Witch hazel is a popular natural remedy that can be used for many purposes. It’s been used as a medicine for centuries and continues to help people relieve symptoms of many different ailments from skin issues, colds/flu, and even digestive problems. The benefits of witch hazel is a staple homeopathic treatment for many people due to its highly effective anti-inflammatory properties. The entire witch hazel plant is used to make different medicines including, the bark, leaves, and twigs. The distilled extract of the plant is used to make Witch hazel water which is what you see in stores for home-usage.
Witch Hazel Benefits for Your Skin and Body
People swear by the benefits of this plant but if you are unaware of the many uses, here are ways that witch hazel benefits your body.
Treats/Soothes Skin Irritations
Studies show that if you have sensitive skin, lotion infused with Witch hazel can significantly reduce redness, irritations, and injury. It can also reduce inflammation and soothe itching of the skin due to bug bites or cases of poison ivy with its astringent properties.
Aids in Soothing Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in or around your rectum that can cause itching or bleeding that is extremely uncomfortable. Witch hazel has been a long-time remedy for helping to reduce swelling and itching caused by hemorrhoids with its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also hemostatic and can stop minor bleeding in the rectal areas as well.
Can Help Treat Acne
Used as astringent, witch hazel is great for treating acne. It can be applied directly to the face after normal cleaning as it helps in cleaning the skin and reducing inflammation. It is also known to help shrink pores and prevent breakouts while soothing your skin. It’s particularly good for individuals with oily skin as it aids in reducing the overproduction of oils.
Can Soothe Sore Throats
Based on anecdotal evidence, Witch hazel can help relieve symptoms of sore throats. It is said to reduce swelling, dry up mucus, and relieve pain all of which could provide some relief of symptoms. To use this remedy, you need to boil 1 teaspoon of Witch hazel with a cup of water for 10 minutes, let cool and then gargle the mixture. Beware though, if swallowed, it could cause stomach irritations.
Can Help Prevent Infections
Some test-tube studies have shown that Witch hazel may have antiviral properties and can help in preventing some viruses like the flu and HPV. In other studies, it showed beneficial results against herpes simplex virus 1 that causes cold sores. It can be directly applied to fight cold sores and provide relief.
Witch hazel is generally safe for many people as it is a natural remedy but always check with a medical professional before use in case of the possibility of drug interactions. Another tip is to apply Witch hazel to a small area on your skin to ensure there are no skin reactions. If you are to use Witch hazel orally, make sure to not consume large amounts as it can cause stomach irritation and/or vomiting.