15 Amazing Benefits and Uses of Witch Hazel

Witch hazel may not be the most common herb in your home, but it offers numerous health benefits and uses that everyone should be aware of. This plant contains anti-inflammatory and astringent compounds that can balance hormones, reduce infections, protect the skin and hair, accelerate healing, settle the stomach, eliminate hemorrhoids, and more!

If you prefer an all-natural way of treating various conditions, you must stock up on this herb immediately. Please keep reading to discover its many benefits to your health, skin, and hair.

Benefits and Uses of Witch Hazel
Benefits and Uses of Witch Hazel

What is Witch Hazel?

Also known as Hamamelis virginiana, witch hazel has been used for centuries as traditional medicine. It is commonly found in Japan, China, and North America and blooms in January and March.

This deciduous shrub can grow up to 7 meters high, and the extracts of its stems, bark, and leaves can help you get rid of many problems. Because of its proven medicinal powers, have become a part of various medical products and commercial cosmetics.

Witch hazel also has high flavonoids, tannins, carvacrol, eugenol, and other potent volatile components. Most of these have powerful effects on the body, and its polyphenols compounds may help slow down the process of aging and other diseases.

The tannins in witch hazel extract make it a natural astringent. It helps eliminate excess oil from the skin, making it one of the best natural methods to treat acne. As a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, this herb can combat free radicals to protect cells from damage.

More and more benefits have been discovered through witch hazel, making this herb an essential resource at home!

15 Amazing Benefits and Uses of Witch Hazel

Here are some reasons you should start using it to improve your overall health.

#1. Boosts Immune System

Research has revealed that witch hazel stimulates the body’s defense mechanism for those looking for natural ways to strengthen their immune system. Thanks to its powerful antiseptic and antibacterial properties, it helps remove foreign substances and pathogens in the body. It can boost your overall health naturally.

You should take only small amounts and mix them with another carrier oil or water for the best results.

#2. Soothes Headaches

Many people suffer from headaches due to work, school, and other physical or mental problems. Luckily, the astringent agents in witch hazel can help eliminate headaches.

All you have to do is apply its extract on your temples and let its power relieve the tension of the tiny capillaries causing headaches.

Alternatively, prepare a cup of witch hazel tea and sip it to soothe your headache. Doing so will relax your blood vessels or throbbing muscles while easing your blood pressure.

#3. Aids Digestion

Witch hazel has been used to clear up symptoms of different digestive problems for many years. A small amount of this tea combined with mint or chamomile can help treat diarrhea, dysentery, and irritable bowel system.

It enhances the immune system and alleviates inflammation caused by harmful bacteria in the digestive tract.

#4. Fights Acne

No matter what, age, pimples, and acne can be annoying problems. The antioxidant and astringent properties in witch hazel make it an excellent remedy for reducing inflammation and decreasing redness and excess oil.

This herb can protect the skin from bacteria that cause zits, acne, and pimples and may also be helpful in closing pores. Regular application of witch hazel will prevent the development of blackheads and whiteheads that often contribute to annoying breakouts.

If you have oily skin, witch hazel can balance the skin’s pH level. It also moisturizes the skin without leaving a greasy feeling. Instead of popping a zit and making the problem worse, consider applying a small amount of witch hazel to stop its progression.

Read: 14 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Pimples Overnight Fast

#5. Nourishes Dry Skin

Witch hazel is good for treating oily skin and acne, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be applied to dry skin. This herb removes impurities and excess oil and nourishes the skin to prevent it from getting dry.

Even though it can from the skin, witch hazel won’t dry it out like what most astri products from stores do.

Consider applying witch hazel immediately after a bath or shower to seal in moisture. This works wonders, especially during the winter months. If you are using a store-bought product that contains witch hazel, make sure it doesn’t have alcohol, as it will dry your skin.

#6. Treats Hemorrhoids and Varicose Veins

Also called piles, hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower rectum and anus. They may occur due to increased pressure during pregnancy or straining during bowel movements. Because this condition may cause discomfort, pain, and swelling, eating foods rich in fiber is essential to avoiding wasting when passing stools.

Also, applying witch hazel to the area can help relieve itching, swelling, and burning sensation due to its healing, astringent, and anti-inflammatory properties. Be careful when applying it, though, as it can be very strong. Make sure you speak with your doctor before using witch hazel if you are already taking medicine.

Besides hemorrhoids, witch hazel is also helpful in treating varicose veins by simply massaging the cream into the affected areas. This treatment will relieve discomfort and shrink the veins.

#7. Regulates Menstruation

For those suffering from heavy periods, the astringent properties in witch hazel make it an effective method to regulate menstruation naturally. It can reduce inflammation and pain in the groin and slow down the bleeding during your period.

In addition, witch hazel can help ease other symptoms of menstruation, such as cramps and bloating. Depending on your health condition, it may be best to consult your physician before using it.

#8. It helps Treat Respiratory Tracts

Many studies show that witch hazel positively affects respiratory tracts in issues dealing with the throat, such as sore throats, coughing irritation, and the vocal cords’ inflammation.

