Hamamelis, whose scientific name is Hamamelis Virginiana, is a plant native to North America and parts of Asia. Also called Winter Flower, or Winterbloom, which is used, regularly, as a product for the healing of the skin.
The parts of the plant that are used are the leaves and the bark, as they have astringent properties that help in the treatment of:
Poison Ivy Irritation.
Witch hazel contains powerful antioxidants that eliminate bacteria in the skin, favoring cell regeneration, preventing the signs of aging and avoiding cell damage that causes skin cancer.
This is why it has begun to use witch hazel extract in a variety of medicinal and beauty products.
How Does Witch Hazel Work on Your Skin?
Its beneficial effects are due to the high content of active ingredients that help:
Reduce inflammation, swelling and cell damage.
Reduce pain in wounds.
Favor the regeneration of tissues.
The bark, the branches and the leaves are used to extract its active components, called polyphenols, mainly tannins.
Once extracted they are added to a solution (alcohol base or water) to make the so-called “witch hazel water”, “witch hazel water”, “witch hazel extract distillate” or “witch hazel extract distillate”.
This extract can be used on the surface of the skin, or oral when presenting diarrhea, colds, vomiting, cough, influenza, irritable bowel syndrome, among others.
The condensed tannins are the polyphenols responsible for the astringent properties of witch hazel. Its effect is because the tannins remove the excess oils in the skin. Because of this, witch hazel is the natural product against acne, with more popularity around the world and can be found in gels, soaps and lotions.
When it comes to products that are applied directly to the skin, select them with great care. Avoid, as much as possible, chemicals that can be toxic to your skin.
Witch hazel provides you with many more benefits than any other beauty product because it is:
It also has compounds called “esters of gallic acid” or “gallate” which include:
Concentrated tannins (proanthocyanidins).
Hydrolyzable tannins (gallium sugars).
It is considered that the witch hazel extract is a polyphenolic extract and has been shown to aid in the inhibition of the proliferation of cancer cells in humans.
Studies have shown that witch hazel is able to stop cell mutations and favor cell death in highly dangerous cells. Because witch hazel is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it helps eliminate free radicals. It also helps protect the DNA and prevents the growth of tumors.
The damage that can be caused by oxidative stress and free radicals can be accumulated as time passes, especially in view of the exposure of:
Plants high in polyphenols, such as witch hazel, are used to create antiaging nutritional supplements and have been shown to aid cell protection.
Proven Benefits of Witch Hazel
The skin is the largest organ in your body, but it is also the most vulnerable. This is a natural barrier against the outside like for example:
Bacteria and other germs.
As time goes on, this barrier weakens, so it is good to provide as much help as possible.
All the stress with which you have to deal with your body, is reflected in your skin like:
Why Is It Good To Use Witch Hazel?
One of the best ways to decrease inflammation and cellular diseases is to take care of your food and consuming antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatories.
Herbal therapies for skin diseases have been used for thousands of years. Fortunately, now these plants are being rediscovered and scientists have begun to perform analyzes and studies on their effects.
This increase in popularity in its use in beauty products, has occurred, because many chemical treatments have side effects.
As the author of the book “Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects ” explains more and more people who use medicinal plants for the following reasons.
Side effects of chemicals used in beauty products and medicines.
Desire to return to the use of natural products.
Be part of the “green revolution”.
Use safe organic products.
Witch hazel has long been used as a natural prophylactic treatment and treatment of:
Sores on the skin.
Redness and swelling.
Psoriasis or eczema.
Blisters on the skin.
Poison Ivy Irritation.
Skin damage from sunburn or melanoma.
Inflammation of the mucous membranes.
The most common way to use witch hazel extract is to dilute it in oil (eg coconut, olive and jojoba oil) and then apply it directly to the skin as a serum, lotion, tonic or skin cleanser.
Health specialists, who use natural medicine, use witch hazel topically when patients have:
Swelling and inflammation.
Scrapes and wounds.
It also has antioxidant effects and antibacterial properties that aid in the treatment of infectious diseases.
Other common uses of witch hazel are:
Toothache and teeth.
The 10 Best Ways to Use Witch Hazel for Your Skin, Hair and Denture Care
The products made with hamamelis that you can find in the market are:
Witch hazel water.
Witch hazel water.
Distilled from witch hazel extract.
Distilled from witch hazel.
Witch hazel tea.
Witch hazel tea.
To get the best quality of the product, it is better to get organic products.
Check the list of ingredients, to corroborate that the name Hamamelis Virginiana, is within the ingredients.
