In the final days leading up to Kierons’ birth I wanted to make a bum spray from a Wendyl Nissen recipe that uses rose water and witch-hazel. And I thought, rose water? Surely that would be easy to make, especially as I have all these roses… Alakaday, with some research I found that it wasn’t all that simple and I actually couldn’t be farked after all. (But I did find a website that had lots of ideas for roses here. For the time when I’m sick of just smelling the roses!
So I got my rosewater and witch-hazel from lotusoils.co.nz. Now I’ve always been meaning to get witch-hazel. Read and natural healing/alternative therapies book and witch-hazel “is a must” in the first aid kit…can I add that it is a fricken goldmine of a gem of a thing to have for mum and babes kit??
With witch-hazels’ astringent properties it is great to put on healing tummy buttons (baby) and blooming wonderful for healing tushes (mums!). I sprayed witch-hazel onto my maternity pads and oh bliss for the coolness and oh fantastic-ness for the quick recovery time. Totally recommended – for yourself or as a gift!
Traditionally used by native North Americans witch-hazel is also good for cuts, grazes and swollen veins (mm-hmm, should’ve got this stuff AGES ago!). It is the (green) leaves and bark that are used to make the astingent.
Hamamelis virginiana (witch-hazel) is a deciduous shrub. It doesn’t actually lose its leaves in winter but the leaves do go brown in-between which spidery yellow flowers bloom in late autumn.
If you’re growing witch-hazel for medicinal purposes do make sure you’re growing the right type! Chinese witch-hazel Hamamelis mollis is most commonly grown in New Zealand and Australia, Hamamelis virginiana is what you’re after.
It grows best in cooler climates. In hotter climates it should have partial shade to save its leaves from getting burnt. Like nice moist soil.
Ah, and by the way ~ the spray for nappy changing time is great!