witch hazel.jpg

We had a bit of snow last night, which will be gone by afternoon, but here's the witch hazel blooms in the snow. I harvested the bark I would need last week. It's not something I worry too much about this time of year though because witch hazel is a herb you can harvest all winter long. If I was to run low before spring I would just go out and gather a few more branches. It is the bark we use, though some people also gather the leaves during the spring to add to their tincture or distill.

I gathered a little extra of it this year because my niece had her own baby (I can remember changing that girl's diapers--I am getting old), and we use it for diaper rash. I'm hoping she won't need it much but just in case... We also make a poultice of witch hazel, arnica and comfrey to wrap sprains or bruises. Mixed with honey and aloe vera (or hens and chicks plant) can help heal burns and chicken pox blisters with minimum scaring. Making a tincture of jewelweed in distilled witch hazel is good for taking the itch and swelling of poison ivy/oak down. It is great for a hemorrhoid wipe or to take down the swelling of any varicose veins. And, of course, making a garlic tincture using distilled witch hazel makes a healing, after wash rinse or wipe for acne.


Right now though, it's yellow flower, one of the only blooms in the northwoods this time of year, simply helps to uplift the spirits. She a nice friend to have around in the dark time of the year.