The Cayce Herbal 
 A Comprehensive Guide to the  
Botanical Medicine of Edgar Cayce
Witch Hazel

Botanical Name: Hamamelis virginiana

Common Names and Synonyms: Pond's Extract

Background: Witch hazel is native to the Eastern United States and Canada.  The tree resembles an apple tree.  The branching trunk has smooth gray bark.  The leaves have shallow-toothed edges and are lopsided at the base.  After the leaves have fallen  in late autumn,  yellow blossoms appear, and the seeds ripen in capsules on the branch.  Once the capsule has ripened, it  suddenly  splits open and ejects seeds as far as twenty feet away.  Another name for the tree is Winterbloom because of the late flowering.  Witch hazel is one of the commonest home remedies in use today in the United States utilized mainly as an astringent  liniment and eyewash and for the treatment of hemorrhoids, internal hemorrhages, and excessive menstrual flow.

Witchhazel in the Cayce Readings
  • Edgar Cayce recommended witch hazel most frequently for use with fume baths and massage.
  • Witch hazel was most often used in conjunction with other substances in a compound.  Although a wide diversity of  formulas were given, the most common substances mentioned in the same readings with witch hazel were as follows:
      Olive Oil 138 readings
      Peanut Oil 100 readings
      Sassafras 85 readings
      Russian White Oil 81 readings
      Cedar Wood Oil 47 readings
      Camphor 34 readings
      Mustard 21 readings
      Myrrh 20 readings
      Kerosene 18 readings
Cayce Quotes on Witchhazel

    At least ONCE a week take the sweats and the THOROUGH rubdown; even salt rubs, followed with the witchhazel and olive oil, and the alcohol.  These would be WELL for the body, STIMULATING the capillary circulation.

    In the bruises on the chest and arm we would massage equal parts of mutton tallow, turpentine, camphor and witchhazel - stirred together; then apply HEAT - when the body is ready to rest, you see.  This will remove the strains in the muscular forces.

(Q)  Would sweat baths be beneficial for this body?
(A)  After rest for three to four days, they would be beneficial, if not given too severely - and the addition of properties in the steam, or placing the medicants in the vapor, would be beneficial to the body when these are taken. Begin first with, to the pint of water to be vaporized, put at least a teaspoonful of witchhazel.

    The drosses being eliminated through the respiratory system would require at times baths carrying great quantities of salts, or at other times quantities of witchhazel steams or baths.

(Q)  Would it be well for the body to have an alcohol rub every night and morning?
(A)  This is well occasionally; but if such is given it would be better were there something of the bath as in the sweat bath, but not heated very hot, see?  Follow this!
(Q)  Just how - ?
(A)  Sweat cabinet, as we have given!  Sweat cabinets!  Then, when it is rubbed down, this should be combined - rather than just the alcohol:
    Take 3 ounces of Russian White Oil, 3 ounces of witchhazel, 6 ounces of rub alcohol.  Shake this together, see?  Massage THIS over the body, because it will supply to the fibre of the system that which will make food value to the stimuli necessary for the whole capillary circulation, carrying into   same that which will make for the eliminations necessary in the respiratory and in the glands that lie close to the emunctory and lymph circulation.  This would be given about once each week.  This will keep down cold and congestion.


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