If your skin is sensitive or dry, then it is best to use non-alcoholic witch hazel products, since alcohol can make drying up and flaking worse.
1. Reduce Acne
Witch hazel, as a natural remedy for acne , can also be used to prevent its occurrence. Due to its properties decreases inflammation, redness, irritation, infections, accumulation of fat in the pores and bleeding.
Its antibacterial capacity favors the regeneration of the skin and accelerates the healing, as it avoids infections in wounds and flakes.
Another of the benefits of witch hazel is the reduction of the appearance of the pores by their astringent capacity and helps to decrease the production of:
Oils and excessive sweating.
It also reduces the temptation to touch them and squeeze them.
If you want to improve the appearance of your face, apply a little witch hazel directly to your skin, when you notice that they begin to form pimples and pimples.
Its effects are much more effective, when combined with other antibacterial oils, such as coconut oil , tea tree or apple cider vinegar.
Avoid using products that can irritate your skin and promote acne, such as some hygiene products, and use witch hazel instead, as it will help you:
Decrease the appearance of sebum clusters under your skin, as grains form.
Prevent blackheads caused by dry sebum covering the pores.
Avoid swelling, swelling and redness of pimples and pimples that have already been squeezed.
Reduce signs of irritation and improve the appearance of the skin.
Treatment of infections in the skin.
To enjoy its benefits follow the instructions:
Apply witch hazel with a cotton swab, cotton swab or disks, several times, where you feel irritation.
Rub it gently and give your skin time to absorb it.
Repeat if necessary.
2. Signs of Damage Caused by Aging and Overexposure to the Sun
If you are looking for a natural way to have smoother, firmer skin with fewer signs of aging, witch hazel is your best ally as it will help you lessen:
Swelling around the eyes.
Additionally, it will make you look more beautiful skin, protect your skin against cancer, melanomas and other damages that can be caused by ultraviolet rays.
Its polyphenols inhibit the proliferation of melanoma cells and help decrease and delay aging in your skin.
In addition, when using witch hazel, you will keep your skin free of chemical irritants, which can intervene with your natural production of oils and promote dryness in your skin.
Witch hazel has been shown to protect collagen and elasticity in the skin, just like specialized products.
Homemade Hamamelis Serum
You can easily make your own anti-aging home serum:
Total time: 2 minutes.
1 tablespoon of jojoba oil.
1/2 tablespoon of evening primrose oil.
15 drops of vitamin E.
20 drops of witch hazel extract.
10 drops of carrot seed oil.
Combine all ingredients in a dark container in which it can be stored.
Use in the morning and night on face, neck and chest.
Use witch hazel, in serum or directly, to help your skin regenerate the skin and to help reverse the damage in:
Acne marks .
If you combine witch hazel extract with other essential oils such as evening primrose, rosehip, tea tree and incense, you will have better results.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel make it an excellent oil for preserving toned, smooth and elastic skin.
To reduce swelling and inflammation in the lower eye, apply witch hazel extract around the eyes before bedtime, but be careful that the oil does not enter the eyeball.
To prevent the formation of varicose veins , add witch hazel oil to a swab or cotton disc, and rub it gently against the skin when you see bruises or varicose veins forming.
3. Treatment for Insect Bites
Many insect repellents and commercial products use witch hazel extract because it reduces the effects of insect bites such as:
Mild allergic reactions.
Studies have found that by applying witch hazel creams to irritated skin, it can decrease symptoms just like creams made with synthetic chemicals. Its effects were compared with dexpanthenol, which is frequently used in childhood skin irritations.
Accelerates the healing processes in scaling, scrapes and minor wounds, due to its isopropyl alcohol content, which is a natural disinfectant that eliminates bacteria and helps in the treatment of infections.
4. Hair Care and Scalp Protection
You can use witch hazel in your hair to reduce sebum production.
This will leave your hair brighter, with greater volume and without unpleasant odors, due to its deodorant effect.
Witch hazel helps irritated scalp treatment and speeds up recovery times for mosquito bites and acne on the neck.
A study conducted by the Center for Dermatology and Disease in Zurich, Switzerland, performed on 1373 patients found the following:
Patients who used a shampoo with witch hazel had an improvement in symptoms such as irritation, redness, itching and swelling of the scalp, compared to patients who used other hair products.
Patients who used a shampoo containing witch hazel reported better tolerance than other hair products.
If you want to use witch hazel, simply add a few drops to the shampoo of your choice. Even you can make your own shampoo using coconut oil, argan oil, witch hazel and other essential oils like orange, grapefruit or lemon.