For this matter, it is recommended to use witch hazel tea instead of concentrated oil or extract. Rinse your mouth and gargle for immediate relief. This treatment will reduce pain and soreness while getting rid of excess mucus.

The compounds in its bark and leaves have calming effects on the lungs, making them beneficial during asthma attacks. The best way to use witch hazel in times of an attack is by soaking a warm compress in the liquid. Apply it on the neck and chest of the person having an asthma attack.

#9. Speeds Healing

Witch hazel has been used for thousands of years when treating abrasions, bruises, cuts, and other wounds. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, witch hazel helps constrict blood vessels that reduce the appearance of bruises. Its organic compounds help tighten the skin, accelerating the healing process.

In addition, it also reduces the bleeding of open wounds and forms a protective coating to reduce the risk of developing an infection. But in cases of severely ruptured skin, it is not recommended to apply it to the area as the potency of the compounds could cause inflammation.

#10. Treats Eczema and Psoriasis

Both eczema and psoriasis produce an itching sensation. The scaling, redness, burning, and itching caused by these two inflammatory skin problems can be alleviated by applying witch hazel. The immediate relief can be attributed to its anti-inflammatory and astringent agents.

For more immediate results, consider using witch hazel with French green clay. This clay contains high calcium, magnesium, potassium, and other minerals that can reduce inflammation and heat instantly, relieving itching and pain. Make a paste by adding witch hazel to a one-half cup of green clay and apply it to the affected areas.

#11. Combats Signs of Aging

Prolonged sun exposure promotes premature aging and signs like fine lines, wrinkles, scars, dryness, redness, and discoloration. If you are looking for a natural way to reduce signs of aging, you can opt for witch hazel.

This herb protects the skin against melanoma, cancer, and other problems due to ultraviolet light. Its polyphenols and tannin content can prevent the proliferation of melanoma cells, keeping your skin cells healthy as you age.

Many store-bought products can increase dryness and irritate the skin, but witch hazel helps improve skin elasticity and protect collagen. Consider mixing it with oils like evening primrose and frankincense for even better results.

#12. Refreshes Your Face and Reduces Puffy Eyes

You can use witch hazel to refresh yourself whenever you are stressed or tired. All you have to do is store witch hazel in a spray bottle and apply it to your face to soothe your skin. This technique will also remove excess dirt while treating your puffy eyes.

Another option is to soak a cloth in cold water mixed with witch hazel. Apply it over your closed eyes for around ten minutes to reduce puffiness and redness. Your eyes will also feel refreshed and ready to finish your work.

#13. Treats Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear, also known as otitis externa, is an infection in the outer ear canal caused by bacteria commonly found in water.

The common symptoms of a swimmer’s ear include mild discomfort, itching in the ear canal, redness inside your ear, and some drainage of odorless fluid.

One of the incredible benefits of witch hazel is its ability to treat this infection. Putting a few drops of it into the affected ear will mop up excess oil, dry up any pus, and help dislodge any debris or earwax stuck in the ear canal. After applying witch hazel to the affected ear, let it drain naturally and use a cotton ball or cosmetic pad to clean it up.

It is good to treat infections like this with natural oil that contains antimicrobial agents, such as tea tree oil, basil oil, and apple cider vinegar.

#14. Hair and Scalp Care

Many products include witch hazel as one of the ingredients, as this herb can add volume to locks while taming down frizzy hair.  Its ability to dry out excess grease and oils makes it an excellent natural treatment for oily hair.

Witch hazel also contains vasoconstrictive properties, improving blood flow on your scalp and decreasing hair fall. This incredible herb can help treat and prevent hair or scalp-related problem.

The natural oils from its help eliminate dandruff and nourish the scalp. As a natural astringent, it can also relieve itchiness and other discomforts that you may be experiencing.

#15. Prevents Diaper Rashes

Nothing is more distressing for parents than seeing their baby’s bottom covered in itchy and bright red scratches. Fortunately, witch hazel has compounds that can reduce redness and irritation caused by diapers, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Regular application can also speed up the healing process of damaged skin and alleviate discomfort.

Possible Side Effects

Witch hazel doesn’t have significant side effects when consumed orally or applied topically. However, some individuals could experience irritation because of an allergic reaction. To prevent this, perform a patch test before you start using it.

Avoid taking it in large amounts as it can cause stomach upset. Large doses may also cause liver problems. Remember that witch hazel has safrole, a cancer-causing chemical, but it is safe if taken in small amounts.

Possible side effects may include nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, and constipation. If any of these worsen or persist, visit your doctor immediately. Other severe side effects are dark urine, stomach pain, and yellowing eyes or skin.

Where to Buy Witch Hazel?

Many store-bought brands include more alcohol than witch hazel. These products can dry or sting sensitive skin. Choose natural or organic ingredients when looking for witch hazel in health stores or online. Avoid products that contain high amounts of alcohol.

You can also check [easyazon_link identifier=”B001E0R22Y” locale=”US” tag=”bonefrac-20″]Thayers Alcohol-free Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera[/easyazon_link] available from Amazon. This product has gained 10,962 customer reviews and is considered the best brand of witch hazel.

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