One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A shrub with fragrant yellow flowers that is widely grown as an ornamental. American species flower in autumn and Asian species in winter.
Genus Hamamelis, family Hamamelidaceae: several species, especially H. virginiana, which is the source of the lotion
- ‘Here were many favourites, including those that are normally associated with having scented flowers: witch hazel, Sarcococcus, Camellia, Daphne and magnolias.’
- ‘There were camellias flowering, witch hazel and wintersweet, and rows of paperwhites beside the driveway.’
- ‘At this time of year it's difficult to make the garden look anything but dull, even with the occasional splash of winter colour from a witch hazel or mahonia.’
- ‘From now through mid-March, deciduous trees show off their elegant forms, primroses are in flower, and winter bloomers such as witch hazel and sarcococca are perfuming the air.’
- ‘This year I was delighted to find a close relative of the witch hazel also flowering at Christmas.’
- ‘When else but in winter would we appreciate the witch hazel's subtle beauty?’
- ‘Gently prune large, slow-growing shrubs such as witch hazel, magnolia and Japanese maple.’
- ‘To start, they planted shrubs and small trees, including dogwoods, serviceberries, witch hazels, and native rhododendrons.’
- ‘The backyard is full of viburnums, witch hazels, hydrangeas of all kinds, fothergillas, and other interesting shrubs.’
- ‘Why witch hazels are not more widely grown is a mystery to me.’
- 1.1 An astringent lotion made from the bark and leaves of the witch hazel.
- ‘I use witch hazel as an astringent and mild soap.’
- ‘Add a bit of witch hazel to the mix if you like an astringent quality.’
- ‘But, less predictably, he'll also be dousing his guitar-playing fingers in witch hazel.’
- ‘It isn't responding to my usual treatment, a concoction of tea tree oil, witch hazel and rosewater.’
- ‘I can't run around swabbing all of you with witch hazel.’
- ‘Fill a clean, empty spray bottle with witch hazel, and store it in the fridge.’
- ‘n Avocado, Egg and Mud Facial (health food stores stock clay mud in powder form): mash a quarter of an avocado with one tablespoon of dry clay, one egg yolk and enough witch hazel to make the texture of the mixture smooth.’
- ‘Also, take warm baths, avoid perfumed soap that can cause irritation, and use ice packs or cotton pads soaked in witch hazel to reduce pain and swelling.’
- ‘If you have predominantly oily skin throughout the seasons, opt for a toner that contains witch hazel, instead.’
- ‘Then, just as it popped into my head, one of the other panellists opted for witch hazel.’
- ‘Her friend called Dr. Castillo and was told to put witch hazel on the eyes.’
- ‘The tannins in witch hazel tighten the weak veins that trigger painful hemorrhoids.’
- ‘Others say that witch hazel or vodka, applied directly to the itchy spots, can help speed healing.’
- ‘She hurried over to one of the cabinets, not waiting for an answer, and pulled out a bottle of witch hazel and two clean rags.’
- ‘Though herbal remedies are usually administered as infusions or tinctures, witch hazel is best applied directly onto the wound as a compress.’
- ‘Treat any pain by taking paracetamol or applying witch hazel to the sore.’
- ‘Applied externally, witch hazel, or Hamamelis virginiana, helps stop bleeding.’
- ‘These often contain witch hazel, which is thought to have soothing properties.’
- ‘Conjunctivitis can be treated by mixing one drop of chamomile oil with a teaspoon of witch hazel, and blending this solution with 30 ml of rose water.’
- ‘Both contain 50 percent witch hazel, which is an astringent and cleansing agent.’
Mid 16th century: witch, variant of wych (see wych elm).
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