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First Aid

Skin Problems? Go Witch Hunting

Background: Also known as hamamelis virginica, the plant indigenous to U.S.A. and Canada, is also cultivated in Europe and other parts of the world, and is widely considered for medicinal purposes. It may have derived its name from English word ‘wiche’ from the middle ages meaning ‘bendable’ and was probably picked up American colonists later. Some believe that the word may have its origin in folk etymology since twigs were used as divining rods just as Hazel twigs were widely used in Victorian England.

Plant Characteristics: The plant is a deciduous shrub which may grow upto 5 metre in height and has leaves that are alternately arranged in wavy pattern. This plant has a unique characteristic where the flowers bloom along with the fruits and therefore classified in genus Hamemalis (which means together with the fruit). It also finds wide use for ornamental purposes with its bunch of rich yellow to orange red flowers. The leaves and bark are known to contain tannins, bitters, flavonoids and volatile oil.

A homoeopathic tincture is made from the stem and root bark and was first introduced by Dr. Preston. Hamamelis Virginica is covered by both Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India and German Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia.

Medical application of hamamelis Virginica: First used by Amercan Indians it now finds wide commercial application today. It is indicated for Varicose Veins and haemorrhoids that may contain symptoms of hurt like soreness of affected parts, venous congestion, hemorrhages. It acts upon the coats of the veins causing relaxation and provide relief from the inflammatory conditions. It is widely used to treat open, painful wounds as it contains known properties of astringent, anti-inflammatory, and stops external and internal bleeding. The aromatic oil extracted from the bark of the witch hazel shrub is distilled and combined with alcohol and used as a soothing and mildly astringent lotion.

Common Applications:

1. Skin Cleanser: It has skin cleansing properties like unclogging skin pores, and drying up excessive oil especially for acne prone skin. It does a better job than your normal face wash in this regard. It also lessens any skin scars and tackle blemishes by reducing the puffiness surrounding it, treat minor cuts and injuries like a first aid remedy. It stops formation of itchy bumps common around irritated hair follicles during razor burn while shaving. Applying after showering helps to lock in moisture treating dry skin.

2. Treat Eye Bags: dark circle around the eyes with puffy eye bags? You can treat it with witch Hazel liquid by applying to a cotton ball and swabing under your eyes. Its anti-inflammatory properties will address the swelling and thus reduce the darkness as well.

3. Treat Varicose Veins: Witch Hazel is regarded as the aconite of veins and treats venous congestions of every kind (vercositis), bad effects from bleeding, prostration.

4. Sunburn treatment: Its anti-inflammatory properties is ideal for sun burn even where the inflammation isn’t obvious. It soothes the skin immediately and reduces the healing time from sunburn, and help with preventing skin peeling and flaking. Treat the sun burned skin with a wet cloth soaked in witch hazel liquid at short period intervals.

5. Cuts & Wounds: It serves as a handy first-aid during home emergencies because it cleanses cuts protecting them against infection and promoting quick healing.It is considered by many dermatologists as the best natural alternative to Neosporin. Its anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties is helpful in treating bug bits

Source by Vasant Prabhu

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