Witch hazel is an amazing yet little-known plant that, when turned into a topical astringent, has numerous uses. If you are new to the world of natural medicine, you may not have heard of this little gem. If you have heard of it, you may be a little put off by the name. Or maybe you remember your grandma using it to fix an owie when you were little, but haven’t really seen or heard much about it since.
The fact is, witch hazel is one of the best-kept secrets in the world of natural medicine and old folk remedies. What is it, you ask? Well, it is an astringent. Yes, the facial toners and cleansers you pay a small fortune for at the store are astringents. An astringent is a go-to remedy for a variety of skin ailments, but the uses don’t stop there.
Once you realize how useful and beneficial witch hazel is, you will want to start keeping it on your shelf. Another very lucrative reason to stockpile witch hazel is the price. It is very cheap compared to other commercial medicines. When you can get one item that takes the place of 20 or more, doesn’t it make sense to go with that single item?
If you’re still not convinced, check out these 25 wonderful ways you can use witch hazel (which I’ll call WH. for the rest of the article).
1. Acne doesn’t stand a chance against a little dab of WH. Put some on a cotton ball and dab at the first sign of a pimple. It will dry it up quickly. You can also use WH. as a nightly face wash to help prevent acne.
2. You can take care of that dandruff by simply rubbing a little WH. into your scalp. Wash and rinse your hair as you normally would.
3. WH. is a great option when you are hiking or in a situation where you can’t wash your hair for days. Add some of it to your hair along with a little water and it will help keep your hair from getting that oily look and feel.
4. You can use WH. as a makeup remover. It is effective, but won’t dry out the skin.
5. WH. is a great way to the appearance of stretch marks. Rubbing a little WH. around the area with the stretch marks helps to firm the skin and reduce the redness and puckering of the stretch marks.
6. For those who carry enough luggage under their eyes to take a 2-week vacation, WH. is the answer. Rub a little under the eyes and over the bags, and you will seem them slowly fade away.
7. If you have been on a crying jag or are suffering from allergies and dealing with puffy eyes, a dab of WH. can help reduce the puffiness. The skin will look and feel tighter, making you look fresher and more youthful.
8. Rubbing some WH. over an area you have just shaved can help reduce razor burn and those painful little bumps that tend to appear.
9. Sunburns used to always be treated with WH. Dab some on the burned skin and you will feel instant relief. If you have some lavender essential oil, add a drop, mix and rub in for additional soothing relief.
10. If you are dealing with bug bites, a little WH. can stop the itching and burning almost instantly. This will work on mosquito bites as well.
11. Small cuts and scrapes can be cleaned with a little WH. There are antiseptic properties in it that will help clean cuts while giving you a little pain relief. It can also help stop minor bleeding.
12. Make a non-abrasive bathroom cleaner with some WH. and a little baking soda. It will whiten tiles and porcelain while leaving the room with a nice, fresh scent.
13. If you have a nasty bruise that you want to fade quickly, rubbing WH. on it every day will help speed up the healing.
14. Mix a half cup of WH. into a gallon of warm water and use it to mop your tile or linoleum floors. It is an excellent cleaner and will even remove old layers of wax that can make the floor look dingy.
15. Varicose veins can be unsightly, but a little WH. every night can help reduce the puffiness that makes them really stand out.
16. A sore throat can be treated by gargling with a little WH. Don’t swallow the stuff and make sure you rinse your mouth really well after you are finished.
17. If you get into poison oak or poison ivy, you can stop the burning and itching with a WH. rub.
18. Hemorrhoids happen, but you can help soothe the pain and swelling by applying WH. to a cotton pad and applying to the sore area. This is probably one of the most common uses for WH. that has been passed down through the generations.
19. Contracting chickenpox is rare these days, but you can help stop the itching and painful blisters with an application of WH. This means less scratching, which means less scarring.
20. Bleeding and receding gums can actually lead to some serious dental problems. Rinsing the mouth with a little WH. every night can help stop the bleeding, reduce the swelling and make the gums feel better in general.
21. Eczema can cause the skin to itch or burn. A little WH. on the rash can help stop the itching, redness, and swelling and allow the skin to heal faster, reducing the risk of scarring.
22. Diaper rashes can be cured with this natural remedy. It will leave the baby feeling better almost instantly and will heal the rash before it can become a serious problem.
23. WH. is an excellent bug repellent when you add a few drops of peppermint essential oil. This can help prevent the need for a bug bite remedy!
24. If you are congested, fill a pot with water and add some WH. Heat it on the stove to the point where steam rises and breathe in the steam. This is another oldie but goodie.
25. If you have sore feet and aching muscles, rub a little WH. into your muscles. Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil before rubbing into the skin for even more relief.
You can buy bottles of witch hazel online. I recommend this witch hazel toner by Thayers.