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Witch hazel

    Witch hazel, a winter-blooming shrub that occupies Haverford’s Arboretum, has various uses and a rich history.

    If you require a flower repair throughout the cold winter months, witch hazel just might be your go-to winter-blooming plant. Normally reaching a height of 12 to 15 feet, witch hazel can be considered either a large shrub or a little tree. These sturdy perennials with fragrant, wispy yellow to orange flowers are from the family Hamamelidaceae. A year after blooming, the fruit pills develop and ultimately split open to release seeds. As soon as dry, the witch hazel’s capsules can catapult the little seeds as far as 30 feet. This is the only tree in North America to have flowers, fruit, and next year’s leaf buds at one time. Witch hazel cheers up the forest throughout the autumn and cold weather and supplies a source of food for birds, deer, and other small mammals that consume its fruit capsules and seeds.

    Witch hazel has a long history and has been utilized by people for centuries. Extensively known for its medical and cosmetic usages, the extract from the leaves, bark, and twigs of witch hazel have actually been utilized as an astringent to deal with irritated skin and swollen tissues for centuries. Native Americans utilized the plant to treat the acute rhinitis, eye and liver conditions, and other diseases. Early inhabitants also used the leaves to make tea for various medical purposes. Today, witch hazel is utilized in a range of items, including lotions, soaps, and creams.

    The name “witch hazel” also stems from folk history. Natives and early inhabitants utilized the witch hazel to discover sources of water underground. As they walked over the ground that they were surveying, they would carry a forked or bent witch hazel branch, which was utilized as a divining rod. They would observe if the branch twisted or dipped, which they thought signaled that they had discovered water. This practice was called “water-witching” and caused the plant’s common name, witch hazel. [2]

    Uses of Witch hazel

    1. Alleviates Swelling

    Inflammation is a normal immune reaction developed to protect your body against injury and infection.

    However, chronic swelling is believed to play a central role in the development of specific illness.

    Witch hazel contains many compounds with powerful anti-inflammatory homes, including gallic acid and tannins.

    It also includes antioxidants that help prevent extensive swelling and neutralize complimentary radicals, which are disease-causing substances that can build up in your body.

    For that reason, witch hazel could have significant advantages and might work in the treatment of inflammatory-related concerns, such as acne, eczema or psoriasis.

    Research studies show that topically-applied witch hazel can efficiently reduce swelling and help relieve your skin.


    Witch hazel contains lots of substances with anti-inflammatory properties, which may have far-reaching advantages for your health.

    2. Minimizes Skin Irritation

    Delicate skin, defined by abnormal sensory signs, is an extremely common condition, affecting a quote of approximately 45% of Americans.

    Some research study recommends that applying witch hazel topically to sensitive skin may be advantageous in the treatment of inflamed, irritated or damaged skin.

    In fact, witch hazel has been shown to reduce erythema– a reddening of the skin brought on by injury or inflammation– by up to 27%.

    One study in 40 individuals discovered that utilizing a lotion with just 10% witch hazel extract was effective in decreasing skin inflammation and treating erythema.

    Similarly, another small research study found that a topical preparation containing witch hazel was able to supply relief for delicate or irritated facial skin.


    Witch hazel might help reduce skin soreness and supply relief for irritated and sensitive skin.

    3. Helps Reward Hemorrhoids

    Hemorrhoids are caused by the swelling and inflammation of the veins in your anus and rectum, leading to symptoms, such as itchiness and bleeding.

    Witch hazel is frequently utilized as a natural solution to offer remedy for the discomfort and pain brought on by hemorrhoids.

    It’s generally added to a fabric or cotton ball and applied directly to the affected area to soothe the skin.

    Though research is restricted, witch hazel is thought to help treat the itching, soreness, pain and swelling related to hemorrhoids due to its anti-inflammatory effects.

    What’s more, it has hemostatic homes, meaning that it might stop bleeding caused by piles.

    Nevertheless, more research studies in human beings are needed to examine the efficiency of witch hazel on piles.


