Witch hazel, known to experts by the more serious name of Hamamelis virgianana, is a plant similar to the Hazel, of the Hamamelidaceae family. It is "made in the USA", above all, and a little bit also in Canada, and it boasts astringent and anti-haemorrhagic properties thanks to the abundance of soluble tannins and flavonoids in its leaves and bark. It is also appreciated as an ornamental plant. Beautiful and good.
Witch hazel (or Hamamelis virginiana): officinal plant
Up to 6 meters high, it is not a very well-known plant in the common imagination so we begin to combine it with Core to get us an idea. It has a shrubby habit and grows spontaneously both on eastern coasts of North America and in the forests. Likes the wet ones of Canada and the Northern United States.
L'Witch hazel it comes to us from overseas. Its deciduous leaves have a green color that tends to brown and in autumn they take on a warm yellow ocher color that makes them ornamental plants among the most spectacular. The shape of the leaves is an accomplice of this marvel: they are oval and large, 15 cm by 0 cm, with an irregularly indented margin and alternately positioned, almost studied to bring out the colors of the season.
To cultivate amleid, the guide is available:witch hazel, plant and cultivation.
Towards September the Witch hazel it produces flowers with four petals, with four stamens and two styles, from which the fruits are then obtained. These are woody capsules about ten mm in length, with two loggias in which a maximum pair of dark and shiny seeds are kept.
Since the time of the Indians, of America of course, this plant was exploited for its own healing properties. Not only that: it was also a working tool for shamans in those days, they knew how to best use the magical power of leaves and bark and they dispensed abundant doses during their ritual and propitiatory practices.
Witch hazel: benefits
As we have already seen, the parts ofWitch hazel with therapeutic properties are the leaves and the bark. Their high tannin content makes them able to have avasoprotective and also re-epithelizing action. Reason why this plant is among the recommended in case of allergic type dermatitis.
It is also the flavonoids that make it an effective remedy when it comes to treating disorders of the circulatory system. From phlebitis, to varicose veins and hemorrhoids, and then capillary fragility, dilated capillaries, tendency to bruise, cellulite and any problem that requires aastringent action.
L'Witch hazel it also has anti-haemorrhagic properties, so it is useful in case of bleeding and menstrual pain even if care must be taken never to overdo the quantities taken. If we do not follow the doses we can report damage to the gastric mucosa or suffer from constipation. Then there are subjects who are better off not fully assumingwitch hazel, for example those who have liver disease or are hypersensitive to one or more components.
The discovery of this plant, in the scientific field, apart from shamans, dates back to 1731 and had been classified as a strictly ornamental plant, only later its native of Virginia has revealed its value to humanity also from a therapeutic point of view, starting from its own astringent and hemostatic properties.
Witch hazel: use
Dell 'Witch hazel it can be used both internally and externally. In the first case we are talking about infusions and extracts such as mother tincture, otherwise for external use the choice is much wider. In cosmetics, there are eye drops, soothing aftershaves and decongestant tonics, all products recommended for sensitive skin or with couperose, to soothe sunburn, for redness of the skin of the face or in case of acne.
With the'Witch hazel creams against cellulite are also made. And then there is thedistilled water of Hamamelis, useful for inflammation of the mouth and gums, for red eyes and in case of allergic conjunctivitis.
Witch hazel: distilled
Among the various ways to use the'Witch hazel in an "external" way there is the distillate, which is useful if not recommended when you find damaged and irritated skin. It acts as a natural tonic and also as a cleanser for oily skin, full of pimples or with acne.
Having astringent properties, L'Witch hazel with its distillate it can be used on cuts, bruises, minor burns and other similar skin irritations. The distillate is absolutely not intended for internal use, a 100 ml bottle costs 7 euros and it comes in handy in many situations of daily life. Not for bruises, I hope, but for smoother skin.
Witch hazel: cream
A classic alternative to distillate, perhaps the most imaginable product to use even by the most skeptical and lazy, is the cream. Our Witch hazel it can also be used in this way, to soften the skin and soothe redness. This product has an excellent fresh scent and in not long times if used consistently, it gives evident results.
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