The mystical Witch Hazel is used as a medicinal plant, especially by the Indians. It acts against external injuries and it can also be used very well on the skin. The leaves of Witch Hazel are extremely effective so also the bark is full of good ingredients that can support the treatment of skin lesions.
Witch Hazel has not only antiseptic but also Haemostatic and anti-inflammatory properties as it had already be proven in many studies.
Origin and history of Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel has many names such as magic Hazel or Virginiana magic shrub. It is believed that the reason for the "magic" in its name is because the Indians used the Witch Hazel branches to find veins of water.
The Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is a small shrub and can be up to 3 metres high. This is one of the Witch Hazel family and is only very distantly related to the hazelnut. The bark of Witch Hazel shrub is rather thin and Brown outside while it's slightly reddish in color inside.
However, the leaves are slightly asymmetrical and has rust-brown hairs on the underside of the leaves. Also, they look very much like the hazelnut leaves. Especially in the autumn, the leaves change color before the Witch Hazel shed them.
The flowering of Witch Hazel is very special at temperatures below freezing and it's particular botanical is a rarity. When the seeds of the flower are ripe, the core breaks up and literally jump out of the seed pods. This also explains that, the young plants of Witch Hazel are much farther away than the main plant.
Originally, the Witch Hazel plant is native to the deciduous forests of Canada and the Eastern United States. While it was appreciated mainly by the Indians as a medicinal plant.
They use it to find water veins and on the other, to heal injuries of the skin. But now, it is distributed all over the world and it can also be found as ornamental shrub in domestic gardens. Particularly in medicine, the bark, leaves and twigs are used as medicinal plant so also for skin problems of whatsoever.
The production of Witch Hazel
Hamamelis is full of tannins that make up the effect of witch Hazel. Here, the name tannin comes from the tannery which means that, earlier plants with a high tannin content were used for tanning animal hides.
The tannins make the proteins insoluble and durable leather are made from the animal skin. But also alkaloids can be precipitated by the tannins.
Witch Hazel comes in different versions as evident in production Since Witch Hazel water is obtained by distilling, it contains no tannins and consists only essential oils. For this reason, although it can help skin injuries, but not varicose veins.
Various parts of Witch Hazel also have different ingredients. Therefore, you should understand the purposes of using witch hazel so that you can know the product that's suitable for you and what parts of the plants it was made prior to the purchase. Make you you check always.
Studies on Witch Hazel
From numerous studies that have been carried out on witch Hazel which have achieved amazing results. There are institutions dealing with drugs and medicine products that have recommended Witch Hazel for minor skin injuries, hemorrhoids and
complaints of varicose veins such as inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes.
Also, the European umbrella organization of national societies for phytotherapy (ESCOP), in there assessment, recommends Witch Hazel for sprains, slight abrasions of the skin and the relief of atopic dermatitis atopica symptoms.
Still, external application of Witch Hazel water was recommended for sunburn, hemorrhoids, bruises, insect bites, as well as slight inflammation of skin and mucous membranes and skin redness.
The studies, which were carried on the cytotoxic effect of Witch Hazel are really amazing. In this study, the effect of Witch Hazel on colorectal cancer was explored and found that, the cortex can exert a protective effect.
Also in this study in 2008. Witch Hazel -, grape and pine extract here had been worked on and there could be evidence that Witch Hazel was able to show the best effect against colon cancer. In a study conducted in Spain, it could be proven that the bark of Witch Hazel may have antioxidant ingredients.
Also, the sensitive scalp is well protected with Witch Hazel as the study from Switzerland could prove. This 1,373 patient suffering from irritable scalp diseases were provided with a shampoo containing Witch Hazel between August 2010 and December 2013.
The result is that, the disease could be reduced significantly and the patients reported to achieve better health.
Effect of Witch Hazel
Because all parts of Witch Hazel have different ingredients, they are suitable for various conditions and diseases. With Witch Hazel leaves, inflammatory skin conditions can be alleviated and the patient get healed. The Witch Hazel has a total of three medical ingredients, which are officially recognized.
This includes the Witch Hazel leaves, Witch Hazel bark, and the Witch Hazel water. The leaves of Witch Hazel are anti-inflammatory, as has already been proven in many studies. You can use it on your skin, for the blood vessels as the mucous membrane also get strengthened and repaired and can therefore fight against minor inflammation or
even hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
The leaves have a total anti-inflammatory properties pulling together. It helps in the following: analgesic (local), wound healing promoting, stabilize the blood vessel walls and skin irritation.
