Witch Hazel (hamamelis), with its bright, yellow clusters of spidery flowers and colourful autumn foliage, will add colour and a spicy-citrus fragrance to your fall/winter landscape. But more than just a popular ornamental plant, the leaves and bark of h. virginiana are used to make witch hazel water or creams to treat a variety of ailments.
Witch hazel is best known for being an astringent. Native Americans have been using witch hazel for medicinal purposes for centuries. The plant contains tannins, which help to dry, tighten and harden tissue. It is mainly used externally for skin ailments, such as bruising, wounds, and swelling. Witch hazel water is helpful for those suffering from psoriasis and eczema. As well, it can be taken internally as a medicine to relieve diarrhea, fevers and coughing of blood. It’s an amazing plant that works wonders!
Witch hazel water, creams and pads are available in most pharmacies and drug stores. While, this herb is considered safe for adults, some people may experience side effects. Consult a health care professional if you have any concerns or questions.
Here are some of the many uses for witch hazel:
- Fights acne, by reducing redness and inflammation, while tightening pores and removing excess oil.
- Natural deodorant. Mix witch hazel water with some essential oil. Pour in a clean spray bottle and shake. Spray as needed.
- Household Cleaner. Mix witch hazel water with lemon juice and baking soda for an all natural cleaner.
- Jewelry Cleaner. Dab witch hazel on cotton ball to shine up your jewelry.
- Treats insect bites and poison ivy
- Treats hemorrhoids. Witch hazel is a key ingredient in hemorrhoid cream (i.e Preparation H).
- Soothes diaper rash.
- Treats chicken pox blisters.
- Reduces bags and dark circles under eyes.
- Helps bruises heal faster.
- Relieve sunburn.
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