Botanical Name – Hamamelis virginiana
Origin – USA
Exraction – Alcohol and water (14% alcohol)
Shelf life – 3 years
Color – Clear
Odor – Virtually odorless/characteristic
Pesticide residues – Tested Negative
Alcohol by volume – 14.6%
pH – 3.52
Tannins – <0.03 mg/ml
Witch Hazel Extract is a wonderful ingredient for use in your cosmetic and medicinal preparations. It is gentle enough to be used alone, or it may be combined with other ingredients or herbs.
Commercial Witch Hazel extracts usually contain more alcohol than actual Witch Hazel, and have only been distilled once. However, the line offered by Mountain Rose Herbs leads in both quality and potency.
A Brief History
Witch Hazel extract is produced from the leaves and bark of the North American shrub Witch-hazel, Hamamelis virginiana. It has been used medicinally throughout history. The Native Americans used poultices of Witch Hazel leaves and bark to treat hemorrhoids, wounds, painful tumors, insect bites, and skin ulcers.
They also made Witch Hazel infusions for conditions including cuts, colds, heavy menstruation, tumors, and eye inflammation. In addition, Witch Hazel was used in folk medicine for backache, and internally for diarrhea, nervousness, nosebleed, vaginitis, and venereal disease.
Medicinal and Cosmetic Use
Witch Hazel extract has astringent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, and anesthetic properties, making it indispensable for a variety of different medicinal and cosmetic uses.
Medicinally, Witch Hazel extract is used for bedsores, bruises, eczema, insect bites, hemorrhoids, poison ivy or oak, bruises, sore muscles, swelling, psoriasis, cracked or blistered skin, diaper rash, windburn, and sunburn.
In cosmetic products, Witch Hazel extract is used as an aftershave or a facial astringent, applied to blemishes and pimples, varicose veins, and is used to cleanse oil from the skin, remove make-up, decrease bags under eyes and skin puffiness, and to reduce pore size. It is beneficial for both oily and dry mature skin, and is commonly found in anti-aging products as well as in products for blemished or acne-prone skin.
For conditions such as bedsores, bruises, hemorrhoids, poison ivy or oak, bruises, sore muscles, swelling, or diaper rash, Witch Hazel extract can be applied using a compress. For hemorrhoid relief, it is also added to sitz baths.
For facial care products, Witch Hazel extract can be easily added to facial cleansers, astringents, masks, and toners. Witch Hazel extract can be incorporated into creams or lotions, and then applied to the skin.
For sore muscles, Witch Hazel extract can either be used in a compress or cream, or may be added to bath water. Athletes rub Witch Hazel extract onto their arms or legs limbs prior to workouts to help prevent muscle strain, or after a workout to help relieve soreness.
Witch Hazel extract is intended for external use. Avoid using Witch Hazel extract close to the mucus membranes or in the eyes, as it contains a small amount of alcohol. It is best to use on this product on unbroken skin.
External use of Witch Hazel extract could result in minor skin irritation for some people.
Do not use on serious burns, cuts, or other wounds.
The FDA has approved Witch Hazel distillate as safe for external use in skin care products. Sources have reported no known side effects. However, future studies may provide more information about the safety or side effects of Witch Hazel.