Witch Hazel leaves and their ingredients
In the Witch Hazel leaves, tannins are primarily available which are also responsible for the effect the leaves have. They work astringent, which means that the proteins in their form will be changed and thus a protective film can be made. The mucous membranes are sealed in what promotes wound healing in injuries.
Also, the flavonoids which are present in the Witch Hazel leaves have similar properties and therefore support the tannins. In addition, the flavonoids have antioxidant effects. Witch Hazel leaves also have another use in folk medicine.
They can be used in blood vomiting, diarrhea or mucous membrane diseases of the large intestine. It has been proven effective on bleeding gums. To do this, about 0.5 grams of Witch Hazel leaves are infused with 250 ml of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes.
After screening and gargle with the solution if necessary, Proceed with the Witch Hazel bark against Atopic Dermatitis; The bark can help many skin problems. It is used for example in atopic dermatitis, hemorrhoids and varicose veins and many other skin injuries. It work similar like the leaves and can be used in treating bruises and bruising.
Witch Hazel bark and its ingredients
Also, the bark has a high proportion of tannins especially Gallotannins. Still, flavonoids and essential oils are included in the cortex. As well as for the leaves of the Witch Hazel tree, the tannins are of great importance so also the the bark.
For many skin complaints or even hemorrhoids, a full bath with Witch Hazel bark is a superb treatment. 20 grams of Witch Hazel bark with 1 liter of water should be boiled. The broth should simmer for about 20 minutes before you can take it for your bath, with a temperature of approximately 35 to 38 ° C.
The bath time should take not more than 15 minutes. A rest period of approximately ½ hour should be maintained after the bath. Witch Hazel water, it relieves insect stings and sunburn. As already described above, the Witch Hazel water is obtained by distilling fresh leaves. This means that there are no tannins in the Witch Hazel water and it mainly consists of essential oils.
It has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and healing effects and it can be successfully applied on the external human body. It has an astringent and purifying action which benefits primarily people with impure skin. Further, the Witch Hazel water has antioxidant effects and intercept free radicals.
People with impure or mixed skin can use Witch Hazel water very well as a facial toner as it reduces the production of sebum and refines the porous skin.
Witch Hazel water and its ingredients
In the Witch Hazel water, essential oils are mostly available and it is free of any tannins. As the leaves from which the Witch Hazel water is produced, they are enriched with linalool, alkanes, fatty acids and terpenes. There is no specific ingredient thatnis solely responsible for the good effect because only in this combination, the Witch Hazel water can be so good on the skin.
Numerous human studies were performed, in particular on the Hamamelis water, thus, the outstanding effectiveness has been validated. In experiments on people with sunburn, the effect could show successes after 7 hours. Also in conjunction with cortisone containing medication, it was compared to the Witch Hazel water and could work although not so strongly, but it was also discovered to have very good effects.
Witch Hazel water compresses very well when applied. For a compress, which can be applied to bruises or even insect bites, Witch Hazel water is simply diluted 1:3 with water. Soak a clean cloth in it and place on the affected area. With a gauze bandage, this can be quite fixed then.
Side effects of Witch Hazel
So far, there still no side effects when used properly with the right dosage. But if it is overused as we all know that, too much of every thing may have adverse effects. When the dosage is too high, your body can react to it negatively; particularly the tannins which may cause indigestion and liver damage.
How to Buy Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel can be purchased in various dosage forms. First and foremost is the dried leaves of Hamamelis for tea production. Many ointments and creams are made with Witch Hazel to enrich the cosmetics with the active ingredient in Witch Hazel.
Still, tinctures and Globules are available which can be used even with acute problems. This is, therefore, that Witch Hazel is approved as a medical agent If it is obtained from the leaves or bark. Although, it can be non-prescription remedies that are
analgesics but it can support healing and can be found in pharmacies and drug stores.
Whenever you want to buy Witch Hazel product, either online or from medical store, it is important to ensure that the Witch Hazel products are produced from organically grown Witch Hazel and it' without pesticides or other toxins. You can verify this from the dealer.
Witch Hazel is an excellent remedy which can be used for any minor skin disorder. It can be helpful not only on acne and pimples, but also for eczema and to relieve the symptoms. Also, it's a Haemostatic, anti-inflammatory and also tissue compressing and strengthens the vascular walls.
For the final note, Witch Hazel is extremely useful especially in the health industry and should be in every household. What's your "take" on this and what have you experienced using Witch Hazel for any purpose?