golden-yellow flowers.
Blooming late in the year is one of the reasons this tree was called “winterbloom” by Native Americans.
What is Witch Hazel Extract? Witch Hazel Extract can be made from the leaf and or the bark of the plant. It is typically found in teas, tinctures, and creams.
There is a powder from which can be used to make a rinse or for topical use. Witch hazel bark extract is generally made with alcohol while witch hazel leaf extract can be made without alcohol.
Home Remedies Using Witch Hazel Extract:
Benefits of Witch Hazel Extract:
Historically Witch Hazel was used by the American Indians, and later adopted by the early settlers, to create poultices to treat swelling, inflammation, bruises, and tumors. It was also used externally to treat sore muscles, insect bites, and cuts.
Today Witch hazel is used as a well-rounded astringent that is mainly used topically; however it can be taken internally as a tea, and is often used as a rinse or gargle. Witch hazel leaf is often used when the symptoms being treated might be due to an allergic reaction, like poison ivy.
Witch Hazel Bark is more appropriate in the treatment of vascular weakness occurring with out an allergic cause, an example of this would be hemorrhoids.
Witch hazel extract is used to treat inflammation of the mouth and throat, to ease the pain of sunburn, windburn, insect bites, and poison ivy blisters.
It is useful in treating varicose veins, wounds of all types, and burns. Witch hazel can be used as an astringent on the face to remove excess oil or treat acne. It can be used in a foot bath to sooth tired, aching feet and as a treatment for fungus or other foot infections.
Externally Witch hazel works well on sores, bruises, and swelling. It is a common household remedy for burns, scalds, and inflammatory conditions of the skin, including eczema. It has been used as a douche for vaginitis and in a salve for sore muscles and hemorrhoids.
Liquid forms of witch hazel extract can be used as a gargle to treat sore throat and tonsillitis. Witch hazel extract is a common topical treatment for postnatal tearing of the perineum. Witch hazel leaf extract is often used to make a tea to treat children with diarrhea.
Side Effects of Witch Hazel Extract:
Side effects of oral consumption of Witch Hazel Extract can include nausea, upset stomach, vomiting, and constipation.
It is recommended that if you use the extract orally to treat specific symptoms that you discontinue use as soon as the symptoms subside.
Children should not consume witch hazel tea for more than three days at a time.