Witch hazel

Witch hazel, a winter-blooming shrub that populates Haverford’s Arboretum, has assorted uses and an abundant history.

If you need a flower repair during the cold winter season, witch hazel just might be your go-to winter-blooming plant. Usually reaching a height of 12 to 15 feet, witch hazel can be thought about either a large shrub or a little tree. These sturdy perennials with aromatic, wispy yellow to orange flowers are from the household Hamamelidaceae. A year after flowering, the fruit pills mature and ultimately split open to release seeds. Once dry, the witch hazel’s capsules can catapult the little 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 all at once. Witch hazel illuminates the forest throughout the fall and cold weather and provides 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 actually been used by individuals for centuries. Commonly understood for its medicinal and cosmetic usages, the extract from the leaves, bark, and twigs of witch hazel have actually been used as an astringent to treat irritated skin and inflamed tissues for hundreds of years. Native Americans utilized the plant to treat the common cold, eye and liver conditions, and other health problems. Early inhabitants likewise used the leaves to make tea for numerous medical functions. Today, witch hazel is used in a variety of items, including lotions, soaps, and creams.

The name “witch hazel” likewise stems from folk history. Locals and early inhabitants utilized the witch hazel to find sources of water underground. As they walked over the ground that they were surveying, they would carry 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 thought indicated that they had actually discovered water. This practice was called “water-witching” and led to the plant’s typical name, witch hazel. [2]

Uses of Witch hazel

1. Relieves Swelling

Inflammation is a regular immune reaction designed to protect your body versus injury and infection.

Nevertheless, persistent inflammation is thought to play a main function in the advancement of specific illness.

Witch hazel consists of lots of compounds with potent anti-inflammatory residential or commercial properties, including gallic acid and tannins.

It also contains antioxidants that help prevent extensive inflammation and reduce the effects of complimentary radicals, which are disease-causing compounds that can develop in your body.

Therefore, witch hazel could have significant benefits and might work in the treatment of inflammatory-related concerns, such as acne, eczema or psoriasis.

Studies show that topically-applied witch hazel can successfully reduce swelling and help relieve your skin.


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

2. Decreases Skin Irritation

Sensitive skin, specified by abnormal sensory signs, is a really common condition, affecting a quote of approximately 45% of Americans.

Some research recommends that applying witch hazel topically to delicate skin might be helpful in the treatment of swollen, inflamed or damaged skin.

In fact, witch hazel has actually been revealed to suppress erythema– a reddening of the skin triggered by injury or irritation– by up to 27%.

One study in 40 people found that utilizing a cream with as little as 10% witch hazel extract was effective in decreasing skin inflammation and treating erythema.

Likewise, another small study discovered that a topical preparation including witch hazel was able to provide relief for sensitive or inflamed facial skin.


Witch hazel might help reduce skin redness and provide relief for irritated and delicate skin.

3. Assists Treat Hemorrhoids

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

Witch hazel is frequently utilized as a natural treatment to offer remedy for the pain and discomfort brought on by piles.

It’s generally contributed to a fabric or cotton ball and applied straight to the afflicted location to soothe the skin.

Though research is limited, witch hazel is thought to assist deal with the itching, soreness, pain and swelling connected with hemorrhoids due to its anti-inflammatory impacts.

What’s more, it has hemostatic properties, indicating that it may stop bleeding caused by piles.

However, more research studies in human beings are required to analyze the efficiency of witch hazel on hemorrhoids.


Witch hazel is often utilized to lower the itching, inflammation, discomfort, bleeding and swelling related to piles. More studies are required to examine its effectiveness.

4. Battles Acne

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

It can be used straight to your face after cleaning or steaming for optimum efficiency.

It functions as an astringent, causing your tissues to contract to help shrink pores, while also relaxing your skin and alleviating inflammation.

This might prevent acne-causing germs from infecting your skin. For this reason, witch hazel is typically contributed to lots of over-the-counter acne items and is specifically useful for people with oily skin.

