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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Witch Hazel: 8 Health Benefits Including a Potential Cancer Cure


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Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.

Witch hazel is one of the many plants on earth with amazing medicinal properties, and it can be used in a variety of ways.


Witch hazel comes in different species. However, Hamamelis virginiana, which is a type of shrub that is naturally from North America, is the most used species of witch hazel.

It has been used commonly in botanical medicine in the US and other neighbouring places. The leaves and the back of this shrub are usually made into ointments and teas.

Witch hazel is very popular for use in the skin and scalp. However, it is also excellent when it comes to soothing sensitive skin, and easing inflammation.

Witch hazel can also be added to soups and herbal teas but only in minimal quantity and as a form of treatment for some medical conditions. Below are the top 8 known benefits and uses of the beautiful witch hazel.

1. Cures inflammation

Inflammation is a very reasonable thing for the human immune system to do as a response to protecting the human body against infection and injury.

While mild inflammation can be zeroed as nothing to worry about, chronic inflammation is considered a key player in the development of some harmful diseases.

Witch hazel is a natural treatment that contains different compounds that have potent anti-inflammatory properties, which includes tannins and gallic acid.

2. Antioxidant quality

Some of the antioxidants contained in which Hazel can help to prevent widespread inflammations. And also, they can neutralise free radicals which usually turn out to be disease-causing compounds that have gathered together in a person’s body over some time.

Therefore it is safe to say that witch hazel just might have far-reaching benefits that can be considered useful in the treatment of issues such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and other inflammatory-related conditions.


Studies have revealed that applying witch hazel topically, can help to reduce inflammation effectively and also smoothen the skin.

3. Witch Hazel reduces Skin Irritation

Witch Hazel

A lot of people complain about having sensitive skin, and this is usually considered an abnormally sensory symptom. This condition affects as much as 95% of Americans.

Some people claim that applying witch hazel topically has helped to treat their sensitive skin whenever they have inflammation broken skin or irritations.

Even erythema which is a condition usually caused by irritation or injury has been discovered to be one of the things that witch hazel can clear, and we are talking about 27% potency.

Some studies claim that using a body lotion with as little as ten per cent of this plant extract can help to effectively reduce skin inflammation and even treats skin conditions.

Also, a different study of a small population discovered that applying a topical preparation that contains witch hazel was Potent enough to help relieve itching in sensitive or irritated facial skin.

4. Witch hazel helps Treat Hemorrhoids

Haemorrhoids are very common, and they are caused by the swelling or inflammation of veins in your anus or rectum, and this results in symptoms such as bleeding and itchiness.

You probably have never heard this before, but you can use witch-hazel as a natural treatment to help relieve pains and discomfort caused by haemorrhoids.

To use witch-hazel on your haemorrhoids, all you have to do is add a small quantity to a cotton ball or cloth and apply it directly to the affected place. It should provide a soothing effect on the skin in a matter of seconds.


Although scientific evidence to back this up is limited, it is believed that witch-hazel can help treat redness, pains, itchiness, and even swellings associated with haemorrhoids because it has anti-inflammatory qualities.

Something interesting about witch-hazel is that it possesses hemostatic properties what this means is that you can use it to stop any kind of bleeding caused by haemorrhoids.

However, it is essential to note that there is a need for more human studies to determine the actual effectiveness of witch hazel on haemorrhoids.

5. Witch haven fights Acne

Thanks to the powerful anti-inflammatory properties contained in witch-hazel some studies suggest that these plants may be very useful in the treatment of acne and pimple. To treat acne using witch hazel you can apply it directly to your face after you have arranged the skin or you can decide to stay for the best result.

What witch hazel does to your skin is to act as an astringent that will make your tissues contract and also help with the shrinkage of pores, while relieving inflammations and Susan your skin at the same time.

Sometimes else this plat does is the prevention of acne-causing bacteria from attacking your skin. This explains why witch hazel is commonly added to several Acne products that are sold over the counter, and it is also handy for people with oily skin.

Still, studies on how effective witch hazel is on acne are minimal and more research is needed to determine the plant’s efficacy.

6. Witch hazel alleviates Scalp Sensitivity

Scalp sensitivity is another widespread condition, and it is usually caused by a variety of factors. Some of the elements are cosmetic hair treatments and even dermatological conditions like seborrhoeic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Applying a small quantity of witch hazel to your scalp before you get a hair wash may be beneficial to treating scalp sensitivity and also provide you with relief from scalp sensitivity symptoms such as Tenderness and itching.

According to a study of 1373 individuals that used shampoo containing witch hazel extract, it was discovered that witch hazel was effective in helping to reduce scalp irritation.


As we already mentioned before witch hazel helps to relieve inflammation and this could be very useful in terms of reducing scalp sensitivity that is caused by conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

People who suffer from order conditions such as dandruff and scalp dryness can also use witch hazel as a natural remedy; however, there are no studies at the moment to back up these claims.

7. Witch hazel soothes Sore Throat

Because witch-hazel has the ability to decrease inflammation and also help to shrink pores, it is suspected that it can be useful for the treatment of sore throat thus a lot of people use it as a natural remedy.

To use witch-hazel as a treatment for sore throat, all you have to do is boil 1 tsp of witch-hazel in a cup of water (which is 240 ml of water ) for precisely 10 minutes once the water is boiled gargle with the mixture and relax as it provides relief.

This treatment method is strongly believed to help decrease pain reduce swelling and also dry excess mucus that is usually caused by a sore throat.

Even though they have been different documentation on the effectiveness of witch hazel and its uses when it comes to using it as a treatment for sore throat, there is no scientific evidence presently apart from the anecdotal evidence that people use.

High-quality research is required to correctly ascertain the potential benefits of using witch hazel as a treatment for sore throat.

Please note that taking witch-hazel orally can cause stomach irritation because it has a very high tannin in content, so it is imperative that you proceed with caution and also consult a medical practitioner if you have any worries or concerns.

7. Witch Hazel protects Against Skin Damage

We have mentioned a couple of times in this article that witch hazel contains tannins and tannins is a natural plant compound that is rich in antioxidant properties which will protect a person’s skin against any form of damage when applied topically

One animal study carried out discovered that tannins could perform the function of a barrier. Thus, preventing any inflammation-causing substance from penetrating a person’s skin cells.


What’s more? One test-tube study revealed that witch hazel could help to neutralise any harmful radical and also inhibit the spread of skin cancer cells.

A different animal study revealed that tannins which are contained in witch hazel are also able to slow the growth of skin tumour in mice that were exposed to radiation.

However, the problem remains that most of the researchers that have been carried out Unlimited two animal studies and test tube studies as soon as more researches on animals are carried out the effectiveness of witch hazel will be confirmed.

8. Witch hazel wards off Infection

Some researchers indicate that witch hazel extract may help fight some particular types of viral infections

for example, a test tube study discovered that tannins that are contained in witch hazel have some antiviral effects against both human papillomavirus and influenza.

In another test tube study, it was also revealed that witch hazel extract could reduce the activities of herpes simplex virus one which is usually considered the cause of cold sore and this is why witch-hazel is sometimes applied topically as a natural treatment for cold sores.

These are 8 of the most common uses of witch hazel and its extracts. From what you can already tell, this herb is one of the most multi-purpose ones you can find in America.

If you live in other parts of the world where witch hazel is not common, you can place an order online, or you can simply check exotic stores or supermarkets where such items are sold.

Have you tried witch-hazel? Leave a comment below to let us know how effective it was.

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