Witch hazel

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Witch hazel, a winter-blooming shrub that occupies Haverford’s Arboretum, has various usages and an abundant history.

If you need a flower repair during the cold winter months, witch hazel just might be your go-to winter-blooming plant. Normally reaching a height of 12 to 15 feet, witch hazel can be thought about either a large shrub or a small tree. These durable perennials with aromatic, wispy yellow to orange flowers are from the household Hamamelidaceae. A year after blooming, the fruit capsules grow and eventually split open to launch seeds. Once dry, the witch hazel’s capsules can catapult the small seeds as far as 30 feet. This is the only tree in The United States and Canada to have flowers, fruit, and next year’s leaf buds at one time. Witch hazel cheers up the forest throughout the fall and winter season and offers a source of food for birds, deer, and other little mammals that consume its fruit capsules and seeds.

Witch hazel has a long history and has been used by individuals for centuries. Widely known for its medicinal and cosmetic uses, the extract from the leaves, bark, and twigs of witch hazel have been used as an astringent to deal with inflamed skin and irritated tissues for centuries. Native Americans utilized the plant to treat the common cold, eye and liver conditions, and other illnesses. Early inhabitants also used the leaves to make tea for different medicinal purposes. Today, witch hazel is used in a variety of products, consisting of lotions, soaps, and lotions.

The name “witch hazel” likewise stems from folk history. Natives and early settlers used the witch hazel to discover sources of water underground. As they walked over the ground that they were surveying, they would bring a forked or bent witch hazel branch, which was used as a divining rod. They would observe if the branch twisted or dipped, which they believed signified that they had found water. This practice was called “water-witching” and led to the plant’s common name, witch hazel. [2]

Uses of Witch hazel

1. Relieves Inflammation

Inflammation is a typical immune reaction designed to safeguard your body against injury and infection.

Nevertheless, chronic swelling is thought to play a central role in the development of specific illness.

Witch hazel contains many compounds with powerful anti-inflammatory homes, consisting of gallic acid and tannins.

It likewise contains anti-oxidants that assist avoid prevalent swelling and reduce the effects of free radicals, which are disease-causing compounds that can develop in your body.

For that reason, witch hazel might have far-reaching advantages and may work in the treatment of inflammatory-related concerns, such as acne, eczema or psoriasis.

Research studies show that topically-applied witch hazel can successfully decrease inflammation and aid soothe your skin.


Witch hazel consists of numerous substances with anti-inflammatory residential or commercial properties, which might have far-reaching benefits for your health.

2. Decreases Skin Inflammation

Delicate skin, specified by unusual sensory symptoms, is a very typical condition, impacting an estimate of as much as 45% of Americans.

Some research study suggests that applying witch hazel topically to sensitive skin may be helpful in the treatment of swollen, irritated or damaged skin.

In fact, witch hazel has actually been revealed to suppress erythema– a reddening of the skin caused by injury or inflammation– by as much as 27%.

One research study in 40 people found that using a lotion with as low as 10% witch hazel extract worked in minimizing skin inflammation and dealing with erythema.

Similarly, another small research study discovered that a topical preparation containing witch hazel had the ability to offer relief for delicate or inflamed facial skin.


Witch hazel might help in reducing skin redness and offer relief for inflamed and sensitive skin.

3. Helps Reward Hemorrhoids

Piles are caused by the swelling and swelling of the veins in your anus and anus, resulting in signs, such as itchiness and bleeding.

Witch hazel is typically utilized as a natural treatment to provide relief from the pain and discomfort brought on by piles.

It’s normally contributed to a cloth or cotton ball and applied directly to the afflicted area to soothe the skin.

Though research study is restricted, witch hazel is thought to help treat the itching, redness, discomfort and swelling related to hemorrhoids due to its anti-inflammatory results.

What’s more, it has hemostatic homes, suggesting that it may stop bleeding brought on by piles.

Nevertheless, more research studies in people are needed to analyze the efficiency of witch hazel on hemorrhoids.


Witch hazel is typically utilized to lower the itching, soreness, discomfort, bleeding and swelling associated with hemorrhoids. More research studies are needed to assess its efficiency.

