Witch Hazel Benefits Skin
Witch hazel is a non-toxic herb with many uses including the cleansing and toning of the skin. Witch hazel extract is one of the most common home remedies in America, and consists of a distillation of the bark, twigs and leaves of the herb mixed with alcohol and water.
Interestingly, the forked twig of witch hazel trees were used for hundreds of years as divining rods to locate water and minerals. The name derives from the Old English word for “pliant,” and the branches were also used to make archery bows.
Witch hazel is in the category of herbs for relieving pain and is a unique astringent that acts to restore and tone health and vigor to the venous system.
That’s why it’s used topically to reduce the bleeding and swelling of hemorrhoids or to wounds as well as internally for bleeding ulcers or bleeding gums. In the case of serious bleeding from wounds that require medical treatment, the bleeding can be controlled by witch hazel while en-route to a physician.
Witch Hazel as Toner
Historically, barbers have applied witch hazel as a gentle, moisturizing aftershave. Witch hazel is a natural astringent that closes pores and gives the skin a fine, smooth appearance. It soothes razor burn and speeds healing.
Witch hazel has the power to gently erase fine lines on the face. It can be applied after facial cleansing. Simply tear a paper towel into strips about one or two inches wide. Thoroughly moisten them with witch hazel astringent and apply the strips to the face, paying special attention to areas where there are fine lines. Rest for, at least, 15 minutes before removing the strips. Take care not to get witch hazel directly into the eyes
Similarly, apply witch hazel to skin that has been over-exposed to the sun. It has a cooling and healing effect on sunburn, rashes, hives and other skin irritations. Compresses of witch hazel can be applied to bruises to heal them quickly and reduce swelling. For relief from varicose veins or hemorrhoids, apply witch hazel to the affected area.
It is excellent as first aid to stop nose bleeds, skin irritations, insect bites, burns and infections. Apply witch hazel frequently to new body and ear piercings to keep them clean, soothe inflammation, and speed healing.
Witch hazel extract has astringent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, and anesthetic properties, making it indispensable for a variety of different medicinal and cosmetic uses.
Medicinally, witch hazel extract is used for bedsores, bruises, eczema, insect bites, hemorrhoids, poison ivy or oak, bruises, sore muscles, swelling, psoriasis, cracked or blistered skin, diaper rash, windburn, and sunburn.
In cosmetic products, witch hazel extract can be applied to blemishes and pimples, varicose veins. It can be used to and is used to cleanse oily skin, remove make-up, and decrease eye puffiness.
Witch hazel is good for strains, sore muscles, or on a fevered brow. A cloth or cotton ball soaked in witch hazel and applied to bruises reduces the inflammation and discoloration very quickly. It is also commonly used to reduce the swelling and soreness of hemorrhoids and relieves varicose veins.