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Witch Hazel is a small flowering shrub native to North America, Japan and China. The bark, leaf and twigs can be used to make witch hazel water and extract, which is a natural astringent that tightens the skin, heals injuries, and reduces swelling. Native Americans had been using the plants for centuries, and research is finally starting to back up what many already knew. My favorite brand of witch hazel is Humphrey’s Certified Organic Witch Hazel(affiliate link), which can be found at most health food stores or an Amazon.com. Witch Hazel can be used in place of water in many homemade beauty, home and health products as well.
1. Facial Toner – Most commercial facial tones contain a laundry list of chemicals. Since Witch Hazel is a natural astrigent, it is perfect for use as an every day tightening facial toner. Try infusing with rose or lavender for more skin soothing properties. Simply add organic rose petal or lavender to witch hazel and steep over night or until the petals have lost all color. Strain out petals and add to spray bottle for easy misting.
2. Childbirth Aftercare – Witch Hazel does an amazing job at reducing swelling and injuries from childbirth. Add 1/4 C to warm bath water and soak, or alternatively add 1 TBS to a small sitz bath. For extra healing power, you can add fresh or dried herbs to the bath as well such as rose, calendar, lavender or even oatmeal. Earth Mama Angel Baby sells postpartum herb packs that work well too. I even made postpartum frozen pads that helped tremendously.
3. Babycare – Witch Hazel is gentle enough for use on the most sensitive of skin, including babies. Try to find an alcohol free witch hazel if possible. Check out my natural baby wipe solution. It can also be used to soothe diaper rash.
4. Heal Burns – Witch Hazel can speed the healing of burns. Add 1 drop lavender,peppermint, helichrysum or geranium (or a combination, available in my DoTerra store or most healthfood stores), to 1 TBS fractionated coconut oil. Mix with aloe vera gel and witch hazel for soothing relief. For added cooling, you can place your mixture in the fridge. Just be aware it may solidify.
5. Hemorrhoids – Hemorrhoids are no fun. They are painful, itchy and unpleasant. Dab some witch hazel on external hemorrhoids for relief from the itching. As it turns out, witch hazel is one of the prime ingredients in preparation h!
6. Acne – Witch Hazel does a great job of absorbing extra oil out of the skin, which works wonders for acne. Try using a a dab of witch hazel on stubborn acne. For extra power, add a drop of melalueca essential oil.
7. Repel Bugs – Witch Hazel is an excellent bug repellent. Try making a blend of witch hazel and a few drops essential oils such as peppermint, citronella, lemongrass, or eucalyptus. It can also help in the removal of ticks. Simply rub some witch hazel on the tick and it should loosen up enough for removal.
8. Home Cleaner – Witch Hazel works excellently in many recipes for homemade cleaners; simply use witch hazel instead of water. Try mixing witch hazel with baking soda, lemon and melalueca essential oil for a great cleaning agent that can be used multiple ways.
Witch Hazel is definitly an amazing little plant, with both medicinal and cleaning uses. It’s something that I make sure to always have on hand in my natural medicine cabinet, and I use in many different ways. It’s a must have item for any natural household.
How do you you use witch hazel?