4. Battles Acne

Thanks to its effective anti-inflammatory residential or commercial properties, some research study recommends that witch hazel could be useful in the treatment of acne.

It can be applied directly to your face after cleansing or steaming for optimum efficiency.

It functions as an astringent, triggering your tissues to contract to help shrink pores, while likewise calming your skin and relieving swelling.

This may prevent acne-causing germs from contaminating your skin. For this reason, witch hazel is typically added to numerous over the counter acne products and is specifically helpful for people with oily skin.

Still, research studies on the effects of witch hazel on acne are restricted and additional research study is required to identify its effectiveness.


Witch hazel serves as an astringent to help shrink your pores, relieve your skin and reduce inflammation. More research is required to identify the impacts of witch hazel itself on acne.

5. Relieves Scalp Sensitivity

Scalp sensitivity can be triggered by a number of aspects, varying from cosmetic hair treatments to dermatological conditions, such as psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.

Using a little bit of witch hazel to your scalp prior to washing your hair may assist deal with scalp sensitivity and supply remedy for symptoms, such as itching and inflammation.

According to one study in 1,373 people, utilizing a shampoo including witch hazel extract was effective in lowering scalp inflammation.

Witch hazel may likewise help alleviate swelling, which could be useful in lowering scalp level of sensitivity brought on by conditions like psoriasis or eczema.

It’s likewise sometimes used as a natural solution to eliminate symptoms of other scalp problems, such as dandruff and dryness.

Nevertheless, extra research is required to examine the efficiency of witch hazel in the treatment of these conditions.


Witch hazel might help reduce scalp inflammation and inflammation. It’s also in some cases used for dealing with dandruff and dryness, though more research studies are needed to assess its effectiveness for these conditions.

6. Relieves Sore Throat

Because of its ability to decrease inflammation and serve as an astringent, witch hazel is often used to treat sore throats.

Boiling one teaspoon (5 ml) of witch hazel in one cup (240 ml) of water for about 10 minutes, then gargling with the mix, might supply relief.

This is believed to help reduce swelling, reduce pain and dry excess mucus caused by an aching throat.

Yet, although the anti-inflammatory homes of witch hazel are well recorded, its usage for treating sore throats is based entirely on anecdotal evidence.

High-quality studies are required to determine the prospective benefits of witch hazel on sore throats.

In addition, taking witch hazel orally may cause stomach irritation due to its high tannin content, so it is essential to proceed with care and consult your physician if you have any concerns.


Witch hazel is frequently utilized as a natural treatment for aching throats, but additional studies are required to take a look at its prospective advantages and adverse effects.

7. Safeguards Versus Skin Damage

Witch hazel is rich in tannins, a natural plant substance with powerful antioxidant residential or commercial properties that can assist safeguard your skin against damage when used topically.

One animal study discovered that tannins can function as a barrier, avoiding inflammation-causing compounds from entering your skin cells.

What’s more, a test-tube study showed that witch hazel helped neutralize damaging totally free radicals and avoided the spread of skin cancer cells.

Similarly, another animal study found that the tannins in witch hazel were able to slow skin tumor growth in mice exposed to radiation.

However, a lot of research is currently limited to test-tube and animal studies. More studies are required to examine the results of witch hazel on humans.


Animal and test-tube studies have found that witch hazel and its elements could prevent skin cancer development and secure against skin damage.

8. Fend off Infection

Some research studies suggest that witch hazel may be advantageous in fighting particular kinds of viral infections.

One test-tube research study, for instance, found that the tannins in witch hazel exhibited antiviral impacts versus both influenza A and human papillomavirus (HPV).

Another test-tube research study showed that witch hazel extract inhibited the activity of herpes simplex infection 1, which is typically the perpetrator behind fever blisters.

For this reason, witch hazel is typically used topically as a natural solution to help combat cold sores and relieve symptoms.

But although test-tube studies have actually found promising outcomes, human studies are still doing not have.

More research studies are required to take a look at the impacts of witch hazel and its potential effect on viral infections in healthy grownups.


Test-tube research studies show that witch hazel might have antiviral homes and could be useful against specific types of viral infections. [3]

Few Truths of witch hazel

Witch hazel has actually been utilized for centuries to naturally help deal with and prevent:.

