Witch hazel is a natural remedy made from the bark and leaves of a North American plant called Hamamelis virginiana. The name actually comes from the process of dowsing to locate water or “to witch” a well and the branches were once the wood of choice for dowsing rods. In modern-day times witch hazel is used topically to treat certain skin conditions and as a skin toner to cleanse and tighten pores.
The natural quality of witch hazel makes it a perfect remedy for all kinds of skin conditions, but it has so many great uses. The most popular use is for skin care since its strong antioxidant and astringent properties are perfect for killing bacteria that live within skin’s pores.
Having said that there are so many uses for this amazing plant; let’s have a look at essential uses for witch hazel.
Spot and Blemish Control
Can reduce inflammation on a pimple with some people claiming that daily use can be beneficial with troublesome acne. Use as a natural home remedy for acne, when applied to acne-prone skin it helps slow down inflammation, redness and oiliness and reduce bacteria growth on the skin.
Bags Under the Eyes
Helps tighten up the skin and reduce the baggy appearance of the skin beneath the eyes. This is down to the fact witch hazel works by shrinking blood vessels which in turn reduces swellings.
As well as tightening the skin Witch Hazel is also a good anti-itch remedy when applied to external haemorrhoids. You can apply witch hazel water to the skin to help lower pain and inflammation caused by uncomfortable haemorrhoids. It’s useful for relieving itching, irritation, bleeding and burning caused by haemorrhoids.
Laying cloths soaked in Witch Hazel placed on the legs can help reduce the pain and swelling associated with varicose veins.
Dabbing Witch Hazel onto a bruise three times per day can help speed up the healing time of bruises.
Treat Dry Skin
It is said that Witch Hazel can lock moisture into the skin. This seems to be particularly useful straight after showering. It also helps to prevent ingrown hair follicles caused by shaving and works as a gentle acne-banishing toner for body acne.
It is also helpful dabbed onto insect bites with the anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties it possesses. Use to soothe bites from fleas, flies and insect stings to help with pain and swelling from stings, allergies and irritations.
Apply to a cold sore when you feel it coming on will prevent it from becoming a blister. If you already have a cold sore use it right away and often and the blister will heal quicker.
Scalp and Hair
Use witch hazel to cleanse and protect the scalp if you suffer from psoriasis, eczema, or dandruff. Can also be used on the hair to help reduce oil build-up and hair odour to leave your hair shiny and healthy!
Cleaning Dogs Ears
Clean your dog’s ears by moistening a cotton ball or cloth with witch hazel and gently wipe the inside of the ears. Don’t use a cotton bud or go inside the ear canal.
Tick Removal in Pets
We all dread to see a tick on our pets, before attempting to remove a tick douse the tick with a few drops of witch hazel to make it loosen its jaw. Use a tick remover and then disinfect the bite area once the tick has been successfully removed.
Make your own natural eco-friendly cleaner by mixing 100ml of witch hazel with 100ml of water and 15 drops of essential oils of your choice. Add to a spray bottle and shake well before use, always test a small area first. For a citrus, burst try lemon, lemon tea tree or grapefruit essential oils to leave your home clean and smelling fantastic!