Native Americans used poultices of witch hazel leaves and bark to treat haemorrhoids, wounds, painful tumours, insect bites, skin ulcers, Cold Sores, Canker Sores and Varicose Veins.
Tannins and volatile oils are the main active constituents in witch hazel. These constituents contribute to the strong astringent effect of witch hazel.
How to make witch Hazel tea:
Steep2-3 grams of the leaves or bark in 150ml of boiled water for 10-15 minutes. The tea can be drunk 2 or 3 times daily between meals. A tincture, 2–4 ml three times per day, is also occasionally used.
In combination with warm, moist compresses, witch hazel extracts can be applied liberally at least twice each day (in the morning and at bedtime) on haemorrhoids. For other skin problems, ointment or cream can be applied three or four times a day, or as needed
To treat Varicose Veins
Witch hazel may be applied topically to treat varicose veins. Application of a witch hazel ointment three or more times per day for two or more weeks is necessary before results can be expected