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Uses of Witch Hazel

Witch hazel promotes skin health, hair care, and treats diarrhea, dry mouth, hemorrhoids, and infections too. Read on to know its other medicinal uses.
Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Witch hazel is an ornamental shrub or small tree that bears bright yellow breathtaking fragrant blooms in winter season when other flowers are hardly present in the garden. This plant is used in herbal medicine for treating several health conditions.
The effectiveness of witch hazel for treating skin problems has been known since a long time now. In fact, the oldest skin care product commercially sold in the United States was based on this multipurpose plant. With this brief introduction, let's delve more into witch hazel uses and benefits.

Uses of Witch Hazel

While witch hazel applications are many and varied, this plant is specifically known for its therapeutic benefits on skin and hair. All parts of the shrub are useful, including the leaves, bark, flowers and twigs.
The curative effect of this plant is credited to the presence of catechol tannin, a phenolic derivative. Its extract is a clear solution sold as over-the-counter liquid in pharmacy stores. Listed below are some of the profound uses that you may prefer to know about:

For Skin

Witch hazel benefits our skin in many medicinal ways. Be it an acne, a poison-ivy rash, diaper rash, chickenpox blisters, or sunburns and windburns, this medicinal shrub is the final cure. To quicken the healing time of the above cited skin problems, a cotton ball dipped in witch hazel water is rubbed over the affected skin areas.

For Tired Eyes

Another use is to refresh tired eyes. This also helps to get rid of the bags under eyes. Never put witch hazel directly over the eyes. Instead, soak a clean rag in cold witch hazel water and place it over closed eyes for about 5 minutes. Repeating it twice daily will cure redness, puffiness and swelling of eyes caused due to excessive strain on them.

For Hair

Many hair care products contain parts of this plant as the main ingredients. Discover hair toners, hair oils and anti dandruff shampoos containing extracts of this plant. This is a replacement for hair sprays as it can be used to perm/curl your hair.

For Hemorrhoids

Witch hazel usage in terms of alleviating hemorrhoids is worth mentioning. Indeed, it's
known as one of the most effectual home remedies for treating hemorrhoid symptoms including bleeding, swelling and at times, infections. When used with glycerin and other skin formulations, this medicinal plant has shown positive results in shrinking external hemorrhoids.

For Pregnant Women

Witch Hazel is for treating varicose veins during pregnancy. Its astringency helps constrict blood vessels that reduce swelling and pain linked to pregnancy. Some women may be perceptive to it. So it's always safe to consult a physician before use.

Other Uses

Besides the above-cited points, the plant is beneficial to reduce muscle aches, swelling, and inflammatory responses. Adding a few drops of witch hazel to the water used for gargling soothes soreness in the mouth, gums, and throat. Other therapeutic uses include stopping minor bleeding, treating infections, diarrhea, dry mouth, and mucous colitis.
So, this was all about witch hazel uses and health benefits. For safety purpose, internal use of the shrub is strictly not recommended. The fragrance of this plant is also shown to be repulsive with mosquitoes and household pests.