Native to the Atlantic and North America and cultivated in Europe and Asia Witchhazel or Hamamelis virginiana saw a great deal of use medicinally among Native Americans. They believed it to be of use in a general tonic brewed as a tea and used for treating anything from cuts to colds from heavy menstruation to tumors.
Indeed they also frequently used the wood of the plant for other purposes; the name Witch hazel itself comes from the Anglo-Saxon word wych meaning flexible and was applied to the plant after observation of the Native Americans using it to make their bows. In modern use Witch hazel leaf is still viewed by many herbalists as possessing a wide array of beneficial properties.
It is still proscribed commonly for relieving diarrhea and varicose veins and inflammation of the mouth and throat. Most commonly though its uses are topical and include the relief of aching feet wounds burns (including sunburn windburn and other such environmental damage) the effects of poison ivy and even insect bites. This is a 1 oz packet of cut Witch hazel leaf.