Grow witch hazel on the homestead

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Grow witch hazel on the homestead
Grow or forage for Witch Hazel, a natural remedy

Consider growing witch hazel (or at least foraging for it)! Native
to North America, witch hazel blooms brilliantly in yellow during
October and November. (In Europe it may bloom in February and
March.)

Grow or Forage for Witch Hazel
Why grow witch hazel? To entice you, we came up with this list:

#1: Witch hazel blooms in winter!
Witch hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana) is among the best of all
winter-flowering shrubs. The enchanted witch hazel blossoms in
the dead of winter with a beautiful display of blossoms that's
sure to cheer a dreary winter's day. That witch hazel grows so
easily in the dead of winter is interesting and this truly
remarkable plant with powerful healing properties could be your
next homesteading project.

Preppers and homesteaders who live in snowfall regions will want
to grow witch hazel if they can, or learn to forage this medicinal
plant.

#2: Witch hazel is easy to grow.
Witch hazel is forgiving of soil conditions, but it thrives in organic-
rich and acidic soil with  even moisture and good drainage. Witch
hazel loves full to partial sun, and it should have at least four
months of full sun annually. The more sun your witch hazel has,
the more splendid and vibrant display of yellow blooms you'll get
to feast the eyes. What's more, pruning generally isn't necessary.


















Learn how to grow and care for witch hazel.

#3: Honey bees love witch hazel.
If you have a garden and want to promote pollination and the
honey bee population in your vicinity, then
grow witch hazel, so
says the Honeybee conservancy. Witch hazel is a late bloomer,
which will attract foragers in the Fall. The site has suggestions
for other blooms to provide bees with a constant source of food.

#4: Witch hazel brings deer to your backyard.
As a winter bloom, witch hazel attracts deer and other wildlife.
When the poop hits the propeller, you may like to invite a juicy
venison meal to the homestead table by planting witch hazel.
Consider witch hazel your natural bait.

#5: Witch hazel seeds are edible!
Native Americans likely observed deer munching on witch hazel
seeds and gave it a try to help avoid starvation. Though the food
value is low, witch hazel quickly became a favorite! These nutty
seeds have a similar flavor of pistachio nuts. Native Americans
also brewed a medicinal tea with witch hazel leaves and used it
as a remedy for dysentery and combating the common cold.

  • IMPORTANT: When you go "into the wild" be careful never to
    eat plants without proper identification and study preferably
    from a botanist to see if it is edible. For an important
    prepper movie on the subject, see Into the Wild. This is the
    true story of Christopher McCandless. Freshly graduated from
    college with a promising future ahead, McCandless instead
    walked out of his privileged life and into the wild in search of
    adventure. He was a fearless risk-taker who wrestled with
    the precarious balance between man and nature.

#6: Witch hazel is ideal for artisan soaps.
For soapmaking, witch hazel is a natural companion as it's
extremely fragrant and has been used for centuries to relieve
itching, dry and irritated skin. Artisan soaps made from witch
hazel can help relief skin ailments, such as psoriasis and eczema,
poison ivy, blisters and acne!


#7: Freshen laundry with witch hazel.
Sew some simple sachets or create a home made laundry spray
with witch hazel and you'll cast off those nasty smells. It will
bedazzle you how your stinkiest laundry can smell fresh when you
store your clothes with sachets of witch hazel or a linen spray.

  • Witch hazel sachets. Witch hazel leaves and blooms can be
    a refreshing sachet ingredient. Below is a mixture of
    lavender, orange peels and dried rosebuds with essential oil
    sachet spray that uses witch hazel.

  • Witch hazel and lavender linen spray: You can make a
    fresh smelling linen spray of witch hazel in combination with
    lavender. The witch hazel helps make the mixture easier to
    spray.




























The sachet bags above have a magical ingredient - witch hazel!

#7: Make a cold compress.

  • Ease a headache with a witch hazel compress. Combine
    witch hazel extract with a warm, moist compress at bedtime
    to relieve symptoms of a cold.

  • Help bruises heal faster with a witch hazel compress. Place a
    cold compress of witch hazel to soothe bruising. You can do
    this with a washcloth dampened with witch hazel extract. Dip
    a small washcloth in a bowl of witch hazel, then relieve the
    bruised area by leaving tapplication.

#8: Helps dowse for water!
The word witch hazel comes from the English word “wych,”
meaning a pliable branch or divining rod. Native Americans used
the pliable branches to create bows, and also as an instrument to
"dowse" or to locate underground water sources. Some still
practice the art of dowsing today. A prepper in search of an
underground water source, may not need to use a forked witch
hazel stick to dowse for water! You see, according to the U.S.
Geological survey
it is difficult NOT to drill and find water.

