Product: Witch-Hazel Leaves
Latin Name: Hamamelis virginiana
Plant Family: Hamamelidaceae
Other Names: Spotted Alder, Winterbloom, Snapping Hazelnut, Avellano de Bruja, Café du Diable, Hamamélis, Hamamélis de Virginie, Noisetier des Sorcières & Snapping Tobacco Wood.
Description: Witch hazel is a small deciduous tree or shrub native to the eastern half of North America and Canada, now found cultivated in Europe which grows up to 5 metres in height. The leaves are obovate with a sinuate edge, 7-15cm in length and bright green in colour with a fine downy coating on the underside of the leaf. The flowers grow in clusters and have 4 stamens and 4 thin, ribbon-like petals that are 10-20mm in length, and are pale to bright yellow in colour.
Interesting Fact: Did you know that witch hazel can help you find water? It’s true, witch hazel branches have been traditionally used by dowsers to locate water; forked branches of witch hazel are used as dowsing or divining rods. It was the Early European settlers who first observed Native Americans using witch-hazel rods to find underground sources of water. It’s postulated that the name for witch-hazel could have been ‘wicke-hazel’ wicke in olde English meant ‘lively’ which could have described the action of the diving rod when it located water.
The leaves can be used to make tea, an infusion of the leaves can be soothing to the skin and is good for applying to burns, scalds and skin eruptions such as acne and for soothing insect bites. Witch hazel infusion can be added to lotions and washes to help cleanse oily skin without stripping natural oils, it can also be applied to help soothe itching.
Shelf life of two years provided that goods are stored in an airtight container in ambient conditions.