    Witch hazel is often utilized to minimize the itching, soreness, discomfort, bleeding and swelling associated with piles. More studies are required to evaluate its efficiency.

    4. Fights Acne

    Thanks to its effective anti-inflammatory properties, some research suggests that witch hazel could be beneficial in the treatment of acne.

    It can be used straight to your face after cleaning or steaming for optimum effectiveness.

    It serves as an astringent, causing your tissues to contract to assist diminish pores, while also calming your skin and alleviating inflammation.

    This may prevent acne-causing germs from infecting your skin. For this reason, witch hazel is commonly added to numerous non-prescription acne items and is especially beneficial for individuals with oily skin.

    Still, research studies on the results of witch hazel on acne are limited and additional research is needed to determine its efficacy.


    Witch hazel serves as an astringent to assist shrink your pores, relieve your skin and minimize swelling. More research study is required to identify the effects of witch hazel itself on acne.

    5. Eases Scalp Level Of Sensitivity

    Scalp sensitivity can be triggered by a variety of factors, ranging from cosmetic hair treatments to dermatological conditions, such as psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.

    Applying a little bit of witch hazel to your scalp prior to cleaning your hair may help treat scalp sensitivity and supply remedy for signs, such as itching and tenderness.

    According to one study in 1,373 individuals, utilizing a hair shampoo containing witch hazel extract worked in lowering scalp irritation.

    Witch hazel may also help alleviate inflammation, which could be beneficial in minimizing scalp sensitivity triggered by conditions like psoriasis or eczema.

    It’s also often utilized as a natural treatment to eliminate symptoms of other scalp issues, such as dandruff and dryness.

    However, additional research is required to evaluate the effectiveness of witch hazel in the treatment of these conditions.


    Witch hazel might help in reducing scalp irritation and swelling. It’s also often utilized for treating dandruff and dryness, though more studies are required to evaluate its efficiency for these conditions.

    6. Soothes Sore Throat

    Because of its capability to reduce inflammation and serve as an astringent, witch hazel is often utilized to treat aching throats.

    Boiling one teaspoon (5 ml) of witch hazel in one cup (240 ml) of water for about 10 minutes, then rinsing with the mix, might supply relief.

    This is thought to help in reducing swelling, decrease discomfort and dry excess mucus triggered by an aching throat.

    Yet, despite the fact that the anti-inflammatory residential or commercial properties of witch hazel are well recorded, its use for dealing with sore throats is based exclusively on anecdotal proof.

    Premium studies are required to establish the potential benefits of witch hazel on aching throats.

    In addition, taking witch hazel orally might cause stomach inflammation due to its high tannin material, so it is necessary to proceed with caution and consult your physician if you have any concerns.


    Witch hazel is often utilized as a natural solution for aching throats, however additional research studies are required to take a look at its possible advantages and negative effects.

    7. Secures Against Skin Damage

    Witch hazel is rich in tannins, a natural plant substance with powerful antioxidant homes that can help protect your skin against damage when applied topically.

    One animal study found that tannins can act as a barrier, avoiding inflammation-causing compounds from entering your skin cells.

    What’s more, a test-tube study showed that witch hazel assisted neutralize harmful free radicals and avoided the spread of skin cancer cells.

    Similarly, another animal research study discovered that the tannins in witch hazel had the ability to slow skin tumor growth in mice exposed to radiation.

    However, many research study is presently restricted to test-tube and animal studies. More research studies are needed to examine the effects of witch hazel on people.


    Animal and test-tube studies have actually found that witch hazel and its elements could prevent skin cancer development and safeguard versus skin damage.

    8. Fend off Infection

    Some studies indicate that witch hazel might be helpful in battling certain types of viral infections.

    One test-tube research study, for instance, found that the tannins in witch hazel showed antiviral effects against both influenza A and human papillomavirus (HPV).

    Another test-tube research study showed that witch hazel extract inhibited the activity of herpes simplex infection 1, which is often the culprit behind cold sores.

    For this reason, witch hazel is often applied topically as a natural treatment to assist combat cold sores and ease signs.

