Witch hazel has a long history of being one of nature’s most potent medicinal plants. It is a plant native to North America and some parts of Asia including China and Japan and yields its therapeutic values from its leaves and bark. The bark, twigs and leaves of the plant are used to extract active constituents that are mixed with either water or alcohol to make a concentrated product known as witch hazel water. This extract can then be used topically or ingested internally to deal with a number of health conditions.
One of the most popular ways to use witch hazel extract is to dilute it with a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil and apply directly to the skin.
Chief among its healing properties is its ability to act as an astringent, providing a number of benefits for skin care. The plant has strong antioxidant qualities that can address a host of benefits including naturally reducing acne, blisters, insect bites and so much more.
Here is a look at ten health benefits that can be reaped from using witch hazel for skin care or other problematic conditions.
The skin is our natural line of defense against external influences and needs to be taken care of regularly. Any impact of UV radiation, germs and bacteria, or environmental pollutants take their toll on the skin which can reflect these effects in the form of infections, puffiness, inflammation and aging.
As a natural astringent, witch hazel has the ability to remove excess oil from the skin and shrink down pores. A topical application can help reduce the amount of contaminants that enter skin’s pores and can potentially aggravate skin conditions like blemishes, black heads, and even acne.
Witch hazel has been observed to treat blemishes as well as help fade skin discoloration due to bruises.
Being an astringent, the potential of witch hazel to tighten skin and reduce inflammation also makes it very effective for treating puffiness around the eyes and brightening the eye area. Tired eyes can also be refreshed by moistening a face cloth in a mixture of cold water and witch hazel and placing the cold compress over closed eyes.