Hamamelis virginiana: American witch-hazel and it's properties

Hamamelis virginiana: American witch-hazel and it's properties

Twisted shrub or tiny tree, witch hazel. It's a perennial that loses leaves periodically. Witch hazel's 15-foot-tall bark is grey and brownish. The shrub or tree has leaf-base buds. Witch hazel blooms from September to November with yellowish strap-like petals when the leaves fall. Witch hazel leaves are asymmetrical and contain small tooth-like protrusions.


Witch hazel flowers in the fall after its seeds have developed. Witch hazel capsules open when the blossoms appear. Witch hazel seed capsules can throw seeds 20 feet when they burst. Due to its delayed blooming and dramatic seed capsule rupture, witch hazel is also called winter bloom and snapping hazel


Witch hazel tinctures are accessible at most drugstores. The tincture is safe, affordable, and reliable. Witch hazel tincture helps treat skin irritation, sunburn, insect bites and stings, bruises, scrapes, poison ivy/oak, diaper rash, eczema, and bedsores. Apply witch hazel tincture externally by soaking a cotton ball in the liquid and applying it on the afflicted region, or by spraying it on using a spray bottle.


Witch hazel tea or gargle can treat several diseases. Mix half a teaspoon of leaves and bark with one pint of boiling water to make witch hazel tea. After mixing, let the herb's qualities steep in the boiling water for 45 minutes. Gargle witch hazel tea for sore throat relief or drink two glasses to treat diarrhoea. As a vaginal douche, the tea heals vaginitis (cleansing the vagina by flushing fluids).


Native Americans used witch hazel as a salve to relieve the swelling and discomfort of early settlers. Later, people used witch hazel's astringent qualities to treat diarrhoea and haemorrhoids. Herbalists created a new witch hazel concoction in the mid-19th century. The novel treatment was made by distilling the herb's dormant branches with alcohol to produce hamamelis water, distilled witch hazel extract, or 'witch hazel' The skin-healing product is still widely sold.



Witch hazel contains tannin. Witch hazel leaves contain 8% tannin, while tree bark has 1-3%. Witch hazel tannin contains hamamelitannnin and other proanthocyanidins, according to study. The witch hazel plant's hamamelitannnin proportion varies by section. Witch hazel bark is 31 times higher in hamamelitannin than its leaf extract. Plant includes flavonoid stains or pigments. Tannins in witch hazel are responsible for its astringent effects and therapeutic benefits.


Researchers separated hamamelitannin and proanthocyanidins from witch hazel to study their anti-inflammatory effects. During tests, several proanthocyanidins slowed the inflammatory intermediates from arachidonic acid and held back platelet activation. Witch hazel's anti-inflammatory properties may potentially be due to its antioxidant activity against superoxides released by enzymes during inflammation. In an allergic and genetic acute eczema study, a tannin-free witch hazel cream equaled 0.5% hydrocortisone. The study indicated that witch hazel cream was as effective as hydrocortisone cream in treating atopic eczema.


In Europe, varicose veins are treated with an alcoholic witch hazel extract (abnormally swollen or knotty veins). Injecting the medicine into rabbits causes vein constriction, according to medical tests. Researchers haven't identified the components of this alcoholic witch hazel extract that constricts veins. Researchers have shown that an alcoholic extract from witch hazel leaves is more effective than a liquid extract from other sections of the herb. Anyone drinking witch hazel bark extract tea from local health stores shouldn't expect much vein constriction.


Witch hazel leaves and barks offer antiphlogistic, hemostyptic, and astringent qualities that help cure skin injuries, varicose veins, and haemorrhoids. The alcoholic extracts from witch hazel leaves and barks used in European products are distinct from the tannin-free concentration in American drugstores.


Witch hazel has long been used to treat blisters, burns, skin inflammation, and bleeding. Due to high tannin levels, the witch hazel tree has astringent characteristics that inhibit external and internal bleeding. Witch hazel's astringent nature shrinks tissues and stops bleeding. Witch hazel has been used for centuries to reduce lung, stomach, uterine, and intestine haemorrhages. Witch hazel can treat heavy menstruation and uterine blood clots. The herb relieves menstrual fullness, heaviness, and unease.


Decoctions or tinctures of distilled witch hazel can cure cuts and wounds. Witch hazel decoctions or tinctures can be used to treat bleeding gums and piles. Tannins in witch hazel speed healing, reduce pain, and inflammation, and prevent exposed wounds from infection. Witch hazel also treats diarrhoea, dysentery, mucous colitis, and catarrh (inflammation of the mucous membranes with a free discharge). Herbalists use it to strengthen uterine muscles after miscarriage or childbirth or to treat uterine prolapse.


Varicose veins and phlebitis can be treated with witch hazel cream or ointment. The therapy relieves haemorrhoid irritation and heals varicose ulcers. A pad soaked in witch hazel tincture helps relieve burns, swelling or irritated skin problems, engorged breasts, bed sores, bruises, sprains, and strains. Witch hazel liniment soothes insect bites and stings and sore muscles. Witch hazel lotion can be used as a skin toner to tighten tissues and shrink blood vessels. Witch hazel and rose water make a refreshing eye bath. Witch hazel lotion, decoction, or tincture can be used as a douche for vaginal discharge and irritation. Gargle them to treat sore throats and contagions.


Witch hazel has many medicinal uses, but is usually used externally. The tree contains drying and astringent tannins (an aspirin-like, tea-like quality that causes a dry, puckering sensation in the mouth). These tannins tighten skin proteins and areas with scratches or abrasions. Tannins form a protective coating over wounds, which reduces inflammation and helps repair broken skin. Witch hazel heals damaged blood arteries beneath the skin, according to studies. Scientists say witch hazel's flavonoids and tannins may be responsible for this impact. Even after decontamination, witch hazel extract retains its astringency, suggesting it includes other astringent chemicals besides tannins.


Witch hazel is effective for treating puffy, delicate skin conditions like eczema. It's used to protect areas where the skin hasn't been significantly damaged and to prevent infection. The herb heals facial veins, varicose veins, and haemorrhoids. Witch hazel heals bruises well. Due to its astringent characteristics, witch hazel helps constrict enlarged or inflated veins.


Witch hazel creams can be used to treat cysts and tumours. Witch hazel helps puffy and itchy eyes. Witch hazel helps heal diarrhoea when ingested. This is done by tautening the intestinal mucus and halting intestinal haemorrhage. Witch hazel extracts in facial lotions help repair wrinkles.

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