Herbs Guide

Witch Hazel

Family Name: N.O. Hamamelidaceae

Botanical Name(s): Hamamelis virginiana (LINN.)

Popular Name(s): Spotted Alder, Winterbloom, Snapping Hazelnut

Parts Used: Bark and leaves

Habitat: Witch Hazel is found in the Eastern United States and Canada.

Description: Witch Hazel is a shrub which grows to a height 10 to 12 feet and 4 to 6 inches in diameter. The leaves are 3 to 5 inches long and about 3 inches wide. The leaves drop off in autumn which is followed by yellow flowers which occur in clusters from the joints. Then black nuts follow which contain white seeds.

Uses: Witch Hazel's leaves and bark are used as astringent, tonic and sedative and are valuable in checking internal and external haemorrhage. They are quite effective in curing piles, diarrhoea and dysentery and are useful in bruises and inflammatory swellings.