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Yellow Witch Hazel Brings Colour To A Late Winter Garden.

The spidery flowers of Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) appear in shades of yellow, orange and red, and brings colour to any late winter garden.

Although slow growing, the shrub will eventually become larger, ranging from 2.5-5m (8-16ft) in height and spread. Potted in a large tub, and under-planted with yellow crocuses, or snowdrops, the Witch Hazel shrub is particularly attractive to the eye, while we await the full unset of Spring.

The leaves and bark of witch-hazel, for centuries has been used in folk medicine, herbalism, and skincare decoctions* by Native American tribes.

Inside witch hazel’s leaves, its bark and twigs are medicinal chemicals called tannins. If you rub these chemicals on your skin, they may reduce swelling and fight bacteria. Extracts of witch-hazel have been claimed effective in the control of psoriasis and eczema; to prevent dehydration of skin; to cure insect bites and razor burn, although more research is needed in relation to these claims.

People have used witch hazel for centuries to soothe chapped, scraped and irritated skin. However, in 2017, please note, that one manufacturer of a skin care product which contained witch-hazel, was warned by the American Food and Drug Administration, having made unsubstantiated health claims, while not providing evidence that their products were safe.

The freshly cut stems from the plant continue to be used by those persons involved in water divining.

Here in Thurles, Witch Hazel shrubs are available at O’Driscolls Garden Centre, situated on the Mill Road east of the town.

*Decoction is a method of extraction by boiling herbal or plant material to dissolve the chemicals of the material.

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