Witch Hazel – A Good Staple for Everyone’s Medicine Cabinet
by Mila McManus, MD
Witch Hazel is a native North American shrub that has powerful medicinal properties and a wide variety of uses. The leaves and bark are used to make teas, ointments, and astringent.
It is widely known for its ability to ease inflammation, soothe sensitive skin, and gently cleanse without removing essential moisture. Witch Hazel contains gallic acid and tannins, both of which are anti-inflammatory compounds. It also contains antioxidants which neutralize free radicals and is believed to have anti-viral effects. Safe for the sensitive, Witch Hazel is hypo-allergenic and gentle to the skin.
Some Benefits and Uses of Witch Hazel include:
- Topical application to sensitive, inflamed, irritated, or broken skin helps to reduce redness and inflammation.
- A natural remedy to provide relief from the discomfort and pain of hemorrhoids.
- Fights acne by reducing inflammation, cleansing, and closing pores. It may prevent acne-causing bacteria from infecting the skin.
- For those with irritations in the scalp, witch hazel can be applied to the scalp before shampooing, to relieve the symptoms caused by dandruff, dryness, psoriasis, eczema, and general tenderness or itching.