It costs only a few dollars to buy a bottle of witch hazel. This astringent substance is actually an extract derived from the bark and leaves of a flowering plant called Hamamelis virginiana also known as the American witch-hazel shrub. Most people buy witch hazel to use on their skin.
Native Americans have recognized the medicinal properties of witch hazel for a long time and have used the boiled plant parts to treat skin irritations and tumors. Nowadays this popular herbal remedy is recognized world-wide as a natural cleanser and toner, but witch hazel has many more uses than simply to clarify skin and shrink pores.
On the next page discover 11 uses for witch hazel around the Homestead.