Witch Hazel can be very useful to have around the house.  It’s made from the extract of witch hazel plants.  The leaf, bark, and twigs are used to make medicine and it’s usually distilled or diluted with water and marketed as a mild astringent for skin irritations such as cuts and rashes.  The most commonly known form of witch hazel also contains isopropyl alcohol and is found in most drug stores.  But there are witch hazel teas and lotions on the market that expand its use for treating minor ailments

Witch hazel can be used as a toner or spot treatment for skin irritations such as acne.  It helps remove dirt and excess oil from the affected area.  It helps promote healing, alleviates inflammation and allows blemishes to dry out more quickly.

It can be used topically for promoting the healing of bruises or hemorrhoids.  It contains procyanadins, resin, and flavonoids, all of which add to its soothing, anti-inflammatory properties.  A cloth soaked in strong witch hazel tea reduces swelling and can relieve the pain of hemorrhoids and bruises.

Its ability to shrink swollen tissue makes witch hazel appropriate to treat laryngitis as well. A throat gargle of witch hazel, myrrh, and cloves reduces the pain of an uncomfortable sore throat. Again, use fresh tea or tincture, not the drugstore witch hazel, which contains isopropyl alcohol.

Some people say that the application of tea bags under the eyes reduces puffiness.  Witch hazel helps tighten up skin and reduces bagginess.  Placing freshly soaked and compressed witch hazel tea bags under the eyes will reduce those pesky under eye bags.

It can be used for the treatment of varicose veins as well.  Soak wash cloths in witch hazel (drugstore or tea bag mixture) and lay on legs, which are propped straight out, to reduce pain and swelling from varicose veins. The witch hazel helps to tighten the veins, relieving the discomfort temporarily.

Witch hazel is a great mild astringent for treatment of diaper rash as well.  It can clean and soothe a stubborn diaper rash while speeding up the healing time.

One of the main ingredients in hemorrhoid treatments is witch hazel.  It’s because of its wonderful anti-inflammatory properties that help sooth irritation and itchiness while gently cleansing the area.

It is also great for speeding up the healing of bruises.  Try saturating a cotton pad or washcloth with witch hazel (depending on the size of the bruise.) Tiny bruises can be healed by wetting a cotton ball and letting it stick onto the bruise with a band aid! The witch hazel helps heal the injured skin, reduce the swelling pain, and constrict those blood vessels!

Sunburn can leave your skin with an irritated feeling of burning.  A non-alcohol version of witch hazel put in a spray bottle can provide some instant relief for painful sunburn.

These are just some of the wonderful uses of witch hazel, which is a great milder astringent for those with sensitive skin that is natural and very affordable.

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