    But although test-tube research studies have actually discovered appealing results, human research studies are still doing not have.

    More studies are required to look at the results of witch hazel and its prospective effect on viral infections in healthy grownups.


    Test-tube studies reveal that witch hazel might have antiviral properties and could be useful against certain types of viral infections. [3]

    Few Facts of witch hazel

    Witch hazel has actually been utilized for centuries to naturally help deal with and avoid:.

    • skin sores
    • bruises
    • soreness and swelling
    • ingrown hairs
    • psoriasis or eczema
    • oily skin
    • excess sweating
    • varicose veins
    • broken or blistered skin
    • insect bites
    • poison ivy
    • inflamed scalp
    • sunburn and melanoma
    • razor burn
    • mucous membrane swelling
    • hemorrhoids
    • allergies

    Current research studies even reveal that the tannins discovered in witch hazel might apply a protective action versus colon cancer cells.

    The skin is our biggest and most vulnerable organ, so it might use all the assistance it can get. Skin is our natural barrier to the outside world and provides us with defense against UV radiation, chemicals in our food supply, germs and other bacteria, and environmental pollutants.

    All of the “stress” that our bodies deal with every day, both internally and externally, show up on our skin in the form of aging, puffiness, infections, inflammation and sensitivities. That’s why we count on eating and using natural anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories to help suppress swollen and unhealthy cells.

    Herbal plant therapies for skin conditions have actually been utilized for thousands of years, and today lots of traditional herbs are being reintroduced, studied thoroughly and experiencing a revival in popularity since many chemical treatments don’t always work or have extreme negative effects.

    As the authors of the book “Herbal Medication: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects” point out, a growing number of individuals are relying on using herbs for the following factors: the adverse effects of chemical drugs, wishing to return to nature, belonging of the green revolution, and wanting to utilize more natural and safe items.

    Can you clean your face with witch hazel?

    Yes, because it’s a natural cleanser, it’s capable of minimizing bacteria growth on the skin and speeds up the time needed to heal infections or scabs.

    Another advantage for sensitive skin is that it reduces the look of pores (although no item can really diminish pores) and helps stop excess oil production, sweating, and development of blackheads or whiteheads, which can contribute to breakouts and lure you to pick at your skin. You can avoid irritating acne products and rely on witch hazel to decrease the intensity of blemishes forming under the skin and avoid blackheads brought on by dried sebum buildup in pores.

    How long does witch hazel take to clear acne?

    It depends on how severe somebody’s acne is. It may take effect in just a number of days or take several weeks.

    Does witch hazel eliminate acne scars?

    It can assist, due to its anti inflammatory and antioxidant residential or commercial properties. Using some can assist stop swelling and redness if you already picked at your acne. It can also curb signs of previous inflammations and handle skin infections that may result from selecting.

    What does witch hazel do to your face? Does witch hazel fade dark areas? Can it tighten up skin?

    If you’re looking for a natural method to firm up your skin and slow down indications of aging like scars, redness, discoloration, dryness and puffiness around the eyes, then look no more than witch hazel. It tightens skin and is protective versus skin cancer, cancer malignancy and other damage triggered by UV light because of its protective polyphenols and tannin anti-oxidants. These hinder the proliferation of melanoma cells and help secure healthy skin cells into older age.

    Use it to keep your skin free from annoying chemical items that can change oil production and boost dryness. Witch hazel has been shown to assist protect collagen and skin elasticity just as well as numerous industrial beauty products. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant residential or commercial properties make it a terrific way to preserve skin’s elasticity, saving your skin tone and assisting you deal with the impacts of environmental stress on your skin. And since using witch hazel for your pores helps them look smaller sized, this can make your skin appear more even.

    Deals With Insect Bites

    Lots of bug repellents and commercial items utilized for treating insect bites include witch hazel. Wondering how to get rid of mosquito bites? People rely on witch hazel to reduce the results of bug bites, such as discomfort and swelling from stings, allergies and inflammations.

