Medicinal plants

8 Benefits of witch hazel and side effects

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Discover the 8 Shocking health benefits of witch hazel and side effects.

The plant witch hazel Virginiana L., also known as witch hazel and witch’s walnut, or simply as Virginia witch hazel, is an herb recognized for its medicinal properties.

And in this article, we are going to tell you precisely what are the qualities and benefits of this plant, how it is used, and the possible side effects and contraindications8 Shocking health benefits of witch hazel


What is witch hazel?

Native to the Atlantic coast of the north of the American continent, very common in forests from Quebec and Nova Scotia to Virginia, Florida, and Texas, it is also cultivated on a small scale in Europe.

It is a small shrub that belongs to the botanical family Hamamelidaceae similar to hazelnut that blooms in autumn or winter.

Its name comes from a compound word of Greek origin that, on the one hand, means fruit and another whose meaning would be “at the same time”, referring to the fact that the fruit and the flower are present at the same time.

The term witch in the vulgar name, in English “witch hazel”, is believed to come from wyche which would mean flexible branch and the resemblance to hazel.

American Indians long ago used its leaves and bark to prepare astringent ointments reputed to stop bleeding, soothe insect bites and burns. It was also used for eye washing and its sedative action.


Active ingredients of witch hazel

The activity of Hamamelis Virginiana L. is mainly attributed to the presence of polyphenolic compounds (tannins and flavonoids).

The leaf contains 3-10% tannins, phenolic acids (caffeic and gallic), flavonoids galactosides and glucuronides, kaempferol, quercetin, quercitrin, and isoquercitrin.

The bark contains 8-12% tannins, qualitatively similar to those of the leaves but with a higher content of hamametinin, and a small number of flavonoids.

The composition varies according to the organ from which they are extracted, the way they are obtained, and the environmental conditions.

Properties of witch hazel

Due to its content of tannic substances, Hamamelis can cause the precipitation of proteins, waterproofing and protecting the cell membrane, and reducing capillary permeability.

Therefore, it is very beneficial to take care of blood vessels and prevent varicose veins and phlebitis.

Hence, most pharmacological trials have focused on topical anti-inflammatory activity in the treatment of various skin conditions.

The astringent, antiphlogistic, and hemostatic properties, especially in superficial skin lesions, eczema, burns, itching or pruritus, varicose disorders, and hemorrhoids.


Clinical studies have been conducted with an ointment based on witch hazel distillate that is as effective as corticosteroid preparations.

Other studies have shown effects on the cardiovascular system, in conditions that include excessive venous dilation and return circulatory insufficiency, reducing inflammation, pain, and heaviness of inflamed veins, with a direct effect on the venous wall. Witch hazel is an ally in case of tired feet and legs.

In addition, they are useful in treating heavy or irregular menstruation, as well as in cases of menopause.

The most recent studies with preparations containing Hamamelis Virginiana L. have also shown antimicrobial, antibacterial, and calming action.

Health benefits of witch hazel

1. Benefits of witch hazel for inflammation

Inflammation is a normal immune response protected to protect your body against injuries and infections.

However, it is proven that chronic inflammation plays a central role, not the development of certain doenças.

Witch hazel contains various composts that are used as powerful anti-inflammatories, such as tannins and gallic acid.

Furthermore, the antioxidant possibilities help prevent generalized inflammation and neutralize free radicals, which are responsible for a series of precooked growths.


Also, its use can have long-term benefits and be useful in the treatment of inflammation, acne, eczema, or psoriasis.

2. Benefits of witch hazel for Skin

Research indicates that a topical application of witch hazel on sensitive skin can be beneficial without treating irritations and flaking.

One study discovered that the use of a loção with only 10% of witch hazel extract was effective in reducing skin inflammation and not treating erythema.

An investigation confirmed that a topical preparation containing witch hazel was able to provide relief for sensitive or irritated facial skin.

3. Benefits of witch hazel for hemorrhoids

As hemorrhoids are caused by swollen hair and inflammation of the eye and nose, resulting in symptoms such as heartburn and bleeding.

For relief, you can apply a little witch hazel, with the help of a bolinha of cotton, directly to the shaved area.

Isso will help to calm down and reduce pain, pain, pain, pain associated with hemorrhoids, thanks to anti-inflammatory action.

4. Benefits of witch hazel for acne

The powerful anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel can be useful without treating acne, as some research suggests.


Or extract can be applied directly, not after cleaning or vaporization, to guarantee even more efficiency.

Not face, witch hazel has an astringent effect, contracting the tissues to help reduce pores, at the same time that it calms the skin and relieves inflammation.

Also, it can help prevent the bacteria that cause spin has infected your skin.

5. Relieves sensitivities of hairy hair

Sensitization of red hair can be caused by various factors, ranging from cosmetic treatments for the hair to dermatological conditions, such as psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.