  • skin sores
  • swellings
  • inflammation and swelling
  • ingrown hairs
  • psoriasis or eczema
  • oily skin
  • excess sweating
  • varicose veins
  • split or blistered skin
  • insect bites
  • poison ivy
  • irritated scalp
  • sunburn and cancer malignancy
  • razor burn
  • mucous membrane inflammation
  • piles
  • allergic reactions

Current studies even reveal that the tannins discovered in witch hazel may exert a protective action versus colon cancer cells.

The skin is our largest and most vulnerable organ, so it might use all the support it can get. Skin is our natural barrier to the outside world and offers us with security versus UV radiation, chemicals in our food supply, germs and other germs, and toxic wastes.

All of the “stress” that our bodies handle every day, both internally and externally, show up on our skin in the form of aging, puffiness, infections, swelling and sensitivities. That’s why we count on consuming and using natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to assist suppress irritated and unhealthy cells.

Natural plant treatments for skin disorders have been utilized for countless years, and today numerous conventional herbs are being reestablished, studied thoroughly and experiencing a renewal in appeal since lots of chemical treatments don’t always work or have harsh side effects.

As the authors of the book “Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Scientific Elements” point out, more and more people are relying on the use of herbs for the following factors: the adverse effects of chemical drugs, wishing to go back to nature, being a part of the green revolution, and wanting to utilize more organic and safe items.

Can you clean your confront with witch hazel?

Yes, given that it’s a natural cleanser, it’s capable of reducing germs growth on the skin and accelerate the time needed to recover infections or scabs.

Another advantage for sensitive skin is that it reduces the look of pores (although no product can actually shrink pores) and assists stop excess oil production, sweating, and development of blackheads or whiteheads, which can contribute to breakouts and tempt you to pick at your skin. You can avoid irritating acne products and turn to witch hazel to reduce the seriousness of acnes forming under the skin and avoid blackheads triggered by dried sebum buildup in pores.

The length of time does witch hazel take to clear acne?

It depends upon how severe somebody’s acne is. It might work in simply several days or take a number of weeks.

Does witch hazel get rid of acne scars?

It can assist, due to its anti inflammatory and antioxidant residential or commercial properties. Using some can assist stop swelling and soreness if you already picked at your acne. It can likewise curb signs of past inflammations and handle skin infections that may result from picking.

What does witch hazel do to your face? Does witch hazel fade dark areas? Can it tighten skin?

If you’re trying to find a natural way to firm up your skin and slow down indications of aging like scars, soreness, discoloration, dryness and puffiness around the eyes, then look no more than witch hazel. It tightens skin and is protective versus skin cancer, cancer malignancy and other damage caused by UV light because of its protective polyphenols and tannin anti-oxidants. These hinder the proliferation of cancer malignancy cells and assist protect healthy skin cells into older age.

Use it to keep your skin devoid of annoying chemical products that can modify oil production and boost dryness. Witch hazel has been revealed to help safeguard collagen and skin elasticity just as well as lots of business appeal products. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant residential or commercial properties make it a fantastic way to preserve skin’s flexibility, conserving your skin and assisting you deal with the effects of environmental stress on your skin. And since utilizing witch hazel for your pores helps them look smaller, this can make your skin appear more even.

Treats Bug Bites

Lots of bug repellents and commercial products used for treating insect bites consist of witch hazel. Wondering how to get rid of mosquito bites? People turn to witch hazel to reduce the effects of bug bites, such as discomfort and swelling from stings, allergies and inflammations.

Particular research studies have actually discovered that applying witch hazel cream to skin inflammations can curb signs just as well as artificial chemical creams, consisting of dexpanthenol, which is typically used to fight skin irritations in children. It can also be used to help accelerate healing scabs or minor cuts due to the fact that witch hazel extract contains isopropyl alcohol, which is another natural disinfecting ingredient that eliminates germs and assists avoid infections.

