Herb of the Week: WITCH HAZEL

Hamamelis virginiana

Common names: Witch Hazel, Spotted Alder, Winterbloom, Snapping Hazelnut

History/Folklore: Witch Hazel is a deciduous shrub native to North America and has been used by Native Americans as a treatment for wounds, tumors and skin ulcers by boiling the bark and leaves in water. The remedy was adopted by early settlers and it is now a household staple.

Appearance: Has oval, toothed leaves that start out reddish/bronze that turn to green. The flowers, which appear in late fall/ winter, are small, yellow and fragrant. There is a spring blooming variety as well. The shrub can grow 10 to 20 feet with an equal spread.

 Parts Used: Leaves, twigs and bark

Collection: Late fall and winter for bark, summer to fall for leaves.

Actions:  astringent, tonic, sedative, anti-inflammatory
Indications:  Use externally to relieve hemorrhoids, varicose veins, acne, sunburns, phlebitis, minor swellings, itchy skin and diaper rash. It can also soothe mosquito and other bug bites. Witch Hazel can be used internally (as a tea or tincture) for cases of hemorrhoids, diarrhea or weak, lax uterus, veins and intestines. It may also be internally used to relieve symptoms of colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Please use common sense when using witch hazel internally.

Contraindications: Do not use witch hazel prepared with isopropyl alcohol internally. Do not use internally if pregnant or nursing.

Cultivation: Seeds

Light: Full Sun to part Shade

Zones: 4-8

Plant Type: perennial shrub

About Airmeith Naturals

Anna has over 25 years of experience working with herbs. She trained as a chef specializing in classical French cuisine. Anna has extensive knowledge of herbs used in cooking, as well as having researched the historic use of culinary herbs & spices. She is a Certified Community Herbalist who has completed multiple apprenticeships and classes with renowned Herbalists along with her own studies. Her concentration is in Western European Herbal Practices. She has attended college for Environmental Science as well as earning her certificate in Massage Therapy and is licensed in the state of Massachusetts. In addition, Anna is a Certified Reiki Master Teacher. Anna lives in Western Massachusetts with her family and has over an acre of gardens to play in. Anna is the herbalist at Airmeith Naturals in Holyoke Massachusetts
This entry was posted in Gardening, Herb of the Week, herbalism, Herbs, Home & Garden, Materia medica, Natural Health, South Hadley, Uncategorized, western Mass and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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