Last year around this time I told you about a plant we have here in New York that we often overlook. The wildest part is that it is responsible for a liquid many of us keep in our medicine cabinet but don't really use, Witch Hazel.

Once again National Witch Hazel Day is right around the corner (October 21, 2022) so I thought I would take the time to bring you up to speed on it again in case you still haven't gotten around to discovering it on your own. It is referred to by many including the National Days group as America's first skincare product.

What does Witch Hazel Do?

Let's start by mentioning that Witch Hazel is a plant that you can actually discover in New York. Easy to spot this time of year due to its yellow spiny blossoms. I feel like I should mention that even though it is in bloom in October and has healing properties this helpful plant doesn't actually have anything to do with Witches, although I am sure a few may have hoped it would clear up their complexions

Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash
Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash

The Farmer's Almanac is where I read that the word "Witch" in terms of this plant comes from an old English word wiche which means bendable. I have never actually seen a Witch Hazel plant up close SO I can tell you if it is actually bendy but it looks like it in this photo. Truth be told I also haven't spent a lot of time out in the woods looking for Witch Hazel either it could be right out there on any Hudson Valley Trail.

Can You Grow Witch Hazel?

I was thinking early this year I would try growing Witch Hazel but I never got around to getting a plant or a clipping. It turns out according to you can grow Witch Hazel in a pot for a while but eventually, you have to plant it. If I had one I think I would feel bad if I could keep it alive. I seem to do best with cacti. Plus other than having it as a conversation piece I am not really sure why I need a Witch Hazel plant.

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After all, It's not like I am going to make my own Witch Hazel. That job I will leave it up to the professionals. I got a "D" in organic chemistry so something tells me I could really screw up the recipe if I try to make it myself.

What are the Uses of Witch Hazel?

So what are the amazing reasons people keep Witch Hazel around? Witch Hazel relives everything from sunburn to bug bites. It takes the irritation and swelling out of all kinds of ailments. It heals bruises. It treats acne. Apparently, it even helps relieve varicose veins. The Farmer's Almanac has a complete list of the healing properties of witch hazel you can try out.


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