Witch Hazel, the super shrub!

For those who aren’t familiar with this miracle product, you may be asking yourself- what can I do with witch hazel? The better question is  what can you NOT do with witch hazel.

Here’s a little background info on this wonderful plant. Witch hazel is derived from Hamamelis Virginiana, a flowering shrub that is native to North America. The leaf, bark and twigs of this plant are used to produce witch hazel extract, which can then be used in a multitude of ways. In fact, Native Americans have been using witch hazel for centuries before the rest of us all caught up. They mostly used witch hazel as a medical treatment for inflammation, sores and bruises.

The most common way people use witch hazel is to apply it topically to the skin, where it acts as a natural astringent. Witch hazel contains a type of biomolecules known as  tannins, which help reduce swelling, fight bacteria and shrink pores. Besides witch hazel, tannins are also found in tea, dark chocolate, cinnamon and wine.

“I’ll have a tall glass of tannins, please!”

Since witch hazel causes the skin to tighten, it can be used in first aid to stop bleeding. As an added bonus, many store bought bottles contain isopropyl alcohol in the ingredients, which can help disinfect wounds.

Have you ever forgotten to reapply your SPF and it resulted in a nasty sunburn? We’ve all been there. The next time this happens, mix in a bit of witch hazel along with aloe vera to soothe your sun scorched skin.

DISCLAIMER: don’t get a sunburn on purpose just to try out this trick 🙂

The great outdoors seem a lot less great when you feel like scratching your skin off from all of the mosquitos around. Don’t worry, you can easily treat those nasty bug bites and stings with the amazing anti inflammatory powers of witch hazel! Just a small dab on the affected area will do.

All in all, witch Hazel is amazing. If you don’t already have a bottle hanging around your house, it should be on the top of your shopping list. It’s cheap too, a generous bottle will only set you back three or four dollars. Plus, it can be purchased at any pharmacy. Run, don’t walk, to your nearest pharmacy. You need some witch hazel in your life.