This is a flowering plant. The scientific name of witch hazel is Hamamelis. It is found in China, Japan and North America. Witch hazel is also known as winterbloom. This is a deciduous shrub which can grow up to 25 feet high. The extract of this plant is used as a natural skin care and astringent remedy for many different problems because it has chemicals such as eugenol, carvacrol, gallotannins, safrole and calcium oxalate. The health benefits of this plant were discovered by the Native Americans who boiled the stems to make a decoction which was used to treat tumors, inflammation and swelling. You can find witch hazel in drugstores or you can purchase it online. There are some people who experience irritation due to an allergic reaction, so this is a reason why you should make a patch test before you start using it. In some people can cause stomach upset so you need to avoid consuming witch hazel orally in large amounts because it has tannins (toxic compounds) and safrole (a cancer – causing chemical) and it could possibly cause liver problems. Lactating and pregnant women should talk with their doctors before they consume it.
Here are some health benefits of witch hazel:
Treats insect bites: Witch hazel has astringent and anti – inflammatory properties which can help to reduce the itching and swelling of the insect bites.
Cleanses hair and protects the scalp: Witch hazel can take down frizzy hair and it can add volume to it. It can help dry out excess oils and grease which is making it one of the best natural cures that can be used on oily hair. Also it has vasoconstrictive properties which can help to increase the blood circulation and reduce hair fall when you massage it into your scalp. Witch hazel has essential oils which can nourish the scalp and it can help to rid of the dandruff. It is a natural astringent which means that it can give a relief from the itchiness which you may be experiencing on the scalp.
Cures ear infections: When someone is affected by ear infection, then it hurts a lot so people cannot function like a normal human being. Bacteria are causes for ear infections. Witch hazel has anti – bacterial properties. You should put a few drops of witch hazel into your ear using a dropper. It can help to dry up any pus that may have collected in the ear, dissolve the built – up wax and it can alleviate some of the irritation.
Health benefits of witch hazel
Moisturizes and nourishes dry skin: There are many people who think that those ingredients who work as an astringent can dry their skin out. But they are wrong. When you apply witch hazel to your skin right after stepping out of the shower, will help to dry out the excess oils and it can lock the moisture in your skin. If you bought witch hazel, then you should be sure that it has not alcohol because if it has, then it will be counterproductive and it will make your skin dry.
Reduces the appearance of varicose veins: We know that varicose veins are enlarged and gnarly veins which are appearing on the legs and feet and they can be painful. Witch hazel has tannin which can help to constrict the blood vessels and it can reduce the swelling that is caused by varicose veins. Also witch hazel has essential oils and gallic acid which can soothe the pain. It is recommended using cloth compresses of witch hazel.
Heals hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in the anus and rectum and they can cause bleeding. They are painful. You can apply witch hazel to the affected area because it can help to reduce the bleeding and it can give a relief from burning sensation, itching and swelling due to its healing, astringent and anti – inflammatory properties.
Reduces stretch marks: This home remedy has astringent properties which can help skin cells to contract and tighten and this can be conjectured that it can help fade out stretch marks. This is a reason why pregnant women can use witch hazel for preventing stretch marks from developing. But there are not 100% evidences which prove that witch hazel can effectively reduce stretch marks.