What is Witch Hazel
What is witch hazel? Witch hazel promotes blood circulation and helps treat varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
But it is also an ideal plant for skin care thanks to its healing, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties.
Where is it found and active ingredients?
- Although the most universally known medicinal plants are native to Europe or the Middle East, such as chamomile, licorice, or sage.
- Some species from the American continent have begun to have a prominent presence in recent decades in Western herbal medicine.
- From North America, we get plants incorporating in many of the best herbal treatments for different ailments.
- Such as black cohosh in gynecology, echinacea in respiratory conditions, or California poppy in nervous states.
- And without a doubt, in this list, we can add, in its own right, witch hazel, one of the best venous tonics that nature offers us.
What does witch hazel look like, and where is it found?
- The witch hazel or witch hazel Hamamelis virginiana L. is a deciduous tree of the Hamameliaceae family, a botanical family only present in the American continent.
- Related to the sweetgum, a tree widely used in gardening, the witch hazel is a modest tree, up to 10 meters high.
- With grayish bark and alternate, obovate leaves, which acquire a beautiful golden ocher tone in fall.
- The flowers, gathered in lax glomeruli, appear in late autumn when the leaves have detached and show narrow.
- Here Elongated yellow petals and orange sepals produce woody fruits in the shape of a pointed capsule, which opens at the half.
- When this fruit ripens, it explodes by pressure from its walls and throws its black seeds at a long distance of 10 or more meters.
- It grows naturally in forest boundaries and along riverbanks. It is finding throughout eastern North America.
- From Newfoundland in Canada to Alabama and Texas in the United States, plus a small population east of Mexico.
Active ingredients of witch hazel
- Witch hazel is using for medicinal and cosmetic purposes s the leaves, but also the bark.
- The leaves are harvesting in late summer and left to dry in the shade.
- They are characterizing by their enormous richness in tannins, which gives them a very outstanding strength as a natural astringent. Anti-hemorrhagic, vagotonic, vasoprotective.
- And also, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, antioxidant, bactericidal, antiseptic, ophthalmic, and healing properties are attributing to them.
The active principles of (witch haze)l that define its therapeutic action are listing below:
- Contains gallic tannins such as hamamelitanin, both in the leaves and in the bark.
- Also, catechin tannins such as galacotequina.
- Proanthocyanidins in their pigments.
- Phenolic acids, derived from gallic acid.
- Flavonoids such as kempferol, quercetin, and isoquercithin.
- Bitter principles.
- Essential oil, between 0.01 and 0.5%.
- Mineral salts with potassium, sodium, and magnesium.
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