Witch hazel is a deciduous shrub that belongs to the family Hamamelidaceae and is characterized by its yellow flowers and black seeds. This plant, with the scientific name of Hamamelis virginiana, is cultivated in some regions of China, Japan and North America for the different medicinal and cosmetic uses of both its leaves and its bark.
Among the different benefits and health benefits of the witch hazel plant, its powerful astringent properties stand out, which are ideal both for the care of our skin and to combat some disorders of the body.
Nutritional composition and properties of witch hazel
Witch hazel is a deciduous plant that contains the following nutrients within its composition:
- Flavonoids: they are vegetal pigments, between them quercetina, isoquercitina and miricitina among others, that count on antioxidant properties and antiinflammatory properties.
- Tannins: it’s content in gallic acid and hamamelitanin stands out, which contain excellent astringent properties with venotonic action.
- Essential oils such as safrole, esters and alcohol with great hemostatic and antiseptic properties.
- It also contains other nutrients such as carbohydrates(hamamellose) and
It is used for different problems of the circulatory system
Witch hazel has powerful astringent properties that act on the circulatory system, especially blood vessels, which deflate and solve the following circulatory problems:
- Varicose veins:can be used as well as in external use by applying the witch hazel extract through a massage, or in internal use preparing an infusion with the dried leaves of the plant.
- Phlebitis:its venotonic action acts and reduces inflammation in the veins.
- Bruises and bruises:by preparing hamamelis water, both the appearance and inflammation of these problems can be reduced, as can the pain that occurs in these wounds.
- Poor circulation in the legs: itis ideal for those people who remain a long time standing, as by compresses with witch hazel water can relieve pain and swelling of the legs.
- Hemorrhoids:piles can be relieved by preparations or creams based on witch hazel.
Properties of witch hazel for the skin
Witch hazel also serves as a natural remedy for some skin care, because thanks to its different properties, it offers the following benefits on the skin:
Effective remedy against acne
Its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties make it serve effectively as a natural remedy to reduce acne and other skin imperfections. Witch hazel can also be used by people who tend to have oily skin, since it eliminates glare on the face without drying the skin.
Its astringent properties due to the richness in tannins, also make it an excellent tonic for facial skin. These properties and their anti-inflammatory power relieve inflammation and discomfort in the face.
Dark circles treatment
- Its anti-inflammatory properties also serve to reduce the bags under the eyes and, in this way, the skin is regenerated.
- They also treat other eye problems, such as dry eyes, due to their excellent soothing properties.
- In addition, it also has antioxidant properties that prevent wrinkles and expression lines of the eyes.
Relieves the symptoms of menopause
Another of the healing properties of witch hazel is that, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and astringent effect, it helps treat the following symptoms of menopause:
- It can decrease, in the form of infusion, the typical hot flashes of this disorder.
- At this stage, some changes in the skin, such as dryness and more visible wrinkles on the face, also occur. As we have seen previously, witch hazel is a natural remedy for these skin problems.
- It can also relieve other menopausal pains, such as headaches or joints due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Finally, it decreases fluid retention and other circulatory problems such as varicose veins and cellulitis, which are very common problems at this stage.
Contraindications of witch hazel
Witch hazel may present some contraindications in those who are in the following situations:
- Pregnancy and lactation:some plants such as witch hazel are not recommended, as they can alter the conditions of the fetus and breast milk.
- Digestive disorders:its richness in tannins makes it contraindicated in people with heartburn, colitis, ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems.
- People with iron deficiency anemia:its content in tannins prevents the body from absorbing iron correctly.
- Liver diseases:its content in safrole and in tannins can worsen diseases such as hepatitis, cirrhosis and other alterations in the liver.
- It is also contraindicated in people who are taking anticoagulant medications.