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


Witch hazel functions as an astringent to assist shrink your pores, soothe your skin and decrease swelling. More research is needed to identify the effects of witch hazel itself on acne.

5. Alleviates Scalp Level Of Sensitivity

Scalp level of sensitivity can be brought on by a number of aspects, ranging from cosmetic hair treatments to skin-related conditions, such as psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.

Using a bit of witch hazel to your scalp before washing your hair might help treat scalp level of sensitivity and offer remedy for signs, such as itching and tenderness.

According to one study in 1,373 individuals, using a shampoo containing witch hazel extract was effective in decreasing scalp irritation.

Witch hazel might also help eliminate swelling, which could be useful in reducing scalp sensitivity caused by conditions like psoriasis or eczema.

It’s likewise sometimes used as a natural treatment to alleviate signs of other scalp issues, such as dandruff and dryness.

However, extra research is required to evaluate the effectiveness of witch hazel in the treatment of these conditions.


Witch hazel might help reduce scalp inflammation and swelling. It’s likewise sometimes utilized for treating dandruff and dryness, though more research studies are required to examine its effectiveness for these conditions.

6. Soothes Sore Throat

Because of its capability to decrease swelling and serve as an astringent, witch hazel is sometimes used to deal with aching 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 offer relief.

This is believed to help reduce swelling, decrease discomfort and dry excess mucus brought on by an aching throat.

Yet, even though the anti-inflammatory homes of witch hazel are well documented, its use for dealing with aching throats is based exclusively on anecdotal evidence.

High-quality research studies are required to ascertain the potential benefits of witch hazel on aching throats.

In addition, taking witch hazel orally might trigger stomach irritation due to its high tannin material, so it is essential to proceed with care and consult your physician if you have any issues.


Witch hazel is frequently used as a natural solution for aching throats, however extra research studies are needed to take a look at its prospective advantages and adverse effects.

7. Protects Versus Skin Damage

Witch hazel is rich in tannins, a natural plant substance with effective antioxidant residential or commercial properties that can help secure your skin against damage when applied topically.

One animal research study found that tannins can function as a barrier, preventing inflammation-causing substances from entering your skin cells.

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

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

However, most research study is presently restricted to test-tube and animal studies. More research studies are required to evaluate the impacts of witch hazel on people.


Animal and test-tube research studies have actually found that witch hazel and its components might avoid skin cancer development and protect against skin damage.

8. Fend off Infection

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

One test-tube research study, for example, discovered that the tannins in witch hazel showed antiviral results against 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 frequently the perpetrator behind cold sores.

For this reason, witch hazel is typically used topically as a natural remedy to help combat fever blisters and relieve symptoms.

But although test-tube research studies have actually found appealing results, human research studies are still doing not have.

More studies are needed to take a look at the impacts of witch hazel and its potential impact on viral infections in healthy adults.


Test-tube studies show that witch hazel may have antiviral properties and could be beneficial versus certain types of viral infections. [3]

Few Realities of witch hazel

Witch hazel has been used for centuries to naturally help treat and prevent:.

  • skin sores
  • bruises
  • soreness and swelling
  • ingrown hairs
  • psoriasis or eczema
  • oily skin
  • excess sweating
  • varicose veins
  • cracked or blistered skin
  • insect bites
  • poison ivy
  • irritated scalp
  • sunburn and cancer malignancy
  • razor burn
  • mucous membrane inflammation
  • hemorrhoids
  • allergies

Current studies even show that the tannins found in witch hazel might exert a protective action versus colon cancer cells.

The skin is our largest and most susceptible organ, so it might utilize all the assistance it can get. Skin is our natural barrier to the outside world and offers us with security against UV radiation, chemicals in our food supply, germs and other germs, and environmental pollutants.

All of the “stress” that our bodies handle every day, both internally and externally, appear on our skin in the form of aging, puffiness, infections, swelling and level of sensitivities. That’s why we rely on eating and using natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to assist suppress swollen and infected cells.

Organic plant therapies for skin conditions have been utilized for thousands of years, and today many traditional herbs are being reestablished, studied extensively and experiencing a resurgence in popularity because numerous chemical treatments do not always work or have severe adverse effects.

