Astringent / antiseptic that can be used to support minor wounds, insect bites, inflammation, skin toning, diarrhea and much more.
Witch hazel leaves, twigs, and bark are used for their astringent, anodyne, and hemostatic properties. These attributes make it useful for minor wounds, scratches, and insect bites. It helps reduce inflammation and tone injured tissues, thereby speeding the healing process. A wash of witch hazel can also help reduce or control a mild poison ivy reaction. It can offer some relief, too, for the pain and inflammation of sunburns. Witch hazel can be helpful for tired, irritated eyes. Used externally as a poultice over the closed lids, a wash of the herb can be counted on for reducing symptoms brought on by eyestrain.
Witch hazel has been used for centuries as an external application for cosmetic purposes. Its astringency makes it useful in toning the skin. If the tendency to form pimples or blackheads exists, it will help to cleanse and close pores and act as an antiseptic, helping to prevent infection of skin eruptions. A wash of witch hazel is also an old-time external application for varicose vein flare-ups. As a salve, it can also be counted on for aid in hemorrhoids, where its hemostatic action helps lessen bleeding and its astringency works to tighten tissues.
Internally, witch hazel can be used like other astringent herbs as a tea to help relieve mild diarrhea.
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