Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) medicinal herb is a very rare plant that is native to Eastern United States and Canada, but is now cultivated all over Europe. It has been used throughout history as a medicinal remedy which makes it one of the oldest traditional medicinal herbs.
It is also a perennial plant and the main parts used as herbal medicine are the leaves and the bark. The common names are winter bloom, spotted alder, striped alder, snapping hazelnut, tobacco wood, pistachio and it is from the family of Hamamelidaceae. The medicinal properties are tonic, astringent, sedative, antiphlogistic as well as styptic.
The primary constituents of this herb are tannins, catechins, gallic acid, flavonols as well as essential oil.
This was one herb that was always in the presence of my grandmother. It was however in the liquid form. As children, I remembered, playing was 90% of our daily activities. So my cousins and I were constantly getting into trouble and would end up getting bruises all over our skin from the constant falling due to the running and shoving. The result would be my grandmother using the extracted water from this herb to bathe those bruises and you could immediately feel relief.
It is widely used as an herbal skin care
product or beauty aid. Therefore, it can be found in shops worldwide. It is used to cleanse,
tone, soothe and care the skin naturally and this is when it is mixed with alcohol because the combination with the alcohol gives it its cleansing properties. When combined with essential oil and some herbs like aloe Vera, it may be used to combat itching and dandruff in the hair.
It is commonly used to treat cellulite as well as varicose veins because it is able to stimulate blood circulation. It is an herbal treatment for cuts, bruises, hemorrhoids, internal and external hemorrhage or bleeding, diarrhea, dysentery, swellings, inflammation, excessive menstruation and sore muscles.
For centuries the North American Indians used this medicinal herb as poultice for painful swellings and tumors. They deemed it as very effective for these ailments.
The tea can be mixed in equal parts with glycerine and used as enema for hemorrhoids or piles.
tea made of witch hazel leaves or bark is an alternative remedy for bleeding of
the stomach, bowel ailments, as well as bleeding piles.