5. Helps to Prevent Rash and Incarnated Hair
When using witch hazel you will benefit your skin because:
It prevents the growth of bacteria in the follicles or microlesions that could have caused when shaving.
Irritation after shaving.
Prevents the growth of red hair.
A simple way to apply witch hazel after shaving is to add a few drops of witch hazel extract, along with other essential oils before shaving or waxing, this will help reduce the pain, inflammation and bleeding of your skin.
6. Treatment Against Ear Infections
Because witch hazel has antibacterial properties, it can be used for ear infections.
The “swimmer’s ear”, common name for infectious otitis, is caused by a bacterial infection, which can be treated in conjunction with witch hazel and usual medical treatment.
To use it in the ear, pour witch hazel extract into a dropper and apply to both ears several times a day.
Witch hazel helps to decrease the growth of bacteria that causes the infection in the ear and to reduce the annoying symptoms like pain, inflammation and itching.
In addition, witch hazel will help remove dirt, wax, pus and sweat that are inside the ear.
To use witch hazel in cleaning the outside of the ear, apply a few drops on a swab or cotton disc, then rub around the ears.
7. Helps Calming Sore Throat
If you want to reduce sore throat, prepare a witch hazel tea, gargle or take a few sips to enjoy its effects.
It is important to emphasize that these effects will not be the same as the water, nor the witch hazel extract, as they may contain alcohol.
Use witch hazel tea, when you feel irritation, pain or infection in the throat.
Its natural properties (astringents and soothing) help your symptoms:
This is why witch hazel, when used in respiratory tract infections, has excellent results in:
Dry or puffy cough.
Other throat problems.
Another way you can use witch hazel, is with pure witch hazel extract (alcohol-free), to a cup of tea with honey to have better results.
8. Pet Deodorants and Insect Bites
Surely if you have pets you want the best for them, and I know that there is nothing worse than having a sick pet.
The surface of your pets’ skin is exposed to insect bites, wounds and infections that can generate bad odors. But fortunately, witch hazel is a noble plant for the skin of your pets.
Witch hazel will help your pet because:
Repels insects (eg, mosquitoes).
It decreases itching and bleeding.
It helps to clean the skin.
It promotes the regeneration of wounds, like scrapes or cuts.
Helps to diminish odors coming from your skin.
9. Hemorrhoid Treatment
Witch hazel is also used as a natural treatment for hemorrhoids. You can apply witch hazel directly to the skin to decrease inflammation, pain and discomfort caused by hemorrhoids. Using it regularly will help relieve itching, irritation, bleeding, and a burning sensation.
Most health professionals, who use natural medicine, recommend using witch hazel water (made with witch hazel extract and diluted in water) up to 6 times a day on irritated skin or after each bowel movement.
10. Protection of Your Mouth, Lips and Gums
If you have sores on the lips, on the inside of the cheeks or gums, witch hazel can be a great ally for you.
Using witch hazel in mouth infections can help you speed up the recovery process as well as decrease pain and inflammation.
Its use in your mouth is safe and its effects are potentiated when combined with essential oils, such as coconut or spearmint.
You can use witch hazel in different ways:
Apply it directly to the lesions.
Witch hazel will help you, if you present the following problems:
Infection in the gums.
Toothpaste with Witch Hazel
Total time: 2 minutes.
1/4 cup coconut oil.
3 tablespoons bentonite clay.
2 capsules of organic probiotics.
10 drops of witch hazel extract.
10 drops of peppermint essential oil.
Tube for toothpaste.
Mix all ingredients.
Pour the mixture into a tube for toothpaste or into a glass container.
Brush your teeth for 2 minutes, for 2 to 3 times a day.
Mouthwash with Witch Hazel
Total time: 2 minutes.
1 teaspoon of witch hazel.
6 drops of essential oils in equal parts (sunflower, clove and myrrh).
Mix all ingredients.
Use after brushing your teeth.
Are there Side Effects of Using Witch Hazel?
Most adults and children react well when using witch hazel, without side effects. But there is always the possibility of allergic reactions that produce irritation, especially if you are sensitive skin or spend a lot of time in the sun.
To be sure you are not allergic, place a patch of witch hazel on your arm or leg, and check for an unwanted reaction.
If you take witch hazel water accidentally, do not worry, there are no major reactions that require hospitalization, even in pregnant women. What can cause you is a minor indigestion. Follow your doctor’s instructions to have a safe handling of witch hazel in all your presentations.