The witch hazel is a small deciduous shrub or small tree native to North America and East Asia. It owes its name to the early New England settlers because it looks a bit like a hazel tree, which, back in the day, the English associated with sorcery and witchcraft.
The Native Americans knew the witch hazel as a medicinal plant and used it to treat wounds and inflammations. Today it is a popular ingredient in numerous creams and ointments in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry.
The extract of the bark, leaves and twigs of the witch hazel has a wound-healing, astringent and soothing effect.