Mary Plantwalker recently penned two articles on Witch Hazel for the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine’s Blog! Here is an excerpt:
“Witch hazel is our kinky, golden-star flower shrub or small tree that blooms in cold weather, when all other flowers are absent from the landscape. These flowers are long-lived, as they patiently wait for warm enough weather to wake up an array of possible pollinators, from gnats to flies to moths. The witch hazel flowers know they gotta get it while they can, and still, only one percent of the flowers will ever develop into seed. Another name for the witch hazel tree is bead wood because these tiny seeds make a beautiful, hard and shiny, black nugget and can be used as jewelry.
John-Manual Andriote wrote that witch hazel is “one of the few products that’s both FDA approved and endorsed by real witches.”
Now that is a special plant! But which witch is witch hazel? I suppose once a medicinal plant has the name witch in it, it’s bound to be seen as magical in some way. However, the word witch as we use it today comes from the old English word wicca, or wizard. It is said, though, that the witch in witch hazel originated instead from the Middle English word wiche, which means ‘to bend.’ Think about wicker, which comes from the same root word, meaning pliable, branches that bend.”
VisitChestnut Schools amazing Blog page to read both articles
This photo is courtesy of the green mastermind Juliet Blankespoor, Founder and Director of Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine.