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Hamamelis: health benefits and virtues


Often called witches' hazelnut or devil's coffee, witch hazel is a plant whose scientific name is Hamamelis Virginiana.

It is a shrub of the family of hamamelidaceae which is distinguished by its dark green and downy oval leaves, and its yellow flowers with wavy petals.

Although it can reach 10m in height, its size is usually between 3.5 and 6m. It grows in humid areas on well irrigated soils, very rich in acids and humus.

Witch hazel was first used by the North American Indian people to treat problems inflammatory, and stop some hemorrhages, others therapeutic virtues were subsequently discovered to him.

What are these virtues? How to use witch hazel properly? Sketches of answers in the following lines.

Read also :

  • Growing witch hazel well
  • Hamamelis, the tree of the golden stars

Hamamelis, for the record ...

Originally from North America, witch hazel was quickly introduced in Europe during the 18th Century. Indeed, it was imported by the colonists who discovered many properties during the use of this plant by the Indian peoples of North America.

Used as decoction, ofinfusion or from compresses, witch hazel then relieves benign skin inflammation, from the mouth, the hemorrhoids and process them circulatory problems.

Over time, the vasoconstricting, astringent and hemostatic properties have made witch hazel famous.

Herbalists and doctors then recognize all these properties in it, but also healing properties.

Hamamelis: Properties, benefits and virtues

The active subtances of witch hazel are mainly found in the astringent tannins and flavonoids it contains.

But thanks to the rutin and the P vitamins that the plant possesses, witch hazel is venotonic and able to protect venous walls.

Taken as tisane or from decoction, witch hazel treats various circulatory problems (heavy legs, varicose veins, phlebitis), as well as light internal bleeding.

In external use, the action healing and antiseptic of this plant are recognized in the treatment of cracked skin, skin infections and hemorrhoids, benign inflammations of the mouth; then to stop bleeding from a wound.

Hamamelis and uses

In herbal medicine, we often use dried leaves witch hazel for the preparation of herbal teas, the young branches and thebark from which we extract liquids integrated into skin creams and balms.

How to use witch hazel?

– the infusion : infuse for 15 min, 1 tsp. of witch hazel leaves in 1 cup of water and drink 3 cups a day.

– the decoction : throw witch hazel leaves in cold water at the rate of 30g of leaves per 1 cup of water. Boil everything for at least 15 min and at most 30 min (take into account the quantity of decoction to prepare). Leave to infuse overnight. Drink the next day your decoction.

– in a compress : take the same quantities as for the decoction and y add 10 g of young twigs and of pieces of bark for ΒΌ of a liter. After infusion, leave rest overnight and apply preparation on the skin using a compress.

Smart tip about witch hazel

Some witch hazel extracts (essence) should not be applied directly to the skin.

Like any product, some unwanted effects can occur with the use or taking of witch hazel.

If in doubt, consult a healthcare practitioner immediately.


Read also :

  • Growing witch hazel well
  • Hamamelis, the tree of the golden stars

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