    Particular studies have actually discovered that using witch hazel cream to skin irritations can curb symptoms just as well as synthetic chemical creams, consisting of dexpanthenol, which is often used to combat skin inflammations in kids. It can also be used to help speed up healing scabs or minor cuts because witch hazel extract includes isopropyl alcohol, which is another natural disinfecting active ingredient that kills bacteria and helps prevent infections.

    Avoids Ingrown Hairs and Rashes

    After shaving, you can use witch hazel to any part of the body to slow bleeding from nicks or cuts, prevent germs growth and infections within hair follicles, soothe razor burn, and avoid ingrown hairs from forming. Some individuals also like to use the toner along with other healing important oils on skin after waxing to minimize pain, swelling and bleeding.

    Stops Ear Infections from Establishing

    Since witch hazel is a reliable anti-bacterial, and “swimmer’s ear” or other ear infections are generally caused by bacterial infections, it’s a natural way to deal with irritations within the ear canal. Witch hazel helps clean up germs overgrowth and infections within the ear; dry up oil, pus and excess sweat; break up wax; and even get rid of smell. To clean up the beyond the ears, apply numerous drops to a swab and rub around the inside of the ears.

    Protects Your Mouth, Lips and Gums

    If you have blisters on your lips, inner cheeks or gums, turn to witch hazel to speed recovery and eliminate discomfort and swelling. It’s safe to use the extract to the inside of your mouth to slow down bleeding, blisters, sores, bad breath odors and infections of the gums, particularly when integrated with other healing oils like coconut oil or peppermint oil.

    Witch hazel likewise assists eliminate pain from toothaches or teething in babies, prevent infection after oral surgery, and fight bleeding and swelling from mouth sores. [4]

    Fun Facts

    Witch Hazel is a medicinal plant. The bark and leaves can be utilized to produce a topical astringent.

    Witch Hazel branches have been traditionally used by dowsers to locate water.

    The distinctive petals of witch hazel are temperature sensitive; they become reflexed when cold and unfurl when warm. [5]

    Natural Room Spray

    This aromatic spray is made with just 3 simple active ingredients! Give your linens, bedroom, and even the air in your home a rejuvenating spritz without utilizing extreme chemicals.

    Vital oils– extracted from leaves, fruit peels, petals, and other plant parts– capture nature’s subtle fragrances and can revitalize your living space. You can mix and match important oils for a signature fragrance: attempt combinations like wild orange and tea tree, lavender and increased, or clean and easy green tea and cucumber.

    What you require


    • Spray bottles
    • Important oils
    • Pure water
    • Odorless witch hazel
    • Dried flowers

    How to do it

    1. Natural room spray
    2. Pour 25 to 30 drops of important oil in your bottle.
    3. Fill the bottle halfway with witch hazel. (Note: Witch hazel helps the oil and water combine and will help the scent stick around for a longer time period.)
    4. Fill the remainder of the bottle with pure water. This ratio works quite well no matter the size of the bottle.
    5. Shake bottle to combine all the active ingredients.
    6. Insert a sprig of dried flowers and herbs to round off your fragrant spray. [6]

    Witch Hazel Plant Guide: How to Grow Witch Hazel

    Witch hazel plants are popular gardening alternatives that include color and fragrance to winter landscaping.

    1. Root your witch hazel. The plant can be grown in pots, but in time (and as it grows), it will require to be rooted in the ground.
    2. Plant witch hazel in acidic, well-draining soil. These low-maintenance plants flourish in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9 and are tolerant of acidic soil.
    3. Water witch hazel plants in the summer season. Witch hazel plants are sensitive to dry spell, so make sure to keep the soil wet with regular watering in hotter months.
    4. Location witch hazel plants in direct sunshine. Excessive shade will lead to duller flowers and leggy development, so witch hazel grows finest in full sun or sometimes in partial shade.
    5. Grow witch hazel in cooler winter temperatures. Witch hazel requires a winter chill in the milder months to allow full flowering in late winter.
    6. Secure your plant with fencing. Witch hazel plants are resistant to a lot of insects and diseases. Fencing can prevent roaming deer from consuming the leaves.

