Working with Witch Hazel
Witch hazel has a beneficial effect on circulation and the venous system. As a tincture taken internally, it was considered highly effective by the Eclectics to strengthen the veins in cases of hemorrhoids or varicose veins. It is primarily used externally as a liniment or in creams for varicose veins and hemorrhoids, as well as for bruises, burns, and sprains. As an astringent, witch hazel is also used internally and externally for bleeding. It is effective for stopping bleeding, such as passive leaking of blood from vessels, but not for heavy bleeding.
A decoction of witch hazel is made by simmering 4 ounces of the bark in 4 ounces of water for 10 minutes; let steep for 15 minutes, strain, and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, after which it is best to make a new batch. Use the decoction as a wet compress on varicose veins, hemorrhoids, etc., or drink 2-4 ounces, 2-3 times a day as needed. It is also useful as a gargle for sore, inflamed throat or tonsils, and it is available in tincture form as well. The commercial liniment or the decoction is used externally for sprains, rashes, abrasions, and bruises.
Witch Hazel has a taste of ASTRINGENT, AROMATIC and a temperature of COOL.