Perhaps not magic exactly, but after reading how helpful witch hazel can be around the house, you’ll make sure you are never without it again. Derived from the bark and leaves of Hamamelis virginiana, witch hazel is a topical astringent that has a lot more uses than just shrinking our pores.
Due to the high concentration of tannins, witch hazel does remove excess oil from our skin and shrinks down the pores. People who know that they are regularly exposed to environmental contaminants use witch hazel to limit the amount that enters their skin through their pores.
Witch hazel is often used to fade bruises and speed the healing process. It’s ability to tighten skin and reduce inflammation makes witch hazel especially helpful for treating dark circles under eyes or puffiness around the eyes. Do not get any in the eyes.
Try soaking a cloth in witch hazel and place it over areas where you have problems with varicose veins. This will temporarily shrink them and help the pain. While treating these areas, try to lift them above the level of the heart for greatest benefit.
If you intend to use witch hazel to clean minor cuts and scrapes, try to find a witch hazel that is organic. Most store-bought witch hazel is combined with isopropyl alcohol. After shaving, witch hazel works to prevent razor burn and for inflammation after hot wax treatments or other hair removal techniques.
Probably most well known is using witch hazel as a treatment for hemorrhoids. It eases the pain, itching, swelling, and even minor bleeding from hemorrhoids. It is a very common ingredient in commercial hemorrhoid creams.
Use it as an anti-inflammatory for diaper rash, or chafing. When combined with a little bit of aloe vera gel, witch hazel is an excellent sunburn treatment, reducing heat, pain, and swelling. This same combination also works to ease discomfort from insect bites, stings, and contact with poison ivy.
For the following applications, find a health store supplier of witch hazel bark in order to make a tea or tonic that can be ingested. Because of its astrigent properties, an herbal tea made of witch hazel bark works to ease a sore throat. It reduces swelling, dries up mucous, and eases the pain of laryngitis, sinusitis, and tonsillitis. It also works to reduce pain and swelling in the mouth.