There’s an episode that I wanted to air on Halloween. Can you guess what it was? About goblins or ghouls? Ghosts or gremlins?
For those of you who guessed
witches! You’re right! And today you’re in not for a trick, but for a post Halloween treat!
Several viewers have recently asked me about witch hazel, and what effects it has on the skin and whether or not it should be recommended?
The short answer is witch hazel has a lot of really good effects that I’ll tell you about, and yes, it’s highly recommended by me, “The Doctors Book of Home Remedies,” and many other medical authorities.
So now let’s dig into witch hazel…
If want to dazzle your friends, tell them you just used this great lotion made of Hamamelis virginiana…
Which is the technical name of the North American shrub that Witch Hazel comes from.
Witch hazel is produced from the shrubs’ leaves and bark and has many medicinal uses.
It has a long history in American folk medicine and was widely used for medicinal purposes by American Indians who obtained it by steaming the twigs of the shrub.
When you list its main constituents… tannin, gallic acid, catechins, proanthocyanins, and flavonoids… all of which account for many of its astringent, antioxidant and other useful effects both on the skin and even internally… And in addition, the extract also contains essential oils like eugenol and hexenol, in addition to choline and saponins…
No wonder Witch Hazel is so useful.
Today, witch hazel is dissolved in many different vehicles, such as alcohol or water, it’s even made into hydrosols and hydrolats, and different commercial brands of witch hazel even make their own vehicles with proprietary ingredients.
Because witch hazel is a strong antioxidant and astringent, it’s useful in fighting acne, both as a spot treatment for blemishes and even as a topical toner to remove excess oil in people with oily skin. Those preparations often contain about 15% isopropyl alcohol. And they also help to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, and to remove dirt, makeup and other skin impurities.
Because witch hazel has mild anti-inflammatory properties in addition to its astringency, it’s also used in many aftershave lotions and as a natural remedy for psoriasis, eczema, ingrown nails, insect bites, poison ivy, and many other mild skin inflammations. And its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties even make it very popular as an over-the-counter treatment for hemorrhoids.
So while witch hazel has many uses, and is one of many ingredients helpful in treating many conditions, it’s just that… a help for these conditions, but not a complete cure.