Interesting Facts and Uses for Witch Hazel
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Interesting Facts and Uses for Witch Hazel

This interesting shrub/tree is not only pretty but extremely useful almost like a medicine bag in a bottle. Read about the fascinating way this plant propagates itself.

photo source

Interesting facts about Witch Hazel:

• Witch hazel is also called Hamamelis virginiana, Snapping Hazelnut, Winterbloom, Hamamelis, Hazel Nut, Snapping Hazel, Spotted Alder, Striped Alder, or Tobacco Wood.

• Is found in North America, Japan and China.

• It is one of the few trees/shrubs which can bear fruit, leaves and flowers simultaneously.

• The nickname Snapping Hazel or Snapping Hazelnut originates from the interesting way in which Witch Hazel’s seeds split explosively propelling seeds to distances of up to 10 m or 393.7 inches.

• Blooms even in the winter with clusters of yellow to orange-red flowers.

• May have gotten its name "Witch" Hazel from the English who used its twigs as “diving rods”.

• Was first collected for nurseries by Charles Maries for Veitch Nurseries in the Chines district of Jiujang in 1879.

• Witch hazel contains astringent properties and contracts body tissues while checking capillary bleeding.

• It is used as a topical treatment for varicose veins, hemorrhoids, burns, and skin injuries. It includes volatile oils that exert similar effects to topical tannins and are antimicrobial.

Witch hazel may be a common item found in many homes, but the value is anything but common. It's worth is downright invaluable.

Here are some of the many ways to use witch hazel:

• Apply witch hazel to a cotton ball and use to remove make up, reduce pore size, aid in fighting acne, moisture and reduce wrinkles on skin.

• Wet paper towels and place on sun and wind burn to ease pain and inflammation while moisturizing skin.

• Wet paper towels and pat the genital area after child birth to help heal the area.

• Moisten paper towel and cleanse anal area after bowel movements. The witch hazel soothes inflammation and works as an astringent to help heal.

• Take two (2) capsules, one (1) to two (2) times each day with water at mealtimes to stop internal or external bleeding, such as heavy menstrual bleeding. Oral doses also are used for the treatment of hemorrhoids, diarrhea, tumors, and bruising, swelling, and varicose veins.

• Steep 1 tsp. of witch hazel bark in 16 oz. of boiled water. Strain and save to gargle with to aid in soothing a sore throat.

• Prepare a poultice by crushing witch hazel leaves. Mix into hot moist flour, corn meal or bread and milk. Place the paste on the skin to help in healing bruises, scrapes, muscle sprains and aches.

• Simmer the herb's bark. Boil and cover for 10 minutes then mix into an ointment base such as petroleum jelly. Apply once cooled.

• Use the witch hazel leaf for relief from diarrhea and heavy periods.

• Apply with cotton ball or swab directly to insect bites, poison ivy blisters and rashes.

• Mix with talcum powder or baking soda as a safe alternative to deodorant, if you are either concerned about the safety of the ingredients in your antiperspirant or suffer from a skin reaction.

• Dab paper towels or cotton balls in Witch Hazel. Squeeze out excess moisture and use to aid in relieving under eye swelling and darkness.

• Soak cotton and use to cleanse skin after shaving.

Tips and Warnings about Witch Hazel:

• Witch Hazel can be used from the top of the head to the sole of the feet. It contains natural oils which both heal and soothe.

• Do not drink the distilled witch hazel purchased from the pharmacy. It contains alcohol, which is not ready or safe for consumption.

• When buying witch hazel look for authentic or nondistilled hydroalcoholic extract of witch hazel leaves. The product should contain 5 to 10 percent leaf extract.

• Consult with you doctor before taking any type of supplements.

• Witch hazel counteracts with certain medications such as aspirin, so please consult with your doctor prior to taking the pills or drinking Witch Hazel tea.

• Generally Witch Hazel for topical use has been found to be safe and effective.

• Used for minor bleeding, bruising, burns, swelling, sore throats, and tumors.

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Comments (18)

Years ago when I had sun poisoning from a severe sunburn witch hazel was the only thing that took the itch so I could sleep. Well done article filled with great info and presented so well. Promoted since I am out of votes.

Interesting facts. i had had a great lesson here. Thanks. :-)

Roberta and Chan, thanks so much for your support. I always have witch hazel on hand.

Returning with a well deserved vote up.

These are very interesting facts..

It is really interesting to know about the facts and uses of witch hazel.

Good to know about this shrub. Its name is really interesting too. Thank you Judy, FB liked :)

I must try witch hazel. Sounds like something every household should have in it.

Ranked #1 in Skin Conditions

Great to know these facts Judy, another best learning experience from you, many thanks.

When I was a little girl and even into my 20's I had terrible aching leg pain for many years. It would be so bad that I would not be able to sleep. My mom would rub my legs with witch hazel. I still remember the smell.

Interesting article. Now I know what to use on my son when he gets poison ivy.

Annette, I hope he doesn't get poison ivy. :-) Thanks for reading.

Interesting facts about this fruit bearing and flowering species of trees/shrubs, Judy.

Sorry I am out of votes for today, but I will return soon to vote up your articles! Have a good weekend. : )

Outstanding information.

Very helpful, I will have to pass this information on

Hi Judy, I didnt even know what witch hazel was until I read your article. Excellent work as always!

Ranked #50 in Skin Conditions

Interesting information on witch hazel. Thank you Judy.