Benefits of Witch Hazel

by suranee69

The use of witch hazel can be traced back to the ancient Native Americans who used it in treating a wide range of skin problems. Learn more about its uses in this wizzle.

The Hamamelis virginiana is a shrub with yellow fragrant flowers native to North America. The flowers bloom every year during the end of fall. The leaves of the tree are oval shaped and come in a variety of colors: golden yellow, red and orange.

The leaves and bark of the plant are highly valued for its antibacterial properties and have been used for centuries to treat a wide range of skin conditions.

Gulf Fritillary Passion Butterfly Orange Butterfly

Witch Hazel and the Native Americans

The Native Americans are credited for introducing this therapeutic plant and its uses. They used it in the form of a poultice to treat insect bites, cuts, sores, to reduce swelling and stop bleeding.

More of the ancient and present day uses of witch hazel can be read here.

Witch Hazel and Tannin

Witch hazel’s healing abilities can be largely attributed to the tannin contained in it. The tannin acts as an astringent aiding in the treatment of a variety of skin problems and has even been known to help reduce swelling and bleeding.

The bark contains more tannin than the leaves.

Witch Hazel and Steam Distillation

Witch hazel is extracted from the barks and leaves by steam distillation.

The barks and leaves are first placed in tubs or containers made of stainless steel. Steam is then sent through it to separate the liquid from the impurities. The liquid is then condensed and filtered. Alcohol is then added as a preservative.

Although alcohol contained in witch hazel has been blamed by some for the irritation caused to skin, witch hazel is still used because of its effectiveness in treating many a skin problem.

Witch Hazel and Dermatitis and Eczema

Dermatitis and eczema are two conditions that leave the skin itchy and inflamed.

The use of witch hazel in the form of cream and liquid has been used effectively in treating these two diseases. More of this can be read in the the article on Dermatitis at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) website here

Witch Hazel and Acne

There are numerous articles written on witch hazel being good to cure acne but one of the main reasons for acne breakouts is using the wrong product on the skin. To be on the safe side consult your doctor/dermatologist before using witch hazel on skin to treat acne.

Witch hazel is commonly used in the form of a toner to treat acne since it removes bacteria and excess oil with ease and aids in tightening the pores.

Witch Hazel and Hemorrhoids

Another illness witch hazel is commonly used in treating is hemorrhoids. Since witch hazel has been used since ancient times by the Native Americans to treat a number of ailments including to reduce bleeding and inflammations it has become a valuable remedy used at present to treat hemorrhoids.

Witch hazel is applied on hemorrhoids in the form cream, liquid or as medicated witch hazel pads.

Witch Hazel and Varicose Veins

Some varicose vein sufferers are known to apply witch hazel on the affected area to reduce pain and swelling.

Updated: 12/23/2012, suranee69
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