Applying a little bit of witch hazel before washing the hair can help treat sensitivities and provide relief from two symptoms, such as cooking and irritation.

Also, a study has verified the effectiveness of a campus containing witch hazel in the reduction of dandruff.

6. Treat varies

As a result, there are dilated veins in the legs that can cause great discomfort.

It is traditionally recommended to soak cloths in witch hazel and apply the legs to obtain relief from varicose veins.


7. Relieves insect bites

Witch hazel can be reduced to burning and swelling caused by insect bites.

It is enough to apply a little to the shaved area to reduce or discomfort the inflammation in a few minutes.

8. Treats sunburn

The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel help reduce or discomfort sunburn.

A cloth or cotton ball can be used to apply or product directly to the target area.

A mixture of witch hazel with aloe vera, which is also a natural anti-inflammatory, can be even more effective and soothing.

Uses of witch hazel

Use witch hazel to treat acne

The witch hazel is effective in treating acne because it contains tannins, which makes it a natural astringent that removes fat from the skin.

It can help reduce the growth of bacteria and increase the speed of healing.

The procyanidins, resin, and flavonoids it contains reduce redness and irritation.


Although many people choose to apply this liquid to the face with a cotton ball, others may find that acne is best fought when the product is combined with 10 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle.

The mixture is then sprayed on the face up to three times a day, avoiding the eyes and mouth.

Tea tree oil can be substituted for lavender, sclarea, or juniper berries if the user wishes.

Use witch hazel to relieve irritation after shaving

Witch hazel can act as a natural antiseptic due to the tannins it contains.

Therefore, the inflammation caused by beard pseudofolliculitis could be stopped.

To test this solution for irritation after shaving, simply put a little product on a cotton ball and apply it to the affected area by tapping it gently.

Using witch hazel to relieve chickenpox blisters

The itching of chickenpox blisters can make a person very uncomfortable.

Some people find it helpful to treat blisters with witch hazel. Try this recipe to stop chickenpox itch.



• 1 tablespoon of honey

• 40 drops of lavender essential oil

• 15 drops of lemon essential oil

• 5 drops of peppermint essential oil

• 15 drops of bergamot

• ½ cup of aloe vera gel

• 1 teaspoon carrot seed oil


• ½ cup witch hazel


  1. Mix honey, essential oils, aloe vera gel, and carrot seed oil in a spray bottle.
  2. Add the witch hazel and shake vigorously until everything is mixed well.

  3. Spray on chickenpox blisters.

Use witch hazel to relieve diaper rash

Witch hazel can be very soothing to the skin, as well as helping to keep it clean.

It can be a great option when trying to stop dermatitis caused by diapers due to their astringent properties.

This homemade recipe is used to relieve diaper rash.



• 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel

• 2 tablespoons witch hazel

• 7 drops of lavender essential oil


  1. Put all the ingredients in a spray bottle.
  2. Shake vigorously.

  3. Spray before diapering the baby.

  4. Shake and reapply the product each time your baby needs a diaper change.

Use witch hazel to help heal cuts and scrapes

The astringent properties of witch hazel can help you tighten the pores on your skin.


You can also bring the edges of cuts and scratches closer together.

It has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce inflammation when a wound appears.

One of the best ways to use it is to dilute it in water in equal parts. Then dab or tap it on the wound.

Use witch hazel to reduce scars and stretch marks

Applying witch hazel directly to stretch marks and scars may help shrink them by shrinking the pores around them.

Some people recommend applying a small amount of liquid directly to the skin.

Then cover the area with a damp cloth for a few minutes. Lastly, rinse the area.

Use witch hazel to treat inflamed skin

The hamamelis contains up to 10 percent tannin with astringent properties.

It may be effective in killing germs that cause skin irritation.


It could also constrict the pores on both sides of the hemorrhoids, reducing swelling and bleeding.

Other evidence suggests that applying it to the skin regularly could help stop psoriasis and eczema.

This liquid may also help ease the pain of a sunburn.

Simply moisten a soft cotton cloth with this liquid and leave it on the affected area for 20 minutes up to four times a day.

Use witch hazel to help treat varicose veins

Certain studies suggest that combining apple cider vinegar and witch hazel could be an effective treatment to get rid of varicose veins.


Some studies suggest that using it regularly on the affected area could help strengthen blood vessels.

People who want to try it should soak a soft cloth in this liquid and apply it to the affected area.

It would be recommended that people with varicose veins add it to the bathroom using this recipe.



• 20 drops witch hazel

• 10 drops of immortelle essential oil

• 10 drops of lavender essential oil


  1. Fill the bathtub with hot water.
  2. Add the witch hazel and essential oils.

  3. Stir to mix.

  4. Soak in the bathtub for 15 to 20 minutes.

  5. Repeat daily for 30 days or until varicose veins disappear.

Use witch hazel to treat dry skin

People have long used witch hazel to treat dry skin because it may help maintain skin hydration.

