The medicinal qualities of witch hazel – made from the bark and leaves of Hamamelis virginiana – are long established and even Native Americans are known to have used this healing plant to treat tumors and skin irritations.
Today, witch hazel is used around the world as a natural toner and cleanser, and yet this are only a couple of the many uses this beneficial herbal remedy has.
Below are over a dozen of ways you can use witch hazel as a medicine, in your home, and as a beauty product.
1. Natural Astringent
Witch hazel may have many applications today, but being used as a natural astringent may easily be the most common one. It is packed with tannins which make it a great astringent and it expels extra oils from your skin and contracts skin pores.
And since natural astringents discard redundant oil, frequent utilization of this herbal remedy deters blemishes and blackhead and is helpful against other skin imperfections.
2. Fade Bruises & Blemishes
As we mentioned, witch hazel can be used as an anti-blemish remedy. Take a cotton ball, steep it in witch hazel and apply it on places on your body where there are blemishes, bruises, or similar skin irritations.
It does wonders against bruises, discoloring them and overall accelerates the healing process.
3. Brighten Around Eyes
Another topical application of witch hazel, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to tighten the skin, is to treat discoloration and swollen areas around and under your eyes. Only try not to get any of it on the eyes since it will surely result in a painful reaction.
4. Shrink Swollen Veins
Along with helping treat puffy eyes and skin discoloration, you can use a cloth soaked in witch hazel and put it over areas affected by varicose veins to lower swelling and pain
5. Stop Bleeding
Since witch hazel is a natural astringent and tightens up the skin, you can put some on small cuts and scrapes to cease bleeding.
Moreover, witch hazel bought in stores usually contains isopropyl alcohol to disinfect wounds, which makes it excellent for cleaning wounds and cuts before bandaging them.
6. Post Hair-removal
Witch hazel is a perfect for applying on areas right after shaving and will stop bleeding from any minor cuts.
It possesses anti-inflammatory properties, it can also be used to prevent razor burns and, for those who undergo hot wax treatments, it will reduce inflammation and stop bleeding.
7. Hemorrhoid Relief
And since witch hazel is an excellent pain-relief medicine, it can be used to lessen itching, pain, swelling, and bleeding of hemorrhoids.
And it is actually a familiar component in many commercial hemorrhoid balms. Combine an all-round gel like Aloe Vera with witch hazel and put on irritated areas to reduce pain, swelling, bleeding…
8. Ease a Sore Throat
Making a herbal tea of witch hazel can be a potent remedy to relieve any throat pain and itching, just make sure not to use the witch hazel found in many convenient stores as it contains isopropyl alcohol.
Gargle the witch hazel tea to dry up mucus, reduce throat pain and swelling and relieve pain caused by tonsillitis, laryngitis, sinusitis, etc.
9. Treat Damaged Gums
Using a non-store-bought witch hazel for a mouth rinse is an effective remedy to relieve pain and swelling of your gums, and it also stops bleeding from your gums and mouth.
Moreover, you can also apply the same method to ease pain caused by wisdom teeth or reduce inflammation and pain following an oral surgery.
10. Dry Up Swimmer’s Ear
‘Swimmer’s ear’ is characterized by inflammation in the outer ear, swelling, itching, pain, redness, and overall an almost unbearable discomfort in the area, and it can all be treated by dropping a few drops of witch hazel into each ear to dry any pus, discard excess oil, and destroy wax and other debris that may have piled up in the ear canal.
11. Soothe Diaper Rash
The anti-inflammatory qualities of witch hazel, as we already said, have many different uses, and another one is to ease pain from a diaper rash.
If you apply it more frequently it will help the skin heal faster and relieve your baby’s pain.
12. Cool Down Sunburn
Another use of the combination of Aloe Vera gel and witch hazel is to relieve pain and discomfort caused by sunburn.
The healing properties of witch hazel will enhance skin healing, and with the help of the Aloe Vera, it will alleviate ache from an acute sunburn.
13. Neutralize Contact Dermatitis
Since it helps against itching and dries the skin, witch hazel can be utilized to suppress dermatitis caused by plant compounds such as urushiol – the sap that is released by poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac that result in dermatitis in approximately 85% of the people whose use it.
14. Bug Bites and Stings
Lastly, witch hazel is not only used to relieve pain and itching from poison ivy, but from bug bites and stings as well. One more good reason to carry a bottle of this incredibly helpful and practical medicine next time you go hiking in the woods or camping.