Witch hazel was extensively used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes. Early Puritan settlers in New England adopted it from the natives and brought it to the United States. As people become more and more aware of and interested in herbal cures, the popularity of witch hazel began to rise.
Bright Side put together a list of 18 uses of witch hazel that you may find interesting.
Prevent and treat acne
Witch hazel has astringent properties. Using witch hazel on your face helps remove oil from the skin. Also, its disinfectant properties kill microbes that cause infection. It also shrinks the pores and reduces skin inflammation.
Get rid of dandruff
Witch hazel moisturizes your scalp and helps get rid of the flaky irritant. It also relieves a lot of the itching caused by dandruff. Just massage it into your scalp and use shampoo to rinse it off.
The astringent qualities of witch hazel make it a great makeup remover. Use a cotton pad soaked in witch hazel to rub your face softly to remove makeup. It will not only clean your skin, but it’ll also tighten your pores.
Treat shaving nicks and cuts
Witch hazel soothes skin irritation caused by shaving and tightens the pores. Using witch hazel immediately after shaving can prevent the little red bumps that sometimes pop up after shaving. Additionally, it also will make your skin less oily.
Soothe a sore throat
Witch hazel is believed to help those suffering from a sore throat by reducing swelling, decreasing pain, and drying the excess mucus.
Add one tsp of witch hazel to about 250 ml of water and bring it to a boil. Using this mixture as a mouthwash will provide relief to those suffering from a sore throat.
Mix witch hazel with essential oils of your liking (peppermint, for example) to create a fragrance that will not only smell great but will improve your mood, as well. You can also apply this concoction to your bedding, furniture, and clothes. It will help you wake up fresh and full of positive energy.
Witch hazel is a great antiperspirant. It helps regulate the oil production of the skin by tightening the pores. It also removes excess oil from the skin and kills odor-causing bacteria.
Lighten stretch marks
Witch hazel is an excellent remedy for reducing stretch marks caused by tightly-stretched skin. Use witch hazel wipes over your stretched belly and breasts. It will help reduce stretch marks and will even out the skin tone.
Sunburn is actually inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel are ideal for treating it. It will also help prevent skin peeling and flaking caused by sunburn.
Reduce under-eye bags
Witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory properties help reduce swelling and tighten the skin. This reduces puffiness and makes the under-eye bags less prominent. Apply a little witch hazel over the eyelid and a little under the eye and let the magic work.
Treat oily skin
Witch hazel is extremely efficient at removing dirt and oil from the skin. Also, by tightening the pores present in the skin, it controls oil production. Using it regularly will keep your skin healthy and free from bacteria that might otherwise accumulate.
Witch hazel might prove handy in treating not just blackheads, but also whiteheads. Use it after you wash your face and you’ll notice a decrease in both blackheads and whiteheads. Since witch hazel also removes oil and dirt from your skin, it will help prevent blackheads from appearing.
The anti-inflammatory and hemostatic properties of witch hazel make it an excellent choice for treating bruises and injuries. Soak a cotton ball or a piece of cloth in witch hazel and hold it against the bruise. Hold it for a couple of minutes and do this 2 to 3 times every day.
Soothe diaper rashes
Witch hazel can soothe a diaper rash and can quicken the healing process of irritated skin. Using a cotton ball soaked in witch hazel, apply it gently to the baby’s skin. Since it is a strong astringent, it will also stop any bleeding by tightening the pores.
Fight bad breath
Because of its antibacterial properties, witch hazel can effectively neutralize odor-causing bacteria in the mouth, thus preventing bad mouth odor.
To make a mouthwash, mix one tbsp witch hazel, one tsp glycerin, and 5 drops of peppermint essential oil with about 3 oz of water.
Provide temporary relief from varicose veins
Witch hazel helps tighten varicose veins and relieve pain. Wrap your legs with a piece of cloth soaked in witch hazel to relieve pain. Do this a couple of times every day.
Relieve bug-bite itching
Witch hazel has anti-itching and anti-inflammatory properties. If you get bitten by an insect, apply witch hazel to the bite. It will relieve the itching, burning, and inflammation caused by insect bites.
Prevent swimmer’s ear
Swimmer’s ear is a bacterial infection that occurs when the ears get wet while swimming. The antibacterial properties of witch hazel make it effective in inhibiting the growth of the infection. It will dry up any pus and will absorb the excess oil.
Do you know of any more uses of this wonder herb? Let us know in the comments below.