Scientific name: Hamamelis virginiana (Hamamelidaceae)

Witch hazel is beneficial mainly externally for the skin and veins. It has been used in the past making a decoction with the bark to treat tumors and inflammation, especially of the eye. Internally it has been used for hemorrhaging as well as heavy menstrual bleeding.

Parts Used

  • Fresh leaves
  • Dried leaves
  • Young twigs
  • Fresh bark
  • Dried bark


  • Tannins
  • Falvonoids
  • Volatile oil (leaves)

Health Benefits

  • Astringent
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Stops external and internal bleeding
  • Strengthens/repairs veins and damaged blood vessels

Quick Remedies

(consult a doctor if experiencing any serious conditions)

  • Eczema, bug bites, and skin rashes: use distilled witch hazel where skin has not been significantly broken open
  • Hemorrhoids: ointment made of the bark or distilled witch hazel can be applied twice per day
  • Facial, varicose, spider veins, and bruises: apply a bark tincture or distilled witch hazel once or twice every day. Visible results may take up to 2 weeks.
  • Cysts and tumors: apply a lotion to the area daily

How to Grow

This tree is seen in Canada, eastern US, and parts of Europe.


  • Cuttings and seeds are planted in the Fall
Put em in the ground


  • Gather leaves in the summer to dry
  • Harvest bark in the Fall, and dry quickly