witch hazel extract

Gail H
Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Herbal Medicine-Making

My witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) should be flowering very soon. I know Dr. Patrick Jones says to see where plants are putting their energy when deciding an appropriate harvest time. Since witch hazel extract is made from the tips of the twigs, this seems like the time to try it.

I have looked at a couple of different sources for making the extract. Euell Gibbons set up a homemade still to obtain the beneficial compounds. Would my steam juicer do the same thing? My husband said that since tannins are water soluble, a decoction should work; that seems much simpler than hauling out all of the equipment for the other methods. I'm thinking the decoction would probably be stronger as well.

Has anyone made homemade witch hazel extract? If so, what method did you use?


  • lmrebert
    lmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    Great question!!! I’ve wondered the same thing.. so eagerly awaiting someone’s answer!!!👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    I have tinctured it before for use in skin care and am getting ready to do it again. Since a little of it goes a long way the alcohol content did not present any problems with the things I used it for. I think it comes down to how long you want it to keep also. If it will be used up quickly the decoction should be great but I don't go through it that fast lol.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've not made witch hazel, but I do make a witch hazel and calendula tincture, for bites, itchy skin, and for my varicose veins when they get painful. I put half an ounce of dried calendula flowers into an 8 oz bottle of witch hazel, and shake every day for 2 weeks. Looks like tobacco juice, but works really well for me.