It’s easy to make a cleansing wipe to help trap moisture from your skin while cleaning it.

This recipe could make a great non-alcoholic toning lotion.


• 1 ¾ cups of water

• 1 tablespoon of aloe vera

• 1 tablespoon witch hazel


• 1 teaspoon of liquid Castile soap

• 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract

• 1 teaspoon of almond oil

• 6 drops of orange essential oil

• 6 drops of lavender essential oil

• 1 roll of disposable paper towels

• 1 container for towels


  1. Boil the water to sterilize it and then let it cool.
  2. Mix the water, aloe vera, witch hazel, and castile soap in a bowl.

  3. Add essential oils. Stir until everything is mixed well.

  4. Cut paper towels from the roll in half.

  5. Dip the paper towels in the mixture.

  6. Put it in a container and use it to cleanse the skin regularly, helping to retain moisture.

Use witch hazel to relieve tired and puffy eyes

The skin under the eyes tends to accumulate fluid if you don’t drink enough water and don’t get enough sleep.

When bags develop here, witch hazel could be the solution for tired and puffy eyes.

Rub the liquid under the eyes and let the area soak for a few minutes.


Then it should be rinsed with clean water, making sure that it does not get into the eyes.

Use witch hazel for tick removal

Witch hazel is also aversive to ticks. If someone comes across one, it is recommended that they apply something to it.

The tick is likely to loosen its grip, allowing it to be gently pulled out.

Once removed, the area can be cleaned with the product.

People could avoid ticks in the first place by using this tick repellent, which can also help keep mosquitoes and other biting insects away.


• 2 tablespoons witch hazel

• 2 tablespoons of water


• 10 drops of lemon essential oil

• 10 drops of geranium essential oil

• ½ teaspoon glycerin


  1. Put the essential oils in a spray bottle.
  2. Add the witch hazel, water, and glycerin.

  3. Shake until well mixed.

  4. Spray as much as you like before going outside.

  5. Reapply product as needed.


Use witch hazel to clean the house

Make a natural multi-purpose cleaning product at home with witch hazel.


• ½ cup witch hazel

• 1 cup of water

• 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the area you want to clean.

  3. Let it act for five minutes.

  4. Dry with a soft cloth.

This liquid could also be effective in cleaning glass. Just rub it on the glass or mirror and let it evaporate.

Use witch hazel to help heal cold sores

Many people believe that witch hazel helps them get rid of cold sores.

Simply dab on the affected area and let it work.

Its astringent properties may help cold sores go away quickly.

Use witch hazel for deep cleansing of the scalp

Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties make witch hazel good for deep cleansing of the scalp.

The hair should be sectioned before starting.

Rub a cotton ball dipped in the liquid across your exposed scalp.


Leave on for a few minutes and wash with shampoo.

Tips for using witch hazel


The witch hazel infusion involves infusing a teaspoon of the dried leaves in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes.

You can drink 2 to 3 cups a day to enjoy its benefits. This herbal tea is recommended if you have:

• Heavy or swollen legs

• Hemorrhoids.


The decoction consists of boiling, for 15 minutes, witch hazel leaves in water.


Then let the solution sit for 24 hours (overnight) before drinking it the next day.

It is recommended in case of venous circulation disorder, especially heavy legs, varicose veins, etc.

Floral water or hydrosol

Floral water or witch hazel hydrosol to apply directly to the skin using a cotton ball or compress. It is indicated in the event of:

• Couperose: the blood microcirculation is stimulated and the skin pores are tightened.

• Skin irritation especially if it is due to an insect bite or prolonged exposure to sunlight

Diarrhea and after the advice of a doctor.

In addition to other plants

You can also combine witch hazel with other plants.

To treat hemorrhoids, it is advisable to use them as a decoction with cypress or red vine.


To strengthen the blood vessels, you can mix it with red lines and sweet clover.

Dietary supplement

Reduced to powder, witch hazel leaves are used in food supplements.

These are available in different forms: capsules, tablets, or powders.

They are generally recommended for tired (stimulation of venous circulation) or light legs.

Side effects of witch hazel

Even if witch hazel is beneficial for health and the skin, it is always preferable to respect the conditions of use, hence the interest of:

• Respect the dosage and dosage when using witch hazel as an infusion, decoction, or as a food supplement,

• Do not apply the essence of witch hazel directly to the skin or the mucous membrane, especially if you have sensitive skin,

• Seek the advice of a doctor or a health professional before using the plant,


• Avoid consuming witch hazel if you are allergic,

• Do not use witch hazel during pregnancy and breastfeeding.


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