Herb of the Day: Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel
( Hamamelis virginiana)
Parts used: leaves,bark

Native North American people used poultices soaked in a decoction of bark to treat tumors,inflammations,especially of the eye. They took the herb internally for hemorrhaging,heavy menstrual bleeding. European setters of the 18th century soon learned the value for its astringency,than the use spread to Europe and beyond.
It is a woodland tree indigenous to Canada,eastern parts of the US.The tree are grown from hardwood cuttings or from seed,both of which are planted in the autumn. The leaves gathered in summer and dried.The bark is harvested during the autumn and dried as quickly as possible in the shade.
European hazel is a similar herb. It is used occasionally in Europe herbal medicine as a astringent to treat diarrhea. The oil is nutritious thus can be used to treat threadworms in children.
Which Hazel contains,tannins,flavonoids,bitter principle,volatile oil(leaves only)
The actions are ,astringent,anti-inflammatory,stops internal,external bleeding.
It contains a large amounts of tannins,thus having a drying,astringent effect,causing the tightening up of proteins in the skin and across the surface of abrasions. This creates a protective covering that increases resistance to inflammation,promotes healing of broken skin. It helps damaged blood vessels beneath the skin. This effect may be due to the flavonoids as well as to the tannins.
Which Hazel is valuable for damaged facial veins,varicose veins,hemorrhoids,effective remedy for bruises. It is a very useful herb for inflamed and tender skin conditions,as eczema. It is mainly used where the skin has not been significantly broken,helps to protect the affected area and prevents infection. A lotion can be applied to the skin for underlying problems such as cysts or tumors,also makes an effective eyewash .
Aids with bruises,cleansing wounds,eczema,hemorrhoids,varicose veins,weeping skin.


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