Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

The information provided is intended for educational purposes only. This data is not complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate.

Witch hazel is an astringent compound produced from the leaves and bark of the North American witch-hazel shrub. It is a component of many commercial healthcare products.

General Information

Common Name: Cortex Hamamelis (dried bark), Folium Hamamelis (dried or fresh leaves), Hamamelis, Hamamelis water, magician’s rod, snapping hazel, spotted alder, tobacco wood, white hazel, and winter bloom.

Scientific Name: Hamamelis viginiana

Origin: North America

Method of Extraction

Steam distillation of the leaves, wood and bark

Precautions During Use

Although extracts of witch hazel are available commercially, they shouldn’t be taken internally because the toxicity of the tannins has not been well defined.

Therapeutic properties

Witch hazel is mainly used externally on hemorrhoids, minor bleeding, and skin irritation. It is often used as a natural remedy for psoriasis and eczema; in aftershave and in-grown nail applications and to prevent facial sweating and cracked/blistered skin, and for treating insect bites.