It’s not just an odd-smelling, strangely-named bottle of liquid that your mother used to use – witch hazel is derived from leaves and bark of a special plant and is very affordable.
The bottle witch hazel has been used for hundreds of years for its medicinal purposes, but there are many other non-medical ways to use it as well.
Here’s 20 uses of witch hazel that surprised us…
1. Soothe haemorrhoids
Make your own medicated pads by adding a couple of drops of lavender essential oil to about 30ml of witch hazel and then dip round cotton pads in the solution.
2. Ease a sore throat
Gargle a witch hazel tea infused with myrrh and cloves to decrease the inflammation and soreness of a throat infection. Once you use the gargle, fully rinse your mouth and brush your teeth. Never swallow the witch hazel.
3. Clean your dog’s ears
Give your dog’s ears a good cleaning by moistening a cotton ball or cloth with witch hazel, and gently wiping the inside of the ears.
4. Clean the house
Make a eco cleaning spray by combining equal parts witch hazel and lemon juice with 2 tablespoons of bi-carb soda.
5. Clean your jewellery
Some people are sensitive to alcohol or peroxide for cleaning earrings. Instead, dab some witch hazel on a cotton ball to gently clean your earrings or other jewellery.
6. Treat Athlete’s foot
Combine witch hazel with vinegar and mouthwash and apply daily, leaving on overnight until gone.
7. Ease bumps from waxing or shaving
Got those little red bumps from shaving or waxing? Apply some witch hazel to stop bleeding and razor burn.
8. Calm puffy eyes
Soak cotton pads with witch hazel and put them over your eyes. Take care not to get any in your eye. Leave for 10 minutes to feel relief.
9. Reduce the appearance of varicose veins
Soak a thin cloth in witch hazel and lay it on your varicose veins for 20 minutes. The witch hazel will tighten the veins and reduce pain and swelling.
10. Heal bruising
Soak a thin cloth or pad in witch hazel and apply it to your bruise several times a day until the bruise is gone.
11. Cleanse a wound
Witch hazel cleanses the skin of germs and bacteria and soothes inflammation as well as naturally tightening the skin to promote faster healing. You can also apply witch hazel to minor cuts and scrapes to stop bleeding.
12. Stop itching
Soak a cloth or cotton ball with witch hazel and rub it on your itchy skin. You’ll feel relief right away.
13. Tighten pores
Witch hazel is a wonderful way to tighten up large pores on your face. Use for one week every day to see a marked difference.
14. Seal in moisture
If used right after a shower, topical witch hazel will seal in moisture. This is great in winter when your skin can become dry after a hot shower.
15. Cure a cold sore
Apply the witch hazel when you first see the cold sore, and treat 3-4 times daily.
16. Treat allergies
Put witch hazel in a nasal atomiser and spray in each nostril. You will feel a burning sensation at first but it is effective. Check with your doctor if unsure.
17. Use as aftershave
It soothes the skin if you apply topically.
18. Get rid of fruit flies
Fill a small bowl ¼ full of witch hazel and place next to your fruit bowl.
19. Soothe chafe
If your chafe is causing you discomfort, apply witch hazel with a cotton ball and you should see immediate improvement.
20. Make your own deodorant
Witch hazel is often used in deodorants due to its natural skin-healing and skin-care properties, but you can make your own at home with this recipe:
- 1 tsp vodka
- 10 drops geranium
- 8 drops bergamot
- 4 drops lavender
- 4 tbsp (80 ml) witch hazel
Measure the vodka into a small glass bottle with a spray attachment and carefully add the essential oils, one by one. Shake vigorously to dissolve the essential oils. Pour the witch hazel into the bottle, using a funnel if necessary, followed by the two flower waters. Shake well.
Do you use witch hazel in any other ways? Share below.