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Witch Hazel Hamamelis virginiana
Witch Hazel has been used by the Native Americans in the form of a decoction. Decoctions are made by boiling roots and barks for an extended period of time. They used it to to treat swellings, inflammations, sores, bruises, and even tumors. Other applications for this incredible remedy include: psoriasis, eczema, aftershave applications, ingrown nails, to prevent sweating of the face, cracked or blistered skin, for treating insect bites, poison ivy, and as a treatment for varicose veins and hemorrhoids(yikes!).
Tinctures are another method for using Witch Hazel. To make a tincture, all you need is the plant material and some high proof liquor, like everclear. You want at least 75% alcohol. Soak the herb in the alcohol for a minimum duration of at least one month. It's advised to shake the mixture from time to time. The final product can be filtered through a cheese cloth and stored in glass tincture bottles with droppers. Store in a dark, cool place. Tinctures extract both polar and non-polar constituents.
It's also made into a tea to treat diarrhea(yikes~!) in children. A series of phytochemicals known as "tannins" are what's thought to give it its medicinal properties. The leaf is preferred by those with allergic symptoms while the bark is more suitable for those without allergy and in dealing with vascular weakness. Witch Hazel is an active ingredient in many over the counter medications. It can also be used topically ( applied externally to skin ).
Over-the-counter products that contain chemicals naturally produced by plants are very common. Some examples include: listerine, vicks vapo-rub, topical medicines for bee stings, etc. You can read the ingredient labels on the back of these over-the-counter medications. There, you will see the name of synthetic compounds that originate from nature. Most of the time you will see a plant extract in the ingredient list.
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INFORMATION PROVIDED ON OUR WEBSITE IS FOR BOTANICAL/CULTURAL RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY! ANY REFERENCES ABOUT THE USE OR EFFECTS OF THESE NATURAL HEALING HERBS IS BASED ON TRADITIONAL USE OR SHAMANIC PRACTICES. ALL PRODUCTS ARE SOLD FOR ETHNOBOTANICAL RESEARCH (CONSULT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER)! STATEMENTS AND ITEMS ARE NOT EVALUATED OR APPROVED BY THE FDA. NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, PREVENT, OR CURE, ANY AILMENTS, CONDITIONS, DISEASES, ETC.