Witch hazel is a plant with powerful medicinal properties that can be used in a variety of ways.
Most often applied to the skin and scalp, witch hazel is widely known for its ability to ease inflammation and soothe sensitive skin.
It can also be added to herbal teas and ingested orally in small amounts as a natural treatment for other conditions.
As it turns out, witch hazel contains tannins, oils, and other substances that appear to:
- Lessen inflammation
- Draw tissue together
- Slow bleeding
Witch hazel may help treat the following conditions:
Witch hazel may help heal hemorrhoids, which are dilated veins in the anus or rectum. Hemorrhoids can cause irritation, bleeding, and discomfort.
Some people get relief by adding witch hazel to a bath. This may be due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Many topical treatments for acne contain witch hazel. Its astringent properties make it a good option for people with oily skin.
It may also have skin-soothing properties that might be beneficial for people with acne.
Witch hazel may help soothe rashes on the skin,It is best to avoid putting it on any area where the skin is broken or oozing, however.
Some caregivers use witch hazel on diaper rashes, but there is little research to prove whether this is safe or effective.
Varicose veins are dilated veins in the legs that can cause significant discomfort. Some people also find their appearance bothersome.
Some people recommend soaking cloths in witch hazel and applying these to the legs to gain relief from varicose veins.
Bug bites or stings
Similarly to sunburn, bug bites and stings can cause swelling and inflammation. Applying witch hazel to the bite may reduce itching and discomfort.
Witch hazel has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce discomfort from sunburn.
People can use a cloth or cotton ball to apply witch hazel directly to sunburn.
It may be especially soothing if a person mixes witch hazel with aloe vera, which is another plant and anti-inflammatory agent.
Some people apply witch hazel to pregnancy stretch marks in an effort to lighten them and make them less noticeable. However, there is no research to support this use.
The astringent properties of witch hazel cause the skin to tighten and small blood vessels to constrict, which may help stop bleeding from minor cuts or nosebleeds.