Witch Hazel Benefits and Uses
An inexpensive useful Herb
Witch Hazel (Hammamelis Virginiana) grows naturally in some parts of North America, from Ontario east in Canada into South Florida and Texas.
The oil itself comes from the leaves and twigs of the tree and is an incredible astringent.
Among all the herbs witch hazel is one of the most useful and inexpensive with very few if any side effects.
Witch Hazel Benefits and Uses are many
The Native Americans have used this herb for hundreds of years to treat tumors and swelling.
The natives would boil the stems of the tree to extract the witch hazel, they also used the branches from the tree to make bows.
The branches of the Witch Hazel Tree are very flexible, making an excellent wood to use for bows.
Natives also used the branches and leaves in their sweat houses, soaking them in water and steaming them in the sweat lodge to help relieve muscle aches and pains.
Early American settlers learned from the natives witch hazel oil uses.
Where did Witch Hazel get its name from?
Witch hazel is said to have gotten the name witch from the Old English word which means bendable.
The word Hazel comes from the use of the twigs as dousing rods.
The wood from this tree was said to be the best to use for dousing.
Others say the word witch came from the fact that the wood was used for dousing, as
this was thought to be witch craft the tree was named after that.
Active Ingredients found in Witch Hazel
Witch hazel contains high amount soft tannin, which is an astringent that helps tone the skin, remove dirt and tighten pores.
It is often used as a skin toner, and if you have large pores it will help to reduce the size of the pores.
It’s anti-inflammatory ingredients procyanadins, resin and flavonoids are soothing, helping to reduce swelling.
Witch Hazel uses include the following:
- Acne – the properties in this herb will clean the
skin without being irritating it is non-drying and gentle to the skin
and anti inflammatory properties will help to reduce swelling that can
occur with acne breakouts. To use for acne treatment use a cotton pad
and apply to your skin straight from the bottle. Do this two or three
times a day.
- Facial Toner – Apply a little witch hazel to your
face daily using a cotton ball. It will help to close pores, tighten
and tone your skin naturally.
- Reduce puffy eyes – its anti-inflammatory properties will help to reduce red puffy eyes.
- Insect bites – reduces the pain, itch and swelling of insect bites.
- Sunburn – will soothe sunburn and help to prevent peeling – just apply with a cloth
- Bruises and swelling – it’s anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce bruising and swelling of the skin.
Is Witch Hazel Safe?
There are very few side effects to using witch hazel, but like anything else do a patch test first.
Make sure you check the labels of any Witch Hazel bottles you buy.
Some have alcohol added, be sure to get pure witch hazel which would be
safer than others that have other things added to them.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding it is best to avoid use as there
is not much information about the safety of using this oil in those
Applied to the skin of adults or children witch hazel is considered
safe, but if taken by mouth it can cause stomach upset and is not
recommended taking by mouth for extended periods of time.
It is often taken orally for conditions such as diarrhea and sore
throats. Witch Hazel tea is available from most Health Food Stores.
So there you have it, witch hazel is a relatively inexpensive herb with many uses. It is good for your skin, able to clean it without being drying. The anti-inflammatory properties found in this oil are excellent for healthy skin care.
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