Taking care of your vascular health with witch hazel, what you need to know

Very common in North America and Europe, witch hazel is a shrub with the botanical name Hamamelis virginiana. It is also called witch hazel or devil’s coffee. This plant is part of the hamamelidaceae family and is very popular in the field of herbal medicine. Its many medicinal properties make this plant a great ally for treating blood circulation disorders. Witch hazel contains a very large amount of astringent tannins and flavonoids. It also contains rutin, this substance allowing the plant to regulate venous circulation. Also, this shrub also has vitamins P, saponin and mucilages as active ingredients.

Indications for witch hazel

To take advantage of the medicinal properties ofwitch Hazel, you have the choice between internal and external use. Internally, this plant improves the health of the circulatory system through its vasoconstrictor, anti-inflammatory, astringent and haemostatic effects. Externally, this shrub is used to treat skin lesions caused by the sun, wind or cold. It also works by relieving bruises and hemorrhoids.

For this purpose, witch hazel is indicated in herbal medicine in case of:

  • Skin infections like eczema;
  • Heavy legs ;
  • Hemorrhoids;
  • Varicose veins and phlebitis;
  • Venous congestion;
  • Dysmenorrhea;
  • Prostatic congestion.

The different forms of the plant used in herbal medicine

In herbal medicine, it is mainly the witch hazel leaves that we use. However, this does not preclude the use of dried twigs and bark. All these parts of the plant can be used directly when they are dry. But for those who do not want to use this dried form, the active ingredients of witch hazel are available in various forms. Indeed, you have the choice between capsules, mother tincture, hydrosol or even in the form of essence. Lotions, homeopathic granules, ointment, creams and suppositories also exist.

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Dosage and method of use

By opting for a herbal treatment based on this plant, you should know that only the mother tincture, liquid extract, decoction, hydrosol and infusion can be consumed. As for granules, capsules, creams and suppositories, their use is made according to the dosages indicated. If in doubt, do not hesitate to seek advice from your pharmacist or a phytotherapist. For the other forms to be prepared yourself, the methods of preparation and the dosages are as follows:

  • In mother tincture – the recommended dosage is 3 or 4 ml to be taken 3 times during the day;
  • In infusion – do not exceed 3 cups per day. The cup should contain 1 teaspoon of dried leaves that you have left to infuse for 15 minutes;
  • In capsules – do not take more than 6 capsules per day;
  • As a decoction – you should mix 30g of leaves in a cup of water and bring the mixture to a boil for 15-30 minutes. The mixture is to be drunk the following day.

Adverse effects and contraindications

By using the natural witch hazel products, you need to be careful, because the essence of this plant can be dangerous for the skin. You should also be careful about any skin irritations that may occur. Finally, people with sensitive skin should not use the essence of this plant.


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