WITCH HAZEL, SPOTTED ALDER
Adopted from North American
Indian usage, the leaves and bark are used in pharmaceutical preparations
for rashes and burns, and by herbalists and homeopaths for piles and
Witch hazel, now a common garden plant,
was first employed by the North American Indians, who used its twigs for water
divining and its leaves and bark as a medicine for swellings and tumours. Native to North America, it is a perennial shrub with a smooth bark, toothed
oval leaves, and yellow flowers that appear in very late summer, followed by small
black nuts containing white seeds.
Tannins; flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol; saponins.
Astringent; prevents haemorrhage; anti-inflammatory.
Applied externally for piles, bruises and inflamed swellings,
and given internally for diarrhoea and colitis (an inflammatory disease of the intestines).
In homeopathy, Hamamelis is given for piles and bleeding.
Distilled extract, tincture, ointment, homeopathic remedies.