Avoids Ingrown Hairs and Rashes

After shaving, you can apply witch hazel to any part of the body to slow bleeding from nicks or cuts, prevent germs growth and infections within hair roots, soothe razor burn, and prevent ingrown hairs from forming. Some individuals likewise like to use the toner along with other recovery vital oils on skin after waxing to decrease discomfort, swelling and bleeding.

Stops Ear Infections from Establishing

Considering that witch hazel is a reliable antibacterial, and “swimmer’s ear” or other ear infections are normally triggered by bacterial infections, it’s a natural method to deal with irritations within the ear canal. Witch hazel assists clear up bacteria overgrowth and infections within the ear; dry up oil, pus and excess sweat; break up wax; and even remove odor. To clean up the outside of the ears, use a number of drops to a swab and rub around the within the ears.

Secures Your Mouth, Lips and Gums

If you have blisters on your lips, inner cheeks or gums, rely on witch hazel to speed recovery and eliminate pain and swelling. It’s safe to apply the extract to the inside of your mouth to decrease bleeding, blisters, sores, bad breath odors and infections of the gums, especially when combined with other healing oils like coconut oil or peppermint oil.

Witch hazel also assists alleviate pain from toothaches or teething in babies, prevent infection after oral surgery, and fight bleeding and swelling from mouth sores. [4]

Enjoyable Realities

Witch Hazel is a medicinal plant. The bark and leaves can be utilized to produce a topical astringent.

Witch Hazel branches have actually been typically used by dowsers to locate water.

The distinct petals of witch hazel are temperature level sensitive; they become reflexed when cold and unfurl when warm. [5]

All-Natural Space Spray

This aromatic spray is made with only three simple active ingredients! Offer your linens, bedroom, or perhaps the air at home a revitalizing spritz without utilizing harsh chemicals.

Important oils– drawn out from leaves, fruit peels, petals, and other plant parts– capture nature’s subtle fragrances and can revitalize your living space. You can mix and match necessary oils for a signature aroma: attempt mixes like wild orange and tea tree, lavender and increased, or tidy and easy green tea and cucumber.

What you require


  • Spray bottles
  • Essential oils
  • Pure water
  • Unscented witch hazel
  • Dried flowers

How to do it

  1. Natural space spray
  2. Pour 25 to 30 drops of necessary oil in your bottle.
  3. Fill the bottle midway with witch hazel. (Note: Witch hazel helps the oil and water integrate and will help the scent linger for a longer period of time.)
  4. Fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water. This ratio works pretty well no matter the size of the bottle.
  5. Shake bottle to combine all the ingredients.
  6. Place a sprig of dried flowers and herbs to finish off your aromatic spray. [6]

Witch Hazel Plant Guide: How to Grow Witch Hazel

Witch hazel plants are popular gardening choices that include color and fragrance to winter landscaping.

  1. Root your witch hazel. The plant can be grown in pots, but gradually (and as it grows), it will require to be rooted in the ground.
  2. Plant witch hazel in acidic, well-draining soil. These low-maintenance plants flourish in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9 and are tolerant of acidic soil.
  3. Water witch hazel plants in the summer. Witch hazel plants are sensitive to drought, so make certain to keep the soil wet with routine watering in hotter months.
  4. Place witch hazel plants in direct sunshine. Too much shade will result in duller flowers and leggy development, so witch hazel grows finest in full sun or sometimes in partial shade.
  5. Grow witch hazel in cooler winter season temperatures. Witch hazel needs a winter chill in the milder months to enable full flowering in late winter.
  6. Safeguard your plant with fencing. Witch hazel plants are resistant to most pests and diseases. Fencing can avoid roaming deer from eating the leaves.

How to Look After Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is relatively easy to tend to, however follow these suggestions to keep your plant healthy:.

  1. Give witch hazel space in your garden. If you include other plants to your garden, ensure that they do not obstruct the witch hazel’s sunshine.
  2. Include mulch to your plants for water retention. Mulching around witch hazel can assist retain water and let your plant grow in damp soil.
  3. Prune your witch hazel to keep its shape. These large shrubs can grow over 20 feet tall, so you will require to prune them to maintain shape and eliminate dead branches. When you prune your witch hazel, do so previously summertime hits so the following year’s buds can establish. Also, prune suckering twigs at the base so as not to hamper the plant’s development. [7]

Exist Any Negative Effects Of Witch Hazel?

