Wonderful Witch Hazel – Reasons This Herbal Remedy Should Be In Every Home
I recently wrote an article outlining some of the best herbal remedies you should keep handy to cure a number of medical maladies Check it out here, but there is one that deserves an article all its own. Witch hazel, used for ages by Native American tribes to treat a variety of ailments is still commonly used today as a key ingredient in many commercial acne medications and healing ointments. Witch hazel extract, in particular, is widely used these days as an astringent and beauty treatment, but can also provide relief for a number of issues, everything from sunburns, to bug bites, poison ivy, and more!
Following are 14 amazing uses I’ve found for witch hazel, one of the best herbal remedies you can have on hand when the sun burns, the bee stings, or your baby gets a rash.
Too much fun in the sun? Witch hazel can help. The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel can help calm even a bad burn. By simply mixing some of it with your aloe vera gel and applying to the burn, you will not only cool and soothe, but also promote healing to the skin. In fact, this treatment can help prevent skin from peeling after an especially bad burn.
Put Down Poison Ivy
We’ve all been there, the one errant step that took us into a patch of poison ivy. That’s what’s given me reason to keep a bottle of witch hazel handy when camping. Witch hazel naturally dries skin and reduces itching and inflammation. As such, applying it to skin irritations from poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac will counteract contact dermatitis, the condition caused by the sap of those pesky plants. If you are looking for more remeides for poison ivy please check out 16 simple effective and natural poison ivy remides
Zap Bug Bites
Much the way it helps with poison ivy, witch hazel can be used as a quick and effective treatment for the itchiness and irritation that comes from bug bites and bee stings. The natural anti-inflammatory effect of the witch hazel, coupled with its ability to tighten skin and pores reduces swelling, itchiness, and discoloration caused by bothersome bugs.
Stop The Bleeding
The natural skin tightening effect of witch hazel can stop bleeding and promote faster healing of minor cuts and scrapes. Some forms of witch hazel you can purchase also contain isopropyl alcohol, making it an excellent way to clean, treat, and disinfect a wound.
Don’t Forget To Wash
The most popular use, of course, for witch hazel is as an astringent. It has the ability to remove oil and contaminants from the skin and shrink pores through its high concentration of tannins. Regular application of witch hazel can help prevent blemishes, black heads, and improve overall skin health.
When applied with a cotton ball or cosmetic pad, witch hazel is a great and soothing treatment for acne inflammation and irritation, but it can also be used to treat bruises. When applied to the skin, witch hazel can help fade discoloration and promote healing to the underlying damage within your body.
Brighten Those Beautiful Eyes
Discoloration and puffiness around the eyes can also be treated with witch hazel. Its natural ability to tighten skin and reduce inflammation makes it an ideal home remedy. A word of caution, however, that direct contact with the eye can cause significant pain and discomfort.
Treat Varicose Veins
Want a great way to help ease the pain and appearance from swollen veins? Start by soaking a soft towel in witch hazel and lay it over varicose veins. Elevating the area will maximize the effectiveness of this treatment, as it helps decrease blood pressure within the veins.
Cool Razor Burn
Witch hazel can be a great follow-up treatment to shaving and waxing for men and women. Not only will ease inflammation and redness, it will also help stop bleeding from damaged hair follicles as well as minor nicks and cuts.
Help For Hemorrhoids
Witch hazel is a safe and effective way to treat pain, itching, and bleeding from hemorrhoids. As a matter of fact, it is a common ingredient in many over-the-counter creams. But by simply mixing witch hazel with aloe vera gel and applying it to the irritation, relief comes faster than you can say “Ahh”.
Settle a Scratchy Throat
Can’t say “Ahh”? Witch hazel can help with that too! An herbal tea of witch hazel can ease symptoms of a variety of issues from laryngitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis, etc. Simply gargling with witch hazel tea will help with pain, swelling, and mucus. Avoid using witch hazel that contains isopropyl alcohol.
Don’t Neglect Your Gums
By using an alcohol free witch hazel mouth rinse, you can reduce pain and swelling of irritated or infected gums. It will also help with minor bleeding. To ease teething pain in infants or to treat wisdom tooth or oral surgery pain and inflammation, you can mix a teaspoon of witch hazel tea with a drop each of clove and myrrh oil.
Put Diaper Rash To Bed
Witch hazel is a very safe and effective way to ease the pain and inflammation of a diaper rash on your little one. When used regularly, witch hazel also promotes healing and will reduce the duration of the irritation.
Sink Swimmer’s Ear
Microbial infection of the ear canal, or “Swimmer’s Ear” can be treated by simply putting a few drops of witch hazel into each ear with a dropper. The witch hazel will break up wax, clear up excess oil, and dry pus around the infected area. Once the ears are allowed to drain, gently clean them with a cotton swab, and follow up with a natural anti-microbial such as tea tree oil, basil oil, or apple cider vinegar.