    How to Care for Witch Hazel

    Witch hazel is reasonably simple to tend to, but follow these ideas to keep your plant healthy:.

    1. Provide witch hazel space in your garden. If you add other plants to your garden, make sure that they do not block the witch hazel’s sunlight.
    2. Add mulch to your plants for water retention. Mulching around witch hazel can help retain water and let your plant grow in moist soil.
    3. Prune your witch hazel to keep its shape. These big shrubs can grow over 20 feet tall, so you will require to prune them to preserve shape and get rid of dead branches. When you prune your witch hazel, do so before summer season strikes so the following year’s buds can develop. Likewise, prune suckering twigs at the base so as not to hamper the plant’s growth. [7]

    Are There Any Side Effects Of Witch Hazel?

    No, witch hazel does not have any significant side effects when used on the skin or consumed orally. However, some individuals could experience inflammation due to an allergy, so it’s constantly best to do a patch test before you start using it.

    It has actually likewise been known to cause indigestion in some people. It’s finest to prevent consuming witch hazel orally in big quantities as it includes percentages of safrole (a chemical possibly connected to cancer) and tannins (harmful substances) and could potentially trigger liver issues.

    Pregnant and breast feeding females need to also consult a physician before using or consuming witch hazel.

    Witch hazel advantages are stemmed from its abundant antioxidant and astringent properties. It is widely utilized in skin care products as it may help reduce acne, heal bruises and sunburns, and relieve cold sores. It has natural anti-aging residential or commercial properties and may help in reducing puffy eyes and varicose veins. Furthermore, it can assist secure and clean the scalp. However, do not use it exceedingly. It may cause skin inflammation or stomach discomfort. Given that the security standards have actually not been determined yet, pregnant and breastfeeding females must consult a medical professional before taking in witch hazel.

    What other drugs connect with witch hazel?

    If your medical professional has actually directed you to use this medication for your condition, your physician or pharmacist might currently understand any possible drug interactions or adverse effects and might be monitoring you for them. Do not begin, stop, or alter the dose of this medication or any medicine prior to getting additional info from your medical professional, doctor or pharmacist initially.

    Witch Hazel has no recognized interactions with other drugs.

    This document does not include all possible interactions. Therefore, prior to using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the items you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your physician and pharmacist. Consult your physician if you have health concerns or issues.

    What are cautions and preventative measures for witch hazel?


    This medication consists of witch hazel. Do not take Hamamelis virginiana, Tucks Medicated Pads if you dislike witch hazel or any active ingredients consisted of in this drug.

    Stay out of reach of kids. In case of overdose, get medical assistance or get in touch with a Toxin Nerve center right away.


    Hypersensitivity, oral use.

    Results of Substance Abuse

    No information available.



    Pregnancy and Lactation

    Details is not available about use of witch hazel during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Consult your physician. [9]

    What are the does of witch hazel?

    Liquid, External

    Generic: (500 mL, 4000 mL, 20000 mL).

    Solution, External

    Generic: 86% (473 mL).

    Pad, External



    Apply as needed.

    For external usage just; do not utilize in or around eyes.

    When practical, cleanse the afflicted location with mild soap and warm water and wash thoroughly.

    Rectal items

    Apply rectal wipes by carefully wiping, patting, and blotting the affected location.

    Do not put the product into the rectum utilizing fingers or any mechanical device or applicator.


    With proper topical application there is no danger of overdose of witch hazel.

    Oral overdose of witch hazel can cause queasiness and vomiting, and kidney or liver damage. If overdose signs do not solve with discontinuation of witch hazel, look for medical assistance or report to Poison Control. [10]

    The bottom line

    For centuries, people have utilized witch hazel to relieve small skin issues like bug bites, diaper rash, and piles. The remedy originates from a North American shrub. The plant consists of chemicals that reduce soreness, itching, and swelling.

    Witch hazel is one of the few plants that meet the FDA’s requirements for security and efficiency. The FDA has only authorized it for topical usage on the skin. Swallowing witch hazel might cause nausea, vomiting, and liver damage. [11]



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