Welcome to Our Healing Roots, a blog exploring natural medicine that returns us to the roots of health and wellbeing. Our Healing Roots, LLC, is a private natural healthcare practice and experiential learning center that advocates the safe use of integrated, natural medicine. Many healing ways have gone by the wayside with the advent of conventional medicine. While it is important to receive professional medical advice for serious conditions, there are many things we can do at home to prevent disease and maintain our health. The Latin word for doctor is docere, which means to be a teacher. Our Healing Roots wholehearted embraces the importance of teaching in healthcare, so that people feel empowered about their health and wellbeing. More information about this business can be found at www.ourhealingroots.net.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Witch Hazel

This is my favorite picture of witch hazel. I took it up in the Northwest. The scientific name of witch hazel is Hamamelis virginiana. Commonly, drug stores sell an alcoholic, U.S.P. witch hazel bark extract, which is for external use only.  Astringents are appropriate for tissues with lots of congestion and laxity--think of varicose veins, hemorrhoids, swollen insect bites, and weeping wounds. Witch hazel also helps decrease inflammation.

Both the leaf and bark of the witch hazel tree can be used medicinally. While the astringent sold at the drug store should not be taken internally, certain preparations of witch hazel can be consumed. Internally, it can be used as a tea or tincture to help decrease diarrhea and gastrointestinal inflammations. I have even seen it used in a formula for urinary incontinence, which works quite well. When consumed in internally, it is suggested to use low doses over a short period of time, as there is some concern about stomach irritation and liver health.

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