by johnah on November 16, 2020
The following information was taken from Wikipedia:
“Witch Hazel (Ilex paraguariensis) is a shrub or small tree native to Mexico, Central America and South America. It grows up to 30 feet tall with a spread of 10 feet.
Its leaves are opposite, oval-shaped, greenish purple, and it produces white flowers. It is one of the most common plants in the southern United States.”
“It has been used medicinally since ancient times. Native Americans used it as a diuretic, antiseptic and decongestant.
In the 19th century it became popular as an ornamental plant due to its attractive foliage coloration.”
“In the early 20th century, it was widely grown as a landscape plant because of its large size and resistance to pests. However, it has become increasingly rare in recent years due to competition from other species such as sweet gum (Ilex aquifolium), which is easier to grow and maintain.
It is also not tolerant of temperatures below about 15 degrees Fahrenheit.”
“Witch hazel is commonly used as a topical astringent, especially for the treatment of skin conditions such as bleeding or oozing. It is also used to treat hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
When used on the face, it can tighten skin and reduce the appearance of blemishes. It is also used as an eye-drop to reduce inflammation and itching caused by computer vision syndrome.”
“The species name, paraguariensis refers to its native region in South America. It is also known as the Paraguay Tea Tree.”
“Witch Hazel is readily available as a tincture, lotion, pads or gel. Over-the-counter use of Witch Hazel for medical purposes is not recommended during pregnancy, unless otherwise directed by a doctor.
Drinking Witch Hazel as a tea is not recommended, due to its low bioavailability.”
“Witch hazel is a mild anti-inflammatory, anesthetic and astringent. These properties are useful for treating minor wounds, bruises, skin irritations and bleeding.
It can be used to treat acne by reducing oil production and healing minor skin abrasions.”
“A hot wash cloth soaked in witch hazel can be used to treat bruises, reduce inflammation and clean the skin. By keeping the skin clean and free of bacteria, witch hazel can reduce the risk of infection.
The anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties help to make the treatment more comfortable.”
“Witch hazel is also an effective treatment for hemorrhoids by reducing swelling, relieving pain and eliminating excess moisture. It is used in treating varicose veins by tightening the skin, reducing swelling and strengthening veins.
It is not a substitute for more serious treatments such as vein stripping or surgery. If you are experiencing serious varicose veins, you should consult a doctor.”
“Witch hazel pads were originally used as a cold compress. They can be used to reduce swelling and inflammation in minor injuries such as burns, insect bites, small scratches and spots.
By keeping the skin clean and reducing pain and itching, witch hazel can help prevent infection in these minor wounds. These abilities also make witch hazel an effective treatment for minor skin irritations such as rashes, poison ivy and hemorrhoids.”
“Witch hazel is also used as an eyewash to relieve the symptoms of some eye conditions. It should not be used to replace prescription medications or proper medical treatment.
For the temporary relief of itching and burning of the eyes due to hay fever, pollen allergies or other causes, put a few drops of witch hazel in the affected eye(s). It is also used as a protective agent against eye dryness due to wind, sun, swimming and air conditioning. It is important that you seek the advice of your doctor if these conditions persist or worsen.”
“Witch hazel is an astringent. When applied to the skin it can reduce sebum (oil) production and temporarily tighten skin, reducing the appearance of blemishes and spots.
It is also used to reduce redness and swelling caused by minor skin irritations and allergic reactions.”
“Witch hazel has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, making it useful as a treatment for hemorrhoids. A witch hazel preparation can be used to relieve swelling, pain and itching.
This can be done safely without too many risks. Avoid Preparations that contain alcohol, as these can cause skin drying and other side effects.”
“Witch hazel has been used as a diuretic, due to its ability to reduce swelling. This reduces the blood flow to the kidneys, which can reduce the amount of urine they produce.
However, it should not be relied on as a treatment for high blood pressure or other medical conditions. Do not use it if you suffer from low blood pressure or are on a low sodium diet. If you have a condition that causes you to pass more urine than normal, consult your doctor before using witch hazel.”
“Witch hazel can be used to ease the pain and itching of hemorrhoids. This is a mild preparation typically used for this purpose.
It can also be used to soothe the pain of minor burns, sunburn and insect bites. Care should be taken when using witch hazel, as it can cause skin irritation if the skin is already raw or damaged. If you are prone to skin reactions, it is recommended that you do a patch test before using witch hazel on any open skin.”
“Witch hazel can be used as a mouthwash to reduce swelling in the mouth caused by toothaches, injury or swelling due to infections such as herpes. To use, simply soak a cotton ball in witch hazel and hold it against the affected area.
Avoid swallowing the witch hazel, and do not use for longer than one week. If you experience continuing swelling or pain, get medical attention.
Sources & references used in this article:
Basic Principles of Pruning Woody Plants by PW Plants – secure.caes.uga.edu
Basic principles of pruning woody plants by GL Wade, RR Westerfield – 2009 – athenaeum.libs.uga.edu
A guide to successful pruning. Pruning shrubs by S French, BL Appleton – 1994 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu
Liquidambar styraciflua L. Sweetgum Hamamelidaceae Witch-hazel family by PP Kormanik – Social Indicators, 1990 – books.google.com
Woody ornamentals for cut flower growers by J Bachmann – Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas …, 2002 – Citeseer
A seed flying like a bullet: ballistic seed dispersal in Chinese witch-hazel (Hamamelis mollis OLIV., Hamamelidaceae) by S Poppinga, AS Böse, R Seidel… – Journal of the …, 2019 – royalsocietypublishing.org