It only takes a moment to get a Hamamelis virginia compress. What is that? This is a Witch Hazel compress. I feel witch hazel is under utilized today. It is known for the fragrant yellow flowers grown in the United States. Properties of this herb include: anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent. I know my dad used it for sprains and soreness after driving his 18 wheeler to Albany for deliveries for Rabinowe and Company. Use it externally for cuts and bruises and as a compress for sprains, phlebitis, sunburn and hot swollen joints.

For a real preparation in the wilderness: put 25 grams of the bark in 1 pint of water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and allow to cool. Dip a cloth in the cool decoction, wring and apply to area. It is a great soothing agent. Collection and use of the bark on this manner is called wild crafting.

Until tomorrow…