of the Week for 18th July
In the border in front of the Herbalists Haven garden the contorted stems of the witch hazel shrub are showing the first glimpses of yellow. Over the next couple of weeks the little ribbon like petals of the flowers will appear on the bare branches.
witch hazel is not the medicinal one. Unfortunately I havent been able to
source the one with the botanical name of Hamamelis virginiana.
The witch hazels in the garden shops are the ornamental varieties.
Hamamelis virginiana is the variety that is grown to make the witch hazel extract and it grows mainly in woodland areas in the States.
Apparently it is not as attractive as the ornamental ones with the flowering period being taking place when the leaves are colouring up in autumn. The flowers tend to be hidden among the leaves.
The native North Americans used witch hazel as a traditional healing healing herb by soaking the bark in water to make eyewash or using it as steam treatment for sore muscles.
we use witch hazel as an astringent ingredient in healing and skincare products.
It tones the skin and it reduces inflammation. Therefore you will find it listed as an ingredient in products such as facial toners and eye gels as well as creams and lotions for bruising and injuries as well as varicose veins and haemorrhoids.
So this pretty little shrub as some powerful and wide ranging uses.