Would you entrust your itchy and flaring bottom to a witch? Yes you will if it is
Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), also known as hazel nut, snapping hazel nut,
pistachio, winter bloom, tobacco wood, spotted alder and striped alder, is a small
tree that sheds leaves for some time in a year. The tree can grow to a height of
15 feet and has a gray and brownish bark. Witch hazel is a late bloomer in the months
of September to November showing off its yellow, red or purple flowers in the bleak
winter background. Thus, the name winter bloom. Full blossom is observed after the
last leaf has fallen.
The name witch hazel alludes to its historical association with witches and magics.
For common people, it was used as a protection from witches. On the other hand, it
was also believed to be a major herb used by witches in their magic potions. Interestingly,
this could be an indicator that witch hazel has been used for various medicinal purposes.
Witch hazel is a very popular herbal medicine or supplement and is used in a number
of preparations as a main ingredient in conjunction with other herbs. Among the conditions
in which witch hazel is observed to be helpful is hemorrhoids.
How Does Witch Hazel Work In Hemorrhoid Treatment?
Historically, witch hazel has been used as main ingredient for a poultice used in
treating swelling and inflammation of any part of the human body, and even wounds.
Today, the antiseptic properties found in the leaves and barks of witch hazel makes
it an ideal cleaning and anti – inflammatory agent to provide cleansing, immediate
relief and cure for hemorrhoids.
Studies have also shown that witch hazel contains proanthocyanidins.
Proanthocyanidins are known anti – inflammatory and anti oxidants that also help
in the healing of damaged tissues. Thus, while it provides immediate relief by shrinking
the swelling, it also promotes eventual healing of hemorrhoids by binding tissues
to eliminate fissures.
How To Use Witch Hazel?
Owing to its popularity as a medicinal herb, witch hazel is easily obtained from
any drug store and is available in the form of a liquid tincture. The witch hazel
tincture can be used for topical application to heal inflammation in the areas affected
with hemorrhoids. The tincture is safe to use, and is also reasonably priced.
Application of the tincture is done by soaking a cotton ball with the tincture and
swabbing it on the affected area. Some products conveniently come in a spraying bottle
and you can easily spray the solution to the affected area.
• Many hemorrhoid creams and ointments also use witch hazel as a major ingredient
in their concoction. If you see one, then the witch hazel in the cream surely will
act as an anti – inflammatory agent.
• Witch hazel can also be taken as a tea but there are no claims of its internal
use as helpful in healing or curbing the occurrence of hemorrhoids.
There are no known side effects of witch hazel use in hemorrhoids. There are also
no reported allergic reactions when witch hazel extracts come into contact with human