Our Plant of the Month: Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is January’s plant of the month for a reason. As one of the few plants that blooms in winter, it embodies persistence and tenacity throughout this chilly season.
It’s not often you see golden flowers blooming through a layer of snow at the height of winter. But that’s exactly what the Native Americans noticed when they first discovered witch hazel — interest piqued!
About Witch Hazel
Formally known as hamamelis virginiana, witch hazel is a shrub native to many parts of North America. And though there are dozens of different cultivars, most types of witch hazel share a few traits such as their hardiness and delicious fragrance.
Of course, there’s still plenty of room for uniqueness. Some types of witch hazel release their seed capsules with an explosive popping sound which can be heard up to 30 feet away! While other species flower in the fall… and throughout the winter.
Witch hazel is renowned for its medicinal qualities. It can be applied topically, made into teas and ointments, and even ingested in tincture form. Let’s start with witch hazel’s ability to improve skin health. Personally, this is our favorite way to utilize this plant (shout-out to witch hazel toners). It contains tannins that may prevent inflammatory substances from entering one’s skin cells; it also contains antioxidants with anti-cancer and anti-free radical qualities. Witch hazel has also been known to help with:
- skin irritation
- scalp sensitivity
Just as exciting, witch hazel likely strengthens the immune system. Once again, its high tannin content seems to catalyze a ton of different health benefits. Witch hazel may reduce the effects of HPV, influenza, and even cold sores.
Why We Love It
When it comes to witch hazel, there’s a lot to love! So if you’re wondering how to best harness witch hazel’s benefits for yourself… you’re not alone.
You can go the topical route; alcohol-based witch hazel products are available at many health food stores. You can also try witch hazel tinctures. (when in doubt, combine with a CBD tincture like the ones found here!)
And all the skin-health enthusiasts out there should know that alcohol-free witch hazel toners are more popular than ever. Many users are, uh, bewitched by their results, which include less oily skin and a smooth, glowing complexion. Sign us up.