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WITCH HAZEL

Other Names:

Avellano de Bruja, Café du Diable, Hamamelis, Hamamélis, Hamamélis de Virginie, Hamamelis virginiana, Hazel, Noisetier des Sorcières, Snapping Tobacco Wood, Spotted Elder, Winter Bloom.

WITCH HAZEL Overview
WITCH HAZEL Uses
WITCH HAZEL Side Effects
WITCH HAZEL Interactions
WITCH HAZEL Dosing
WITCH HAZEL Overview Information

Witch hazel is a plant. The leaf, bark, and twigs are used to make medicine. You may see a product called witch hazel water (Hamamelis water, distilled witch hazel extract). This is a liquid that is distilled from dried leaves, bark, and partially dormant twigs of Hamamelis virginiana.

Witch hazel is taken by mouth for diarrhea, mucus colitis, vomitingblood, coughing up blood, tuberculosis, colds, fevers, tumors, and cancer.

Some people apply witch hazel directly to the skin for itching, pain and swelling (inflammation), eye inflammation, skin injury, mucous membrane inflammation, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, bruises, insect bites, minor burns, and other skin irritations.

In manufacturing, witch hazel leaf extract, bark extract, and witch hazel water are used as astringents to tighten the skin. They are also included in some medications to give those products the ability to slow down or stop bleeding. Those medications are used for treating insect bites, stings, teething, hemorrhoids, itching, irritations, and minor pain.

How does it work?

Witch hazel contains chemicals called tannins. When applied directly to the skin, witch hazel might help reduce swelling, help repair broken skin, and fight bacteria.

WITCH HAZEL Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:

  • Stopping minor bleeding. Applying witch hazel bark, leaf, or water to the skin seems to reduce minor bleeding.
  • Hemorrhoids. Applying witch hazel water to the skin may help to temporarily relieve itching, discomfort, irritation, and burning due to hemorrhoids and other anal disorders.
  • Reducing skin irritation. Applying witch hazel cream seems to relieve mild skin irritation, but not as well as hydrocortisone.

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting blood.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Colds.
  • Fevers.
  • Eye inflammation.
  • Bruises.
  • Varicose veins.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of witch hazel for these uses.


WITCH HAZEL Side Effects & Safety

Witch hazel is safe for most adults when applied directly to the skin. In some people, it might cause minor skin irritation.

Witch hazel also seems to be safe for most adults when small doses are taken by mouth. In some people, witch hazel might cause stomach upset when taken by mouth. Large doses might cause liver problems.

Witch hazel contains a cancer-causing chemical (safrole), but in amounts that are too small to be of concern.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of witch hazel during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

WITCH HAZEL Interactions What is this?

We currently have no information for WITCH HAZEL Interactions

WITCH HAZEL Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

APPLIED TO THE SKIN:

  • For itching and discomfort associated with hemorrhoids and other anal disorders: Witch hazel water (Hamamelis Liquid Extract diluted with water) applied up to 6 times a day or after every bowel movement.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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