Hamamelis virginiana is a species of Witch-hazel plants native to eastern North America, Nova Scotia west to Minnesota, and south to central Florida to eastern Texas. The bark and leaves were used by native Americans in the treatment of external inflammations. The forked twigs of Witch-hazel are preferred as divining rods. Pond's Extract, a brand of beauty and health care products, was a popular distillation of the bark in dilute alcohol. Commercial witch-hazel, an astringent liniment, is an alcohol extract of witch-hazel bark. Witch-hazel oil has been used in medicines, eye-washes, after shave lotions and salves for soothing insect bites, burns and poison ivy rashes.
Hamamelis Virginiana is primarily used in homeopathy to relieve symptoms of varicose veins and hemmorhoids. This medicine chiefly effects the veins and capillaries. Varicose or dialated veins may be present in esophagus (esophageal varices), rectum (hemorrhoids), abdomen, legs, scrotum (pampiniform plexus) of veins. Veins dilate, elongate and become tortuous and bleed easily. Secondary uses of this medicine are for menstrual disorders, diarrhea relief and bruises or wounds with continuous bleeding.
This medicine can be taken internally or used externally. Internally this medicine is taken in a pills or a liquid. The remedy is used externally as an ointment. Hemmorhoids are rubbed with the ointment to promote healing.
Hamamelis treats a wide range of ailments including varicose veins, hemmorhoids, menstrual disorders, diarrhea and continous bleeding. This is why Hamamelis is called the witch that cures.