Witch-Hazel (Hamamelis) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Hamamelidaceae of which there are three species native to North America, and one each in China and Japan.

The leaves and bark of the North American Witch-Hazel Hamamelis virginiana may be used to produce an astringent, also referred to as Witch Hazel, which is used medicinally. This plant extract was widely used for medicinal purposes by American Indians

Witch Hazel is mainly used externally as an astringent cleanser to help remove impurities and contribute to a clear skin. Traditionally it has also been used on sores, bruises, and swelling. Witch Hazel has also often been used as a natural remedy for various conditions such as eczema, ingrown nails, to prevent sweating of the face, cracked or blistered skin, for treating insect bites and for application as an aftershave.

Witch Hazel contains tannins which act as antioxidants  and can help to reduce swelling and help repair broken skin. It has been shown in a recent scientific study to have anti-inflammatory activity.

Found in Potter’s Skin Clear Lotion and Potter’s Distilled Witch Hazel.