#9: Create your own witch hazel extract.
Witch hazel is a popular folk remedy in extract form to treat a
variety of conditions:

  1. abrasions and cuts
  2. acne
  3. bruising
  4. insect bites
  5. hemorrhoids
  6. poison ivy
  7. sprained muscles
  8. sunburn
  9. windburn

Witch hazel extract is distilled from twigs, bark and leaves of the
eponymous tree (botanical name: hamamelis virginiana).

#10: Concoct your own bug spray.
As an extract, witch hazel can soothe bug bites, but if you
plan ahead you can actually discourage bug bites in the first
place.
Make a natural bug spray with witch hazel and jojoba oil
(alternatively neem or almond oil). Here's the all natural recipe
for
bug spray from wellnessmama.com


































Above, Wellnessmama.com shares a homemade witch hazel and
lavender bug spray that really works.  

How to make a witch hazel astringent from twigs.
Once you've either identified the plant in your foraging efforts, or
your homestead plant has bloomed, you can make a witch hazel
astringent from the twigs.  
  • Look for shrubs that have flowered.
  • Prune fresh twigs from the flowering plant.
  • Strip the leaves and flowers. (See #5 above, to make
    sachets from the flowers, throw the leaves in your compost*).
  • Create a mulch by chopping the twigs with a pruner.
  • Cover twigs with distilled water in a stainless steel pot.
    (Important: Do not use aluminum or cast iron.)
  • Bring contents to a boil and reduce to simmer.
  • Transfer contents to a crock pot for eight hours. (Be sure to
    add water to cover the mulch as needed).
  • Cool the mixture until it reaches room temperature.
  • Filter the tonic with a cheesecloth into a mason jar.
  • Refrigerate and use as a skin tonic. (Unrefrigerated, the
    mixture can last a week.)  Important: This recipe is for
    external use only. Do NOT ingest.  

* Ingesting witch hazel as a tea from the leaves is possible, but
it is not without serious caution as tannin compounds could
conceivably cause kidney or liver damage, interfere with
adsorption of vitamins and minerals, or worse, cause an allergic
reaction. It's best to compost your leaves.  

How to make "magic water" -- a distilled astringent.
Alternately, you can use the whole plant - the barks, the stems
and the twigs and then distill it.  

  • How to use the witch hazel astringent: Use your home-
    made witch hazel astringent as a tonic for bites, bruises,
    burns, muscle ache relief or as a sooth foot bath! Your home
    made astringent is a witch hazel magic water!  

  • How to make a witch hazel tincture: A tincture is a
    medicine that's made by dissolving the natural substance in
    alcohol -- as with an extract of an herb. The process
    stabilizes the constituents not only giving it a long shelf life,
    but also to help in dosing. You can make and use your own
    witch hazel tinctures.  

  • How to use witch hazel as a tincture. Use a witch hazel
    extract only as directed by your practitioner. The best way to
    use a liquid herbal tincture of witch hazel, is to put the
    suggested amount in a glass of water, tea, or juice and drink
    the entire contents. You can administer a tincture directly
    into the mouth without water, though some tinctures are
    unpalatable, which is why many prefer to dilute into a
    beverage.  

Consider adding this essential oil to your list of Prepper survival
items to own.  Witch Hazel is on the list of prepper essential oils
and extracts.

Fun facts about witch hazel...

  • May provide hope for tumors and cancers.  Witch hazel has a
    strong active oxygen-scavenging activity, which may be
    provide hope for fighting cancers as oxygenating the blood
    helps the body to heal itself in fighting the cancer cells.
    Witch hazel taken internally may protect against cell damage
    induced by active oxygen.* Consult with your practitioner
    about incorporating a witch hazel regimen into your
    treatment program.

  • See the study on witch hazel as a cure for colon cancer.*
    Witch hazel may inhibit the proliferation of colon cancer
    cells, according to the study by the University of Barcelona,
    Spain, the University of Grenada, Spain, and Maastricht
    University, The Netherlands.

Happy endings...
Grow this magical plant and see how it improves your homestead.

Related articles...

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* These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For any health
or dietary matter, always consult your physician. This information is intended for your general
knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific
medical conditions. Never disregard or delay in seeking medical advice when available. As a
reminder, these statements about extracts have not been evaluated by the United States Food
and Drug Administration.

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