No, witch hazel does not have any major adverse effects when applied on the skin or taken in orally. Nevertheless, some people could experience inflammation due to an allergic reaction, so it’s constantly best to do a patch test prior to you start using it.

It has likewise been understood to cause stomach upset in some people. It’s best to avoid consuming witch hazel orally in big amounts as it consists of small amounts of safrole (a chemical potentially linked to cancer) and tannins (toxic compounds) and might possibly trigger liver issues.

Pregnant and breast feeding females ought to also consult a doctor before utilizing or taking in witch hazel.

Witch hazel benefits are stemmed from its abundant antioxidant and astringent homes. It is widely used in skin care products as it may help reduce acne, heal bruises and sunburns, and soothe fever blisters. It has natural anti-aging residential or commercial properties and might help in reducing puffy eyes and varicose veins. Additionally, it can assist protect and cleanse the scalp. Nevertheless, do not use it exceedingly. It might cause skin inflammation or stomach discomfort. Because the safety requirements have actually not been determined yet, pregnant and breastfeeding women should speak with a physician before consuming witch hazel.

What other drugs engage with witch hazel?

If your medical professional has actually directed you to utilize this medication for your condition, your medical professional or pharmacist may currently understand any possible drug interactions or side effects and may be monitoring you for them. Do not begin, stop, or alter the dosage of this medicine or any medication before getting additional info from your doctor, doctor or pharmacist first.

Witch Hazel has no known interactions with other drugs.

This document does not consist of all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this item, inform your medical professional or pharmacist of all the products you utilize. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your medical professional and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health concerns or concerns.

What are cautions and preventative measures for witch hazel?


This medication contains witch hazel. Do not take Hamamelis virginiana, Tucks Medicated Pads if you are allergic to witch hazel or any components consisted of in this drug.

Stay out of reach of kids. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Toxin Nerve center instantly.


Hypersensitivity, oral use.

Impacts of Drug Abuse

No details offered.



Pregnancy and Lactation

Details is not available about use of witch hazel during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Consult your physician. [9]

What are the dosages of witch hazel?

Liquid, External

Generic: (500 mL, 4000 mL, 20000 mL).

Service, External

Generic: 86% (473 mL).

Pad, External



Apply as required.

For external usage only; do not use in or around eyes.

When practical, clean the afflicted location with mild soap and warm water and rinse thoroughly.

Rectal items

Apply rectal wipes by gently wiping, patting, and blotting the afflicted area.

Do not put the product into the anus utilizing fingers or any mechanical device or applicator.


With suitable topical application there is no danger of overdose of witch hazel.

Oral overdose of witch hazel can trigger queasiness and vomiting, and kidney or liver damage. If overdose symptoms do not resolve with discontinuation of witch hazel, seek medical aid or report to Toxin Control. [10]

The bottom line

For centuries, people have utilized witch hazel to soothe small skin problems like bug bites, diaper rash, and piles. The solution comes from a North American shrub. The plant contains chemicals that relieve soreness, itching, and swelling.

Witch hazel is among the few plants that fulfill the FDA’s requirements for security and efficiency. The FDA has just authorized it for topical usage on the skin. Swallowing witch hazel could cause nausea, throwing up, and liver damage. [11]


  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/witch%20hazel
  2. https://www.haverford.edu/arboretum/blog/wonders-witch-hazel
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/witch-hazel-benefits-uses#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2
  4. https://draxe.com/nutrition/witch-hazel/#Top_10_Uses_and_Health_Benefits
  5. https://www.bio.brandeis.edu/fieldbio/Wildflowers_Kimonis_Kramer/PAGES/WITCHHAZEL_PAGE_FINAL.html
  6. https://www.marthastewart.com/1526211/natural-room-spray-with-essential-oils
  7. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/witch-hazel-plant-guide
  8. https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-witch-hazel-for-skin-hair-and-health/
  9. https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_witch_hazel_tucks_medicated_pads/drugs-condition.htm
  10. https://www.medicinenet.com/witch_hazel/article.htm
  11. https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-witch-hazel-90061
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