As the authors of the book “Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Elements” explain, more and more people are relying on using herbs for the following factors: the adverse effects of chemical drugs, wanting to return to nature, belonging of the green transformation, and wanting to utilize more organic and safe items.

Can you clean your face with witch hazel?

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

Another benefit for delicate skin is that it minimizes the appearance of pores (although no item can really diminish pores) and helps stop excess oil production, sweating, and development of blackheads or whiteheads, which can contribute to breakouts and lure you to pick at your skin. You can skip irritating acne products and rely on witch hazel to decrease the seriousness of blemishes forming under the skin and avoid blackheads caused by dried sebum buildup in pores.

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

It depends on how serious somebody’s acne is. It might take effect in just several days or take several weeks.

Does witch hazel eliminate acne scars?

It can help, due to its anti inflammatory and antioxidant homes. Applying some can assist stop swelling and soreness if you already picked at your acne. It can also curb indications of past irritations 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 looking for a natural way to tighten your skin and decrease signs of aging like scars, inflammation, staining, dryness and puffiness around the eyes, then look no more than witch hazel. It tightens skin and is protective versus skin cancer, melanoma and other damage brought on by UV light because of its protective polyphenols and tannin antioxidants. These inhibit the expansion of cancer malignancy cells and help safeguard healthy skin cells into older age.

Utilize it to keep your skin devoid of irritating chemical products that can change oil production and increase dryness. Witch hazel has actually been revealed to assist protect collagen and skin elasticity just as well as many business appeal items. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant residential or commercial properties make it a terrific method to protect skin’s flexibility, saving your complexion and assisting you handle the effects of ecological tension on your skin. And because using witch hazel for your pores helps them look smaller, this can make your skin appear more even.

Deals With Bug Bites

Lots of bug repellents and commercial items utilized for treating insect bites include witch hazel. Wondering how to eliminate mosquito bites? People turn to witch hazel to decrease the results of bug bites, such as pain and swelling from stings, allergies and inflammations.

Particular studies have found that using witch hazel cream to skin irritations can curb symptoms just as well as synthetic chemical creams, including dexpanthenol, which is frequently used to fight skin irritations in children. It can also be utilized to assist accelerate recovery scabs or small cuts since witch hazel extract contains isopropyl alcohol, which is another natural disinfecting ingredient that kills bacteria and assists prevent 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 bacteria growth and infections within hair follicles, soothe razor burn, and avoid ingrown hairs from forming. Some people also like to use the toner along with other healing necessary oils on skin after waxing to reduce discomfort, swelling and bleeding.

Stops Ear Infections from Establishing

Considering that witch hazel is a reliable anti-bacterial, and “swimmer’s ear” or other ear infections are usually brought on by bacterial infections, it’s a natural method to treat irritations within the ear canal. Witch hazel assists clean up bacteria overgrowth and infections within the ear; dry up oil, pus and excess sweat; separate wax; and even eliminate smell. To clean the beyond the ears, apply numerous drops to a swab and rub around the within the ears.

Protects Your Mouth, Lips and Gums

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

Witch hazel also helps ease pain from toothaches or teething in infants, avoid infection after dental surgery, and battle bleeding and inflammation from mouth sores. [4]

Enjoyable Realities

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

Witch Hazel branches have been generally utilized by dowsers to find water.

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

Natural Room Spray

This fragrant spray is made with only 3 simple components! Offer your linens, bedroom, and even the air in the house a rejuvenating spritz without using extreme chemicals.

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

What you require


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

How to do it

  1. Natural room spray
  2. Pour 25 to 30 drops of vital oil in your bottle.
  3. Fill the bottle halfway with witch hazel. (Note: Witch hazel helps the oil and water integrate and will assist the scent stick around for a longer period of time.)
  4. Fill the remainder of the bottle with pure water. This ratio works pretty well no matter the size of the bottle.
  5. Shake bottle to combine all the active ingredients.
  6. Insert a sprig of dried flowers and herbs to round 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 scent to winter season landscaping.

