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Witch Hazel

Hamamelis Virginiana


Witch Hazel is a deciduous shurb or small tree that grows to a height of about 5 m. The leaves are alternate with small teeth and a long pointed tip. They are 10-15 cm long of a deep dark green with a shiny upperside. The flowers, the fruits and the buds all appear simultaneously in the autumn which is a rarity among trees. The flowers are bright yellow and are formed of four thin elongated petals.

The plant originates from eastern North America. It is cultivated in Europe as an ornamental tree and for its medicinal properties.


'Witch' comes from an old English word 'wice' or 'wych' which means 'bendable' and applies to the flexibility of the branches. These were commonly used by the Indians of North America to make bows and by the English to make divining rods. Water finding was also called 'water witching'. It is thought that the use of the term, may have influenced and altered the interpretation of the word 'witch' in the name given to this specific hazel tree.


It is not a floral water as such since the therapeutic compounds are extracted from the leaves and branches.

Witch hazel has been known and widely used to soothe inflamed skin and joints: sunburns, cuts, abrasions, insect bites, nappy rashes, after-shave, bed sores, sore and sprained muscles. There are various extracts produced through distillation, decoction or tincture.

Decoctions and tinctures produce an extract rich in tannin, the distillation process releases no tannin but volatile compounds. Both are recognised to have anti-inflammatory properties which are valuable to soothe injured skin and sprained muscles.

Which hazel water is also astringent due to its natural alcohol content. It has a numbing and soothing effect on inflammations and small unjuries whilst reducing and stoping bleeding. It has an anti-microbial property and will contributes to reduce infection.

WICH HAZEL as a facial toner and in facial preparations

Wich hazel is more suited to oily skin, and can be used as a make-up remover and toner. It is better avoided by thoses with red and inflammed skin due to dryness of the tissues. Avoid in case of eczema, rosaceae.

Which hazel water mixed with biocarbonate of soda will make fizzy bath bombs !

To order Witch Hazel Floral Water