American Witch-Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana L.) is a member of the witch-hazel family that is native to North America and grows primarily on the Eastern half of the continent from Nova Scotia to Florida and from Western Texas to the Atlantic Ocean. American Witch-Hazel is a tree shrub that has dense, fragrant branches that cluster together. These shrub trees begin to sprout in late October when the rest of the trees are shedding leaves and preparing for the cold autumn and winter months. Traditional Uses for American Witch-Hazel
Health Benefits of American Witch-Hazel
American Witch-Hazel has been used in the treatment of swellings, inflammations, and tumors by the Native Americans and was later adopted by the first Puritan settlers. Studies have shown that American Witch-Hazel produces a specific kind of tannins, Hamamelitannin, that have displayed cytotoxic effects towards colon cancer cells. This reaffirms the use of American Witch-Hazel as a healing herbal extract in the treatments of various ailments.
Because of American Witch-Hazel’s astringent properties, many proponents believe that it can be used to heal a wide array of skin conditions like acne blemishes, bruises, burns, hemorrhoids, inflammation, and skin irritation. Witch-Hazel is also commonly used in toners and acne products because of its ability to tighten skin and shrink pores.
Inflammation is your body’s natural response to dealing with injuries and infections but inflammation can also cause pain and discomfort if left untreated. When you experience inflammation, treating it with a natural remedy like witch-hazel can be a great way to reduce any redness and swelling. American Witch-Hazel contains antioxidants and compounds, like gallic acid and tannins, that have anti-inflammatory properties that have numerous benefits for your health.
The antioxidants in witch-hazel help prevent widespread inflammation all over the body and help eliminate cancer-causing free radicals that build up in the body.
Reduce Skin Irritation
When you have sensitive skin, it can be difficult to find the right topical treatments and ointments that help alleviate pain without further causing pain or irritation. When this happens, many over the counter treatments that are made with synthetic chemical compounds can have the opposite effect on your skin so it is important to know which naturally occurring treatments can help reduce skin irritation. American Witch-Hazel is one of those remedies. Witch-Hazel is used in the treatment of inflamed, irritated, and blistered skin.