Witch Hazel is derived from the leaves and bark of Hamamelis virginiana, a type of shrub that is native to North America.
Witch hazel is a natural astringent that is often used as a topical remedy and can be found in drug and health food stores. It contains several compounds with potent anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, as well a gentle anti-inflammatory properties. It's cheap, natural, and above all it works! Here are a few things to use witch hazel for in your daily routine:
Skin: Witch Hazel gets its anti-inflammatory properties from compounds such as gallic acid and tannins. When applied to skin, it can help soothe irritated acne, shrink pores, remove oil an dirt, and create a natural healthy glow. It is safe to apply to eczema, rashes, and broken skin, and is commonly used to treat issues, like eczema, arising from sensitive skin. In fact, witch hazel has been shown to suppress erythema—a reddening of the skin caused by injury or irritation—by up to 27%. It can also be effective at treating allergic breakouts.
Haemorrhoids: Witch hazel is often used as a natural remedy to provide relief from hemorrhoids—the swelling and inflammation of the veins in your rectum and anus causing discomfort, pain, itching, and sometimes bleeding. When applied with a cotton ball, it relieves any itching, redness, pain, and swelling, and has hemostatic properties, meaning that it can reduce, or stop, any bleeding.
Scalp: Massaging a few tablespoons of witch hazel into your hair while in the shower can help treat dandruff and reduce irritation caused by a sensitive scalp. Psoriasis or eczema under the hair can be difficult to treat, but witch hazel before shampoo can do wonders!
A sore throat: Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, gargling with witch hazel can provide effective relief from a sore or irritated throat. Mix a teaspoon of witch hazel into a cup of hot, but bearable temperature, water...and swish it around your mouth, allowing it to wash as far down your throat as possible without swallowing. It has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which will help kill off any infection building orally.