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I’ve known about witch hazel since childhood. I remember that my mother and grandmother always had a bottle of it on hand, for everything from cleaning our faces to soothing a scrape. Recently the many benefits of this astringent came back into my awareness.
Here are 12 amazing uses for witch hazel.
What is Witch Hazel?
This versatile plant, technically a shrub, creates bright orange or yellow flowers. It is native to North America. The bark and leaves are used medicinally to treat a variety of skin ailments. Witch hazel contains tannins, a natural compound with astringent properties. It is also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
Native Americans used this plant for thousands of years for various purposes, including soothing skin conditions, easing sore muscles and healing irritated digestive systems.
12 Amazing Uses for Witch Hazel
Reduces Under Eye Puffiness
Using a cotton ball or square soaked with witch hazel, carefully dab the under eye area to soothe and ease puffiness and reduce the appearance of dark circles. Avoid getting witch hazel in the eyes.
Treats Swimmers Ear
Swimmer’s ear is a bacterial infection caused by water remaining in the ear after swimming. Add a few drops of witch hazel to the affected ear to dry up infection, clear away excess oil and remove debris or earwax.
Mix witch hazel with pure aloe vera gel. Smooth gently over skin to cool and soothe a sunburn and help prevent peeling.
Safely Removes Ticks
Try using witch hazel on an attached tick. Soak the tick with a few drops of witch hazel. They dislike the taste of this astringent and will loosen their grip, allowing you to safely and easily remove them. Cleanse the bite area well with witch hazel after removing the tick to prevent infection.
Soothes Dry Skin
Even though witch hazel is considered an astringent, is improves dry skin by unclogging pores and restoring healthy oils. Apply witch hazel to dry areas after showering, while skin is still damp. Allow skin to dry naturally for several minutes, then use a moisturizer.
Natural Insect Repellent
Make your own DIY insect repellent using witch hazel. Combine 2 tablespoons witch hazel, 8 drops of lemongrass essential oil and 1 cup of distilled water in a spray bottle. Shake well. Spray on skin and and clothing to repel biting insects. Witch hazel is safe for skin and most fabrics. If in doubt, test first on a small area of the fabric.
This spray also soothes and relieves the itchiness of bug bites and reduces swelling from bee stings.
Cleanses and Tones Skin
Soak a cotton ball or square in witch hazel and use as a daily face cleanser and toner. Witch hazel cleanses and tightens pores, without drying the skin. For oily skin, witch hazel helps to reduce excessive oil buildup.
Witch hazel effectively treats acne by reduces inflammation and eliminating bacteria. Not only does it clear up acne, it helps to improve the appearance of acne scarring while healing the skin.
Apply witch hazel to acne on face, chest or back and allow it to dry.
Make a DIY Hand Sanitizer
Witch hazel’s antibacterial properties make it an excellent choice for a DIY hand sanitizer. Mix together 1 1/2 teaspoons of witch hazel, liquid from one vitamin E capsule (or 1/4 teaspoon of vitamin E oil), 15 drops of tea tree essential oil and 1/2 cup aloe vera gel in a pump or squeeze bottle. Use within two weeks.
This hand sanitizer will not dry out the hands. Rather it helps to keep them moisturized.
Soothes Razor Burn
Use witch hazel after shaving legs, underarms or face to calm skin and prevent itchy, irritated bumps. Witch hazel also helps to prevent ingrown hairs from forming. As a bonus, it stops bleeding from any nicks caused by shaving.
Witch hazel’s disinfectant and hemostatic properties cleanse wounds and reduce bleeding. And it stings less than alcohol based disinfectants. Soak a cotton square in witch hazel and then apply to minor scrapes and cuts to cleanse the wound, stop bleeding and speed healing. Witch hazel soothes bruises and swellings as well.
Create Your Own DIY Room & Upholstery Spray
To freshen a room and help eliminate odors from carpets or upholstery, combine 2 tablespoons witch hazel, 6 drops lavender or citrus essential oil, 2 teaspoons baking soda and 3 tablespoons water in a small spray bottle. Shake well. Spray into a room or spray lightly on carpets or upholstery to eliminate odors.
Purchasing Witch Hazel
Make sure that you purchase 100% pure witch hazel, with no additives. From my research, the witch hazel pictured below is considered a high quality product. Order by clicking on the photo!
Have you ever used witch hazel? I’ve just ordered a bottle, to add to my natural medicinal stash. If you’ve discovered other uses for amazing witch hazel, I’d love to hear about it.
Other Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Products:
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I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.