Do It Your self Herbal Medicine

PART 2. THE HERBS

WITCH HAZEL

HAMAMELIS VIRGINIANA

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Outdoor enthusiasts love the anti-itch, anti-inflammatory power of this wild shrub. Excellent for treating sunburn, bug bites, and bruises, you’ll find it a necessary addition to backpacks and camping gear. Witch hazel is just as popular in beauty circles. Its eye brightening and astringent properties make it an excellent component in anti-aging skincare formulas and nourishing spa treatments. For everyday use, add it to a cotton ball and swipe over face to fight acne, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, shrink pores, and remove makeup.

Did You Know?

Many people think these shrubs are actually trees because they grow up to 30 feet high and are around 15 feet wide when full grown. At one point, the shrub was called a “water witch” because its branches were used to locate underground water and mineral sources. Because they flower in the winter, they’re often planted by people who need a visual mental boost or aromatherapeutic pick-me-up during the long winter months.

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Herbal Power

MEDICINAL: Relieves itching, swelling, irritation, and pain related to skin conditions as well as hemorrhoids; treats diarrhea, colds, fever, varicose veins, and bruises; treats damaged gums, swimmer’s ear, and sore throats; soothes diaper rash, stings, and bites; eases cramping and discomfort from menstruation.

COSMETIC: Heals eczema, soothes skin post-shave, and treats under eye bags and dark circles; works as an astringent, treats varicose veins.

Application Methods

•Apply as a salve, ointment, or poultice

•Use as a splash or tonic

Precautions

Avoid using if skin is sunburnt, dry, overly sensitive, or windburned.

Other Names

Hazel

Snapping Tobacco Wood

Spotted Elder

Winter Bloom

Locating & Growing

Witch hazel shrubs are massive in both size and flower output. With gorgeous yellow flowers, ripe fruits, burgeoning buds—often blooming at the same time—it’s found quite often in forests or woodsy areas. Adaptable to sunlight and soil types, it’s loved by herbalists and gardeners because of its color and sweet aroma.