This article, entitled "26 Uses for Witch Hazel," comes from partner site 719woman.com.
Witch hazel is a deciduous bush or small tree. The leaf, bark and twig is used in a variety of forms, from fluid extracts to poultices, to the most common, known as witch hazel water, usually kept in most homes as a topical cooling agent or astringent. Traditionally, witch hazel was known to native North American people as a treatment for tumors and eye inflammations. It has been used in the treatment of hemorrhoids, burns, cancers, tuberculosis, inflammation and bleeding.
While some people take witch hazel by mouth, which is safe for most adults when taken in small doses, it does have a high tannin content. Large doses can cause liver or kidney damage so as always, check with your doctor before ingesting, especially if you are being treated for a medical condition. Pregnant and nursing women should always check with their doctor first.
When applied to the skin, witch hazel can help reduce swelling, soothe itchy skin, help repair broken skin, fight irritation and more. In some people it can cause minor skin irritation so always apply in a small area at first.
HEALTH & BEAUTY USES
1. Spot & Blemish Control – Can reduce the inflammation on a pimple. Apply with cotton.
2. Soothe & Heal Diaper Rash – Apply to rash with cotton ball. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel is especially good for this.
3. Shrink Under Eye Bags – Beat 1 egg white with 1 teaspoon witch hazel until foamy. Dab under your eyes and let sit for 5 minutes. Rinse off. Reduces puffiness and tightens the skin.
4. Refresh Tired Eyes – Soak a dishcloth in witch hazel and cold water. Place compress over closed eyes for 10 minutes. Refreshes and reduces redness.
5. Correct Hair Color Mistakes – Erase hair dye from skin with a cotton ball or tissue soaked in witch hazel.
6. Hemorrhoids – Combine witch hazel with aloe, glycerine or petroleum jelly and rub on external hemorrhoids. Reduces itch and dries up most bleeding.
7. Varicose Vein Relief – Soak wash cloths in witch hazel and place on legs. (Prop out legs straight.) Helps tighten the veins and relieves discomfort while reducing swelling.
8. Soothe Poison Ivy & Poison Oak – Apply with cotton ball.
9. Bruising – Dab on bruises up to 3 times a day to help speed up healing time.
10. Deep Cleanse Scalp – Massage witch hazel into scalp and then shampoo and condition. Helps with psoriasis, eczema and dandruff.
11. Cold Sores - Apply witch hazel on a cold sore when you feel it first coming on to help prevent it from becoming a blister. If you already have a blister form, using witch hazel can often help it heal quicker.
12. Cuts – Witch hazel cleanses cuts, protects against infection and encourages faster healing. Apply with a cotton ball. (Acts like Neosporin does.)
13. Repel Mosquitoes – Fill a spray bottle with 1 cup witch hazel and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil. Apply to skin and even outdoor furniture.
14. Bug Bites – Dab on bug bites to reduce itch and inflammation.
15. Dry Skin – Apply witch hazel to your skin immediately after showering to lock in the moisture you’ve just soaked in.
16. Sunburn Relief – Lessens healing and helps prevent peeling and flaking.
17. Razor Burn – Apply before or after shaving with a cotton ball. The anti-inflammatory properties stop itchy bumps from forming up around irritated hair follicles and soothes inflammation and redness.
18. Set Your Makeup – Hot summer weather can make your foundation cake or melt. To help it stay in place, combine 1 cup mineral water with 1 teaspoon witch hazel in a spray bottle. After applying your foundation and concealer, lightly spritz your face. Apply powder as usual.
19. Remove Adhesive Price Stickers – Remove adhesive tags and stickers from new items easily. Saturate a cotton ball with witch hazel and hold it on the sticker for 30 seconds. The astringent witch hazel breaks down the sticker’s bonding agents so the paper comes off cleanly and easily.
20. Household Cleaner – Combine 1/2 cup witch hazel, 1 cup water, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a spray bottle. This cuts through grease, kills bacteria and leaves a citrus-fresh scent. Use in your kitchen or bathroom for a natural, eco-friendly cleaning agent. For tough jobs, mix witch hazel with baking soda.
21. Chrome & Glass Cleaner – Use undiluted on chrome and glass mirrors with no rinsing required. Once the witch hazel evaporates, it leaves behind a sparkling and germ-free surface.
22. Natural Air Freshener – Combine 1/2 cup witch hazel, 1 cup water, and 15 drops of your favorite essential oil in a spray bottle. Spritz around the house to kill odor-causing bacteria while making your home smell good.
23. Clean Floors – Combine 1/2 cup witch hazel and 1 gallon warm water to clean vinyl, linoleum and tile floors.
24. Clean Jewelry – Dab witch hazel on jewelry for cleaning.
25. Eliminate Sunglass Smudges – Fill a small spray bottle with a 50:50 solution of witch hazel and water. Add one drop of liquid dish soap and shake to mix. Spritz dirty sunglasses with mixture and wipe dry with a soft cloth.
26. Clean Dog Ears – Get rid of itchy ear infections, help eliminate wax buildup and keep dog ears clean by moistening a cotton ball with witch hazel. Gently wipe the inside of the ears. Repeat every other week. DON’T use cotton swabs which can cause damage to the ear.