What Are the Benefits of Witch Hazel?

Throughout history, there have been many reported benefits of witch hazel, most of which involve the skin. This herb is often used as an astringent or to treat inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Additional benefits of witch hazel include the treatment of hemorrhoids, digestive problems, and sore throat. Arthritis, muscle pain, and menstrual disorders may also be treated with products made from this herb. Negative side effects associated with witch hazel are extremely rare, but any concerns should be discussed with a doctor just to be sure.
The primary use of witch hazel is an astringent to cleanse and tone the skin. This herb possesses anti-inflammatory properties and is often used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne, or eczema. Many people believe that skin infections caused by bacteria or fungi may be prevented when scrapes or sores are treated with this herb. Witch hazel may also be used to soothe puffy eyes, treat sunburn, or relieve pain and itching caused by insect stings. Some studies have indicated that this herb may help slow the aging process and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and other skin blemishes.
Varicose veins and hemorrhoids are frequently treated by applying witch hazel to the affected areas. The benefits of witch hazel in these cases include the reduction of blood vessel inflammation and the soothing and cooling effect that it has on the skin. Pain and itching associated with hemorrhoids is often relieved immediately upon application. A mild stinging sensation is possible when this product is first applied, but this discomfort usually lasts for only a few seconds or minutes.
The treatment of digestive disorders is among the possible benefits of witch hazel. A tea made from this herb is said to be useful for treating inflammatory conditions of the intestines such as Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome. Nausea, diarrhea, and intestinal cramps may also be relieved by the consumption of this tea. Inflammation or pain affecting the throat may be eased by gargling with a solution containing witch hazel.
Relief from muscle or joint pain is another potential benefit of witch hazel. Used as a muscle rub, witch hazel may help relieve tired or sore muscles. Joint pain caused by arthritis or other inflammatory conditions, such as lupus, may also benefit from the use of this herb. Menstrual disorders, dandruff, and cold sores are often treated with products containing witch hazel as well.

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