Witch hazel, also known as winter bloom or spotted alder, is actually a flowering shrub common in North America. The leaves bark, and twigs of witch hazel are high in tannins. Tannins are found in any natural astringent because of their ability to tighten, dry and harden tissues. It has many beneficial properties, including antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains Gallic acid, flavonoids, resin, oils and tannins, all of which promote health. The unique mixture of properties and health-promoting components makes witch hazel a product that can benefit you in a wide variety of ways.
Native Americans have been using witch hazel water as a medical astringent for centuries. The wonderful thing about witch hazel is that it’s 100% natural and cheap too. Because it has so many uses, it’s a great addition to any medicine cabinet.
Here Are 14 Reasons Why You Should Have Witch Hazel In Your Home:
- Soothe Diaper Rash
Witch hazel has also been proven to be an effective diaper rash remedy. If your baby has diaper rash, apply witch hazel extract on the affected areas using a cotton ball. Witch hazel soothes and heals diaper rash faster than most diaper rash topical treatments available today.
- Brighten Around Eyes
Most people get annoying bags under the eyes which are hard to eliminate. Eye bags usually result in a swollen appearance. Although eye bags aren’t caused by serious underlying health problems, they are a major cosmetic concern. Witch hazel has been proven to tighten up the skin eliminating eye bags when the extract is rubbed gently below the eyes. Witch hazel is also used as an effective remedy for refreshing the eyes. It is however important to note that witch hazel solution shouldn’t be used directly on the eyes. Instead, soak a clean cloth in a solution of cold water and witch hazel extract and then place the cloth over your (closed) eyes.
- Hemorrhoid Relief
Witch hazel is also a perfect anti-itch remedy. When combined with petroleum jelly or glycerin and aloe vera and rubbed on external hemorrhoids, witch hazel reduces itching significantly. Witch hazel also dries up the bleeding that results from hemorrhoids.
- Shrink Swollen Veins
Witch hazel is also a good remedy for varicose vein pain and discomfort. When using witch hazel to relieve varicose veins, soak a cloth in a solution of warm water and witch hazel extract and lay it on the legs i.e. where the varicose veins are visible. Doing this will instantly reduce swelling and pain. Witch hazel relives varicose veins pain and discomfort by tightening the veins.
- Neutralize Contact Dermatitis
This is another notable skin benefit of witch hazel. On top of controlling spots and blemishes, witch hazel also relives swelling and reduces itching caused by poison ivy and poison oak. Witch hazel is therefore an important accessory when going for camping, hunting, strolling in the woods etc.
- Fade Bruises and Blemishes
Witch hazel is also used to speed up the time required to heal bruises. In case you have those stubborn bruises which take the longest time to heal, you can rub witch hazel solution on the bruises regularly to fasten the healing time. In order to fade bruises and blemishes effectively, with using witch hazel, apply the extract on the affected area using a witch stick or cotton ball. It is however important to seek medical attention before doing this.
- Treating Sunburn
Witch hazel is popular for healing damaged skin however. It is also effective for treating skin inflammation as is the case with sunburn. Witch hazel is used for treating and soothing sunburn even in cases where the inflammation isn’t obvious. When used to treat sunburn, witch hazel reduces healing time and prevents skin flaking and peeling. You should mix some witch hazel with your aloe vera gel next time you need to treat sunburn.
- Stop Bleeding
Many dermatologists have been on record endorsing witch hazel as the best natural alternative to Neosporin. Applying a dab of witch hazel cleanses cuts protecting them against infection and promoting quick healing.
- Treating Bug Bites
Witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties are also used to treat bug bits. Applying a dab of witch hazel on the affected area has been proven to treat bug bites in record time.
- Cure a Sore Throat
If you’re lucky enough to have a witch hazel bush growing nearby, you can easily make witch hazel tea by soaking some leaves and twigs in a cup of very hot water. Add a few cloves for flavor and soak for at least 15 minutes. Then, strain off the solids and gargle with the tea. Because of witch hazel’s ability to soothe and reduce swelling, this is an excellent, ancient remedy for sore throats.
- Dry Up Swimmer’s Ear
Swimmer’s Ear or Otitus externa is caused by microbial infection of the ear canal. You should use an eye dropper and insert several drops of witch hazel into each ear to dry up pus, clear away the excess oil, and break up wax and debris that may be clogging the ear canal. Allow your ears to drain, and then clean them gently with a cotton swab or cosmetic pad.
- Treat Damaged Gums
Receding gums is one of the important signs of gum disease. Gums start to create a space between teeth and gums. It causes bacteria to enter into the gums as well as starts damaging tissues. Witch Hazel can help you to treat receding gums. Wash your mouth with witch hazel. It may contribute to the pain and inflammation of irritated or infected gums. Witch hazel can stop minor bleeding of the gums and mouth. Try a teaspoon of witch hazel with a fall each clove and myrrh oil to relieve teething pain safe for children.
- Soothe Razor Burn
The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel stop itchy bumps from forming up around your irritated hair follicles. Apply before or after shaving; it should certainly have an impact on your itchy red skin (and that includes ladies, too).
- Natural Astringent
Witch hazel is one of the most widely known natural astringents. Health-wise, those who are exposed to lots of environmental pollutants may apply witch hazel to the face in order to reduce the amount of contaminants that enter pores and, consequently, the amount and severity of blemishes. Witch hazel tightens pores, clears away oil and dead skin cells, and provides protection from bacteria and fungi, making it a versatile addition to any beauty regimen.