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
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘When else but in winter would we appreciate the witch hazel's subtle beauty?’
- ‘There were camellias flowering, witch hazel and wintersweet, and rows of paperwhites beside the driveway.’
- ‘Why witch hazels are not more widely grown is a mystery to me.’
- ‘This year I was delighted to find a close relative of the witch hazel also flowering at Christmas.’
- ‘Here were many favourites, including those that are normally associated with having scented flowers: witch hazel, Sarcococcus, Camellia, Daphne and magnolias.’
- ‘Gently prune large, slow-growing shrubs such as witch hazel, magnolia and Japanese maple.’
- 1.1mass noun An astringent lotion made from the bark and leaves of the witch hazel.
- ‘Her friend called Dr. Castillo and was told to put witch hazel on the eyes.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Fill a clean, empty spray bottle with witch hazel, and store it in the fridge.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘I can't run around swabbing all of you with witch hazel.’
- ‘If you have predominantly oily skin throughout the seasons, opt for a toner that contains witch hazel, instead.’
- ‘Applied externally, witch hazel, or Hamamelis virginiana, helps stop bleeding.’
- ‘But, less predictably, he'll also be dousing his guitar-playing fingers in witch hazel.’
- ‘Though herbal remedies are usually administered as infusions or tinctures, witch hazel is best applied directly onto the wound as a compress.’
- ‘These often contain witch hazel, which is thought to have soothing properties.’
- ‘Treat any pain by taking paracetamol or applying witch hazel to the sore.’
- ‘The tannins in witch hazel tighten the weak veins that trigger painful hemorrhoids.’
- ‘Both contain 50 percent witch hazel, which is an astringent and cleansing agent.’
- ‘Add a bit of witch hazel to the mix if you like an astringent quality.’
- ‘Others say that witch hazel or vodka, applied directly to the itchy spots, can help speed healing.’
- ‘I use witch hazel as an astringent and mild soap.’
- ‘It isn't responding to my usual treatment, a concoction of tea tree oil, witch hazel and rosewater.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Then, just as it popped into my head, one of the other panellists opted for witch hazel.’
Mid 16th century: witch, variant of wych (see wych elm).
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