Witch Hazel Hydrosol – West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy


True Witch Hazel Hydrosol may be exhausting to seek out.   It has a brief shelf life and plenty of aromatherapy suppliers promote it as a distillate with one thing added, often alcohol, as a preservative.  I used to be nonetheless, capable of finding the true hydrosol listed on Nature’s Reward.com within the US, and The Aromatherapist.com in Canada.

 (Hamamelis virginiana) 

Household: Hamamelidaceae

Plant Description:   Witch hazel is a deciduous shrub rising between 10 – 25 ft tall.   The genus title, Hamamelis means ‘along with fruit’ and refers back to the simultaneous prevalence of flowers with the maturing fruit from the earlier yr.

Historical past/Folklore: 

The leaves and bark of the North American witch-hazel, Hamamelis virginiana, have been utilized in folks medication, herbalism, and skincare decoctions by Native Individuals, and is usually used for people cures within the European Union. Extracts of witch-hazel could also be used as a treatment for psoriasis and eczema, in aftershave and ingrown nail functions, to stop dehydration of pores and skin, and for insect bites and poison ivy.

Witch-hazel is offered within the type of a semisolid ointment, cream, gel, or salve for topical use. The ointment could ease discomfort from post-partum vaginal soreness and hemorrhoids.

Hydrosol Profile

Aroma and Style:  Suzanne Catty describes this as having a really delicate herbaceous aroma, with a slight woody edge.  Smelling plant-like with out being overly inexperienced.

Stability and Shelf Life:  Reasonably unstable lasts eight to 12 months.
Please notice ‘witch hazel’ bought in pharmacies and well being meals shops is just not a hydrosol.  This product sometimes incorporates between 10 – 30% alcohol.

pH: 4.0 – 4.2

Makes use of 

Witch Hazel hydrosol has analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, antioxidant, antiseptic, astringent, cicatrizant, cooling, sedative, styptic and tonic properties.

Suzanne Catty recommends utilizing this hydrosol topically.  She continues that witch hazel is probably the strongest anti-oxidant hydrosol.  Utilized in topical software it might probably scale back redness, rashes, itching, swelling and scaling of the pores and skin.  It could additionally heal cracked or blistered pores and skin.  It can be extraordinarily good for soothing eczema and psoriasis, alone or mixed with yarrow.  She recommends witch hazel hydrosol, with its highly effective anti-inflammatory and cicatrizant properties as an efficient wound wash and antiseptic.  It additionally calms bites and stings.  Its astringent properties are useful when coping with varicose veins and hemorrhoids.  Together with rock rose (cistus) she recommends it as being necessary for antiaging substances.

Jeanne Rose says that this hydrosol with its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antifungal properties can be utilized in a sprig for varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

Len and Shirley Value share a examine performed on witch hazel by Korting et al (1993) which in contrast the anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel with hydrocortisone cream and concluded that though not as environment friendly as hydrocortisone, witch hazel was efficient and supplied the benefit of not having the intense adversarial uncomfortable side effects of hydrocortisone, similar to pores and skin atrophy and suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system.  In addition they recommend that in line with Bartram (1995) cotton wool saturated in witch hazel and used to plug the nostril may be an efficient therapy for nostril bleeds.

Naturesgift.com quotes Jeanne Rose as suggesting that true Witch Hazel Hydrosol is the primary hydrosol for radiation therapy.  Whereas Madeleine Kerkhof-Knapp Hayes recommends it as top-of-the-line hydrosols for soothing itching, both alone or mixed with Helichrysum, Lavender, or German Chamomile hydrosols.

Extra about Hydrosols


Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols, The Subsequent Aromatherapy, Therapeutic Arts Press, 2001
Beverley Hawkins, Important Oils and Carriers, Aromatherapy 101, Aromatherapy 201, Aromatherapy 301, 1999-2018
Len and Shirley Value, Understanding Hydrolats Churchill Livingstone, 2004
Jeanne Rose, 374 Important Oils and Hydrosols, Frog Ltd, 1999