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Witch Hazel – Natural Topical Remedy for Nearly Everything
Why Witch Hazel?
Hamamelis virginiana, mostly known as American witch-hazel, common witch-hazel, or simply just witch-hazel, is a flowering shrub indigenous to the eastern region of North America. It is a tiny tree or shrub that loses its leaves in the fall and may reach a height of up to 6 meters (rarely up to 10 meters). The blooms are radially symmetrical and feature unusual petals that are long, slender, and crumpled. As the flowers develop, their color changes to a rich yellow, forming hairy buds.
There are many environments where witch hazel may grow, including woods, hills, rocky terrains, riverbanks, and ravines; however, it grows best in rich, fertile soil that is kept consistently wet.
Native Americans boiled the witch-hazel's stems to make a decoction, which was then used to cure swellings, inflammations, and tumors, later adopted by early puritan settlers in New England.
Due to its astringent and antibacterial characteristics, witch-hazel is used to treat various skin disorders. It may be purchased for topical application as a semisolid ointment cream, gel, or salve.
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Interactive Excerpt From USDA Plant Guide