native american tribes have used the witch hazel
tree for numerous ills : the Mowhawks use the steam
from a witch hazel decoction to treat eye injuries,
whilst the Menomees in Wisconsin are known to rub
the decoction on their legs during sport, to keep
the muscles supple. The maceration of twigs is also
recommended for backache, and the Potawatomis add
the twigs to steam baths to treat sore muscles.
witch hazel (steam distilled bark) is perhaps the
most well known form in which the western world
uses witch hazel today. It is highly astringent
and a great anti-inflammatory and can be used to
treat bruises, sprains, strains, swellings, nosebleeds
(apply a cold compress over the nose bridge area,
and another on the nape of the neck) grazes, cuts,
eczema, insect bites, spots and blemishes, and to
ease varicose veins and piles. It also makes a cooling
lotion for burns and insect bites.
cold compress is a wonderfully soothing remedy for
headaches, and used over the eyes will calm and
soothe tired or troubled, bleary eyes.
tincture of the leaves can be taken internally to
treat diarrhoea, colitis, and excessive menstruation