Spice Rack Series Spotlight: Witch Hazel

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History of Witch Hazel

The golden flowers of this plant blooming in the dead of winter may have been the first clue to Native Americans that there was something unusual about witch hazel. This small shrub originated in Eastern North America, and today it is commonly cultivated in Europe and other temperate climates around the world. Beyond being used in American made toiletry and also being the first and only medicinal plants approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a non-prescription drug ingredient. Witch Hazel has been pressed, boiled, and steamed for health uses for centuries.

Healing Properties

Witch Hazel contains tannins that may help reduce swelling, fight bacteria, and repair broken skin. Tanic acid is a chemical found in many plants and is essential to wine, coffee, cheeses, and teas. Tannins help to protect our skin by fighting bacteria and also anti-inflammatory properties which make it useful for treating rashes and minor burns. 

Witch Hazel also contains several volatile oils which are believed to have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

This healing plant is also a common ingredient in homeopathic products, personal care products, and cosmetics. Witch Hazel is also very helpful in the treatment of:

Acne

Cold Sores

Diaper Rash

Eczema

Hemorrhoids

Influenza A Virus

Burns, wounds, and skin inflammation

Varicose Veins

Due to the high content of tannins in Witch Hazel, only external topical use is recommended.

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