A2Z 2020 — extract — W — Witch Hazel

W letter

A myth of witchcraft held that a forked branch of Witch-hazel could be used to locate underground water. – from Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/78/Witch_Hazel.jpg/320px-Witch_Hazel.jpg
witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana L)

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana L.)

Plant appearance: small tree or tall shrub, often multi-trunked, 10-15 ft. tall but can reach 35 ft. in height. It has fragrant, yellow flowers with lettuce-green, deciduous leaves

Part used: leaves, twigs, and bark

Therapeutic Uses: The aromatic extract of leaves, twigs, and bark is used in mildly astringent lotions and floral water (extract mixed with water – no plant bits in it.) Witch-hazel is not an essential oil, but an extract.   I included it because it is such a therapeutic substance.

You can buy witch-hazel in two ways. What is usually found in chain drug stores is a mixture of the floral water and alcohol. This is desirable in some situations as it kills germs as well as soothes (even if it burns a little at first.) In other situations, especially around the eyes, there is a non-alcohol form of it. You may have to order the non-alcohol form online, as I’ve never seen it locally.

RECIPES

I found a very educational video that will highlight the many uses of witch-hazel.

41 Comments Add yours

  1. Sadje says:

    It’s good for acne and brown spots on skin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I haven’t tried it on spots, but now I will!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        I did, but became lazy and didn’t follow through.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          I need it bad for the backs of my hands.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Sadje says:

            Try it. I got it from Walgreens. Not expensive either.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Tamara says:

    I have heard good things about witch hazel but never actually used it.

    Happy Monday!

    My W is about Swiss Watches:
    https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/2020/04/a-z-2020-switzerland-watches.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      This is one I use for skin abrasion that works great. I’d like to try it for some of the other things she talks about in the video.

      Like

  3. Tarkabarka says:

    And such a pretty plant too!

    The Multicolored Diary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I think it grows wild in MI so I should try and get a plant or two for the yard 🙂

      Like

  4. soniadogra says:

    Thank you Jade. That is yet another addition to my list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      You are welcome!

      Like

  5. Arti says:

    Now, this I’m familiar with as I have used cleansing milk containing witch hazel about a decade or so ago. But didn’t know what it looks like.
    Thank you for sharing the video–very informative plus there were a few beautiful pics of this ‘firework look alike’ herb.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you enjoyed the pictures and I think it grows wild here in Michigan.

      Like

  6. I have heard a lot of Witch hazel but I haven’t used it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I can attest to its beneficial aspects for skin irritation. If you get the kind with alcohol it stings a little at first but it kills germs and the witch hazel part soothes the skin.

      Like

  7. Interesting video.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Jim. It’s a wonderful substance!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. memadtwo says:

    The salve definitely helps my leg veins. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I didn’t realize you could get it in a salve until doing the post on it. Also didn’t realize you could get it alcohol-free.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. msjadeli says:

      p.s. good to know it helps with the veins

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lisa says:

    When I was growing up a friend’s mother used witch hazel to put on our insect bites to stop the itching. I don’t remember how well it worked, but I had never heard of it, and was fascinated! I don’t think my own mother ever did buy any.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I learned about it when I was in the hospital or I would never have known it existed.

      Like

  10. A beautiful shrub when in flower, and very useful too!.

    W is for …

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pradeep says:

    Never knew of witch hazel before. Thanks for this informative post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      You are welcome, Pradeep.

      Like

  12. Fabulous flowers that certainly do resemble fireworks don’t they? Very informative video – thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes they do! They have the shape of bee balm but a very different type of coloring.

      Like

  13. Here in I Illinois you can buy witch hazel liquid incredibly cheap – maybe $2 for a bottle that lasts me years. I use it to fight occasional acne. The funny thing is that those in the medical profession say you can’t use it on skin because it dries it out. Doesn’t do that for me, BUT I would not use it in the eye area. It also works to take the burn out of small scratches. My partner is a carpenter and I use it when he scrapes himself. It doesn’t burn at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, witch hazel is low cost and a bottle lasts a long time. I don’t see it overdrying the skin at all, more tightens it up. I think whether it stings or not depends on if you have the kind with alcohol in it or not.

      Like

  14. Frédérique says:

    Love these yellow hairy flowers! Beautiful plant.
    W is for Women

    Liked by 1 person

  15. selizabryangmailcom says:

    Someone told me to mix it with water and keep it in a spray bottle beside the bed for hot flashes, but it didn’t really help much….for me, at least. Probably work a lot better on those liver spots on skin….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Without alcohol it probably wouldn’t; with alcohol it might, but with alcohol you couldn’t spray it on your face.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. selizabryangmailcom says:

        Hmm………………!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Anne Nydam says:

    Witch hazel is a shrub or even a small tree, and it blooms incredibly early, sometimes even late February in the US northeast, which makes it absolutely magical! I love the smell of the drugstore stuff, too.
    Black and White (Words and Pictures)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Good info to know, Anne. You know the color of the blossom does kind of remind me of forsythia, which blooms really early too. I wonder if they are in the same family….

      Like

  17. jazzfeathers says:

    I never heard of this herb. Such fascinating name, though. And a beautiful plant.

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter – Living the Twenties

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I think the “witch” is the way a word for flexible is pronounced, for the flexibility of the branches they use to hunt for water with.

      Like

  18. Kathe W. says:

    I will have to try this for the back of my hands! Thanks for the info!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ronel Janse van Vuuren says:

    Pretty plant 🙂

    An A-Z of Faerie: Witches

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.