12 Amazing Uses for Witch Hazel

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Witch hazel, a shrub native to North America, has been used by Native Americans for centuries.

Today, it’s commonly used as a natural cleanser and toner; however, most people have no idea that uses for witch hazel can be used for so much more. It can target various conditions and health issues, and eliminate the need for products packed with chemicals and toxins.

I have been using witch hazel for years and it is my pleasure to finally share these wonderful uses and benefits with you all.

1. Lighten the Area Around Your Eyes

Our lives are increasingly busy, which often leaves us fighting to get enough sleep. When we’re tired, it’s not uncommon to experience puffy, dark eyes. Just as uses for witch hazel targets the discoloration of bruises, it can also brighten your eyes. It has the ability to tighten skin and reduce puffiness while targeting discoloration. When applying this astringent, make sure you do not get any in your eyes.

2. Soothes Razor Burn

Since witch hazel has anti-inflammatory properties it will soothe those itchy bumps that form around hair follicles. Apply witch hazel before or after shaving, creating a more comfortable and soothing shave. This applies to both men and women.

3. Bug Bite Relief

Once again, witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory properties come to the rescue. If you have irritated bug bites, simply apply some uses for witch hazel to the affected area. This will help reduce swelling while increasing healing speed.

4. Reduce Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can be painful and swollen, leaving an individual highly uncomfortable. Soak a cloth in witch hazel and lay it on your legs. This helps reduce swelling by tightening the veins.

5. Stop Bleeding

When you have a minor cut or scrape, simply apply witch hazel to the wound. This will not only stop the bleeding, but it will tighten the skin and decrease healing time. Many store-bought uses for witch hazel products also contain alcohol, which disinfects the area as well.

6. Fading Bruises

Unfortunately, bumps and bruises happen more often than we’d like. When you have a large, dark bruise, you can apply witch hazel to the area. This will not only fade discoloration, but it will actually help speed up the healing process.

7. Fight Acne and Blemishes

Acne affects individuals of all ages. If you suffer from acne, then witch hazel may be a great solution. It’s good for oily skin, which is often associated with acne. uses for witch hazel to a cosmetic pad or cotton ball, then rub it on the irritated areas. It helps to treat acne and reduce irritation.

8. Soothes a Sore Throat

As mentioned above, store-bought witch hazel contains isopropyl alcohol. If you’re ingesting any witch hazel, ensure that it’s pure. You can make an herbal tea to gargle, which helps soothe the discomfort associated with sore throats. When you gargle with uses for witch hazel tea, you can ease the pain, reduce swelling, and dry up mucus.

9. Reduce the Discomfort of Diaper Rash

Nobody wants to see their baby in any form of discomfort. A diaper rash can leave a baby with a rash that’s inflamed and painful. Due to witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory properties, it helps soothe this issue. When applied regularly, it will also increase healing speed.

10. Treat a Sunburn

Once summer rolls around, we often forget to protect our skin. If you have experienced a bad sunburn before, you know how painful it is. The next time you’re burnt, mix witch hazel into some aloe vera. As the aloe cools the area, witch hazel helps to heal.

11. Target Gum Health

If you have irritated or infected gums, you should rinse your mouth with uses for witch hazel solution. Once again, only use pure witch hazel (as store-bought products contain isopropyl alcohol). This solution will help stop minor bleeding, pain, and swelling. This is also great for when your wisdom teeth are coming in.

12. Maintain Clean Skin

We already discussed acne, but what about overall skincare? Witch hazel works great when cleansing your skin. You can apply some witch hazel to a cosmetic pad to wipe away dirt and oil. It will leave your skin feeling refreshed and clean. It will also help minimize the appearance of pores.

Witch Hazel: Which Claims are True?

From a small shrub native to the U.S. (Hamamelis virginiana), witch hazel has long been part of traditional Native American medicine and a popular topical home remedy for various skin ailments, including inflamed and irritated skin (such as from acne and diaper rash), minor burns (including sunburn), insect bites, small wounds (to stop bleeding), bruises, and swelling. It’s an ingredient in many facial toners, makeup removers, skin cleansers, and other skin care products. If you have hemorrhoids, you may have noticed it in some formulations of Preparation H and Tucks.

A brew of research

Extracts of the leaves, bark, and twigs of the shrub contain an array of phytochemicals, including tannins, flavonoids, and essential oils, which have astringent effects. Lab studies have also found anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-cancer, and other properties. But as with many herbal remedies, there are few studies in people (and even fewer good ones). One study, in the European Journal of Pediatrics in 2007, noted that witch hazel ointment helped reduce minor skin irritations in children.

An olderstudy in Dermatology found that an after-sun witch hazel lotion reduced skin inflammation after UV exposure better than other lotions. And in a study in the International Journal of Trichology in 2014, people with sensitive scalps reported reduced irritation after using a witch hazel shampoo for four weeks—though the authors didn’t provide a lot of data and there was no control group.

The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, which evaluates research on alternative and complementary therapies, rates witch hazel as “possibly effective” for minor cuts, mild skin irritation, and temporary relief of hemorrhoid symptoms. There’s evidence it might not work, however, for itchy and inflamed skin as in eczema (hydrocortisone cream is better) and insufficient evidence to know if it helps anything else, including eye inflammation and varicose veins. Don’t believe claims that witch hazel can naturally protect your skin from the sun or that taking it in capsule form will be beneficial.

Bottom line: Witch hazel is safe to use topically—though many commercial products contain alcohol and added fragrances, which may irritate sensitive skin. You can try applying it to hemorrhoids and minor skin injuries to see if it helps, or use it as a facial toner if you find it refreshing.

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I'm Johan, a Freelance Content Creator & Content Writer from Bath, helping brands and businesses connect with their ideal clients.

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