A myth of witchcraft held that a forked branch of Witch-hazel could be used to locate underground water. – from Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center
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.
I found a very educational video that will highlight the many uses of witch-hazel.