Habitat & Cultivation : Witch hazel, a tree native to the woodlands of Canada and the eastern regions of the United States, is now widely cultivated in Europe. The cultivation process involves growing the trees from hardwood cuttings or seeds, both planted during the autumn season. Leaves are typically collected in the summer and subjected to a drying process, while the bark is harvested in the autumn and promptly dried in shaded conditions.
- Tannins (8-10%)
- Bitter principle
- Volatile oil (leaves only)
- Stops external and internal bleeding
Traditional & Current Uses
- Established properties : Witch hazel is rich in tannins, known for their drying and astringent properties that result in the tightening of proteins on the skin and over abrasions. This process forms a protective layer, enhancing the skin’s resistance to inflammation and facilitating the healing of damaged skin. Witch hazel is also believed to contribute to the repair of damaged blood vessels beneath the skin, with both flavonoids and tannins playing a potential role in this effect. The persistence of astringency in distilled witch hazel suggests the presence of astringent agents beyond tannins.
- Skin problems : Witch hazel proves highly beneficial for skin conditions characterized by inflammation and tenderness, such as eczema. Its application is particularly effective in cases where the skin hasn’t been extensively broken, serving to safeguard the affected area and mitigate the risk of infection.
- Damaged veins : Witch hazel is a valuable solution for issues like damaged facial veins, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids, proving to be an effective remedy for bruises as well. Its astringent properties play a role in tightening distended veins and aiding in the restoration of their normal structure.
- Other uses : Applying a lotion on the skin can address underlying issues like cysts or tumors, and witch hazel proves effective as an eyewash for reducing inflammation in the eyes. In less frequent instances, internal consumption is considered for alleviating diarrhea, as it aids in tightening the mucous membranes of the intestines and addresses various types of bleeding.