  1. Root your witch hazel. The plant can be grown in pots, but over time (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 summertime. Witch hazel plants are sensitive to drought, so be sure to keep the soil damp with routine watering in hotter months.
  4. Place witch hazel plants in direct sunlight. Excessive shade will cause duller flowers and leggy growth, so witch hazel grows best in full sun or sometimes in partial shade.
  5. Grow witch hazel in cooler winter temperature levels. Witch hazel requires a winter chill in the milder months to enable full blooming in late winter season.
  6. Safeguard your plant with fencing. Witch hazel plants are resistant to many pests and illness. Fencing can prevent roaming deer from consuming the leaves.

How to Take Care Of Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is reasonably simple to tend to, however follow these tips to keep your plant healthy:.

  1. Provide witch hazel space in your garden. If you add other plants to your garden, make certain that they do not block the witch hazel’s sunlight.
  2. Include mulch to your plants for water retention. Mulching around witch hazel can assist keep water and let your plant grow in wet soil.
  3. Prune your witch hazel to keep its shape. These big shrubs can grow over 20 feet high, so you will require to prune them to keep shape and get rid of dead branches. When you prune your witch hazel, do so previously summer hits so the following year’s buds can establish. Also, prune suckering twigs at the base so as not to impede the plant’s growth. [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. However, some people might experience irritation due to an allergy, so it’s constantly best to do a patch test prior to you begin using it.

It has actually also been understood to cause stomach upset in some individuals. It’s best to avoid consuming witch hazel orally in large amounts as it contains percentages of safrole (a chemical possibly linked to cancer) and tannins (poisonous compounds) and could perhaps cause liver problems.

Pregnant and breast feeding ladies ought to likewise seek advice from a doctor prior to using or taking in witch hazel.

Witch hazel benefits are derived from its abundant anti-oxidant and astringent residential or commercial properties. It is commonly used in skin care products as it may help in reducing acne, heal swellings and sunburns, and relieve fever blisters. It has natural anti-aging properties and may help in reducing puffy eyes and varicose veins. Additionally, it can help safeguard and clean the scalp. Nevertheless, do not use it excessively. It might cause skin inflammation or stomach discomfort. Because the safety requirements have actually not been identified yet, pregnant and breastfeeding women ought to speak with a doctor before taking in witch hazel.

What other drugs connect with witch hazel?

If your medical professional has directed you to utilize this medication for your condition, your medical professional or pharmacist might already know any possible drug interactions or negative effects and may be monitoring you for them. Do not begin, stop, or alter the dose of this medicine or any medication before getting more details from your medical professional, doctor or pharmacist initially.

Witch Hazel has no known interactions with other drugs.

This file does not include all possible interactions. For that reason, prior to using this item, inform your physician or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your physician and pharmacist. Consult your doctor if you have health concerns or issues.

What are warnings and safety 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.

Keep out of reach of kids. In case of overdose, get medical aid or contact a Toxin Control Center right away.


Hypersensitivity, oral usage.

Impacts of Substance Abuse

No information offered.



Pregnancy and Lactation

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

What are the does 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 use just; do not utilize in or around eyes.

When useful, cleanse the affected location with moderate soap and warm water and wash thoroughly.

Rectal products

Apply rectal wipes by carefully cleaning, patting, and blotting the affected area.

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


With appropriate topical application there is no risk of overdose of witch hazel.

Oral overdose of witch hazel can trigger queasiness and throwing up, and kidney or liver damage. If overdose signs do not solve with discontinuation of witch hazel, look for medical help or report to Toxin Control. [10]

The bottom line

For centuries, individuals have utilized witch hazel to soothe small skin issues like bug bites, diaper rash, and piles. The solution comes from a North American shrub. The plant includes chemicals that ease inflammation, itching, and inflammation.

Witch hazel is one of the few plants that fulfill the FDA’s requirements for security and efficiency. The FDA has just approved it for topical usage on the skin. Swallowing witch hazel could trigger queasiness, 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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