14 Reasons Why Witch Hazel Should Be In Every Home
Witch Hazel is a substance known as an astringent, which means that it has the ability to shrink the pores of your skin. It comes from the Witch Hazel bush, (whose scientific name is Hamamelis Virginiana), which is a plant native to North America.
Witch Hazel, which is produced by boiling parts of the plant, can be applied topically, and has long been known for its medical properties. It is recognized the world over as a natural skin cleanser and toner, but in actual fact it has many more uses. Once you find out all the amazing uses for witch hazel you will probably want to rush out (or make your own – see the end of the article for more details) and make sure you have some in your medicine cabinet.
Use of Witch Hazel # 1 – As a natural astringent
Witch Hazel is a rich source of tannin, and it is this tannin that gives it its astringent qualities, meaning that it is able to bring down the size of your pores and remove any excess oil from your skin. People who work outdoors and who are exposed to environmental pollution can use Witch Hazel to minimize the amount of contaminants that can otherwise infiltrate their pores. This not only helps to keep their skin cleaner, but also reduces the severity of any blemishes. Using Witch Hazel on a regular basis will banish excess oil and help to eliminate and prevent blackheads from forming.
Use of Witch Hazel # 2 – A treatment for inflammatory skin conditions and bruises
As well, as helping to minimize and eliminate blemishes on your skin, Witch Hazel can also be used to combat inflammatory skin conditions such as acne. The best way to apply it is with a small ball of cotton wool, or a bespoke cosmetic pad. In addition to eliminating blemishes and dealing with inflammatory skin conditions Witch Hazel can also accelerate the healing and fading of bruising.
Use of Witch Hazel # 3 – Helps to banish blackness around the eyes
The ability of Witch Hazel as an astringent to tighten the skin and minimize inflammation, means that it is the perfect natural treatment for dealing with darkness and puffiness around your eyes. You do however need to be very careful when applying it, because if it gets into your eyes, it will cause considerable pain and discomfort.
Use of Witch Hazel # 4 – Minimize swollen veins
Witch Hazel can also be used to minimize the appearance of Varicose Veins by reducing both the swelling and the pain. Pour the Witch Hazel onto a soft terry cloth, and gently lay over the affected area. It’s also a good idea to elevate the area you are treating as high as you can, as this will help to decrease the blood pressure in the veins.
Use of Witch Hazel # 5 – Arrests bleeding
The ability of Witch Hazel to tighten skin through its astringent characteristics helps to promote more rapid healing. You can apply organic Witch Hazel to small grazes and cuts to arrest any bleeding. Some Witch Hazel products that can be bought over-the-counter may contain isopropyl alcohol, which is a disinfecting agent. Although it may sting a little when applied, this will soon disappear, which is why it is such a popular wound cleanser for many people.
Use of Witch Hazel # 6 – Deals with shaving and waxing bleeds
Witch Hazel can be used by anyone who nicks themselves when shaving. Its anti-inflammatory characteristics can be used to minimize razor burn too, rather like an aftershave. It’s also used by many men and women after a hot wax treatments. This sometimes results in pin-prick size bleeds that Witch Hazel deals with very effectively.
Use of Witch Hazel # 7 – A hemorrhoid treatment
Because of Witch Hazel’s excellent anti-inflammatory characteristics, it is also a great treatment for hemorrhoids and helps to reduce the swelling, as well as any itching, pain, or bleeding. It is actually used in the manufacture of many over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments. To make your own, simply mix a little Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera gel and apply to any hemorrhoid for instant relief.
Use of Witch Hazel # 8 – Sore throat treatment
An herbal tea made with Witch Hazel can help to ease a sore throat. If you are buying an over-the-counter Witch Hazel product, make sure that it is one that does not include isopropyl alcohol. Gargling with non-isopropyl alcohol Witch Hazel solution will reduce any swelling and help to mop up any excess mucus. It can also be used to treat other throat conditions, including laryngitis, sinusitis, and tonsillitis.
Use of Witch Hazel # 9 – Dental treatment
You can use a mouth rinse made from Witch Hazel (one that doesn’t include isopropyl alcohol), to help to minimize the pain and swelling of inflamed gums. It is also very useful at helping to stop any bleeding in the mouth too. For small children with teething problems, or for anyone with emerging wisdom teeth that are causing pain, or if anyone is suffering from discomfort following a dental procedure, a Witch Hazel mouth rinse, to which is added one drop of clove oil, and one drop of myrrh oil, can be administered.
Use of Witch Hazel # 10 – Treatment for Swimmer’s Ear
“Swimmer’s Ear” is a microbial infection of the ear canal. Witch Hazel can be used to treat this infection by putting several drops into the affected ear. This will dry up any pus, mop up any excess oil, and help to dislodge any earwax or debris that may be lodged in the ear canal. Once the Witch Hazel has been applied, allow the ear(s) to drain naturally, and clean using a cotton ball. It’s always a good idea to follow up any infection like this with a natural oil with antimicrobial properties, such as apple cider vinegar, basil oil, or tea tree oil.
Use of Witch Hazel # 11 – Anti-irritant for diaper rash
Witch Hazel can be used as a safe and effective treatment for diaper rash. By applying regularly, it can also help to repair damaged skin, thus reducing discomfort.
Use of Witch Hazel # 12 – Anti-sunburn treatment
We’ve already mentioned that you can mix Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera gel to create an effective treatment for hemorrhoids. The same mixture can be used to treat sunburn. The anti-inflammatory characteristics of the Witch Hazel, together with the soothing effect of the Aloe Vera are a match made in heaven for those with painful sunburn.
Use of Witch Hazel # 13 – Remedy for dermatitis
Thanks to its drying and anti-irritant capabilities, Witch Hazel is an effective remedy for dealing with inflammatory conditions caused by plants; such as poison ivy, and poison oak. It is also an effective treatment for dermatitis.
Use of Witch Hazel # 14 – Treatment for bug-bites and insect stings
In the same way that Witch Hazel can be used to act as an anti-inflammatory against poison ivy and poison oak, etc, it can also help to take away the pain and irritation from bug bites and insect stings.
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Health and Wellness Associates
- Dr Patricia Carrothers