8 Health Benefits of Witch Hazel!

The benefits of witch hazel are very effective as its properties are found to be medicinal  and can be used in many ways. It is derived from the leaves and bark of Hamamelis virginiana, a type of shrub that is native to North America.

Most often applied to the skin and scalp, it is widely known for its ability to soothe inflammation and soothe sensitive skin. It can also be added to herbal teas and taken orally in small amounts as a natural treatment for other conditions.

Health benefits of witch hazel:

1. Helps prevent acne:

Thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, some research suggests that it may be helpful in treating acne . Can be applied directly to your face after cleansing or steaming for maximum effectiveness. It acts as an astringent, causing tissues to contract to help shrink pores, while calming the skin and relieving inflammation.

This can prevent acne -causing bacteria from  getting into your pores. For this reason, this plant is commonly added to many over-the -counter acne products and is especially helpful for people with oily skin. Still, studies on its effects on acne  are limited and more research is needed to determine its effectiveness.

2. Prevents infection:

One of the benefits of witch hazel is in fighting certain types of viral infections. A test-tube study, for example, found that tannins  exhibited antiviral effects against influenza A and human papillomavirus (HPV). Another test-tube study showed that the extract of this plant inhibited the activity of the herpes simplex virus 1, which is often the culprit of cold sores .

Therefore, witch hazel is often applied as a natural remedy to help fight herpes. But while test-tube studies have found promising results, human studies are still lacking.

3. Improves sore throat:

Due to its ability to decrease inflammation and act as an astringent, it is sometimes used to treat sore throats . To do this, boil a teaspoon (5 ml) in a glass (240 ml) of water for about 10 minutes, then gargling the mixture can provide relief.

This is believed to help reduce swelling, lessen pain, and dry up excess mucus caused by a sore throat . However, while the anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel are well documented, its use in treating sore throats is based solely on anecdotal evidence.

More high-quality studies are needed to determine potential benefits in strep throat. Also, taking it orally can cause stomach irritation due to its high tannin content, so it’s important to proceed with caution and consult your doctor if you have any concerns.

4. Treats skin irritation:

Sensitive skin, defined by abnormal sensory symptoms, is a very common condition, affecting an estimated 45% of Americans. Some research suggests that applying witch hazel topically to sensitive skin may be beneficial in treating inflamed, irritated, or dry skin. In fact, witch hazel has been shown to suppress erythema – a redness of the skin caused by injury or irritation – by up to 27%.

A study in 40 people found that using a lotion with 10% extract of this plant was effective in reducing skin inflammation and treating erythema . Similarly, another small study found that a topical preparation containing witch hazel was able to provide relief for sensitive or irritated facial skin.

5. Prevents Skin from Damage:

Witch hazel is rich in tannins, a natural plant compound with powerful antioxidant properties that can help protect your skin from damage when applied topically. An animal study found that tannins can act as a barrier, preventing inflammation-causing substances from entering your skin cells.

6. Benefits the scalp:

Scalp sensitivity can be caused by a number of factors, from cosmetic hair treatments to dermatological conditions such as psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis .

Applying some witch hazel to the scalp can help treat scalp sensitivity and relieve itchiness and sensitivity. According to a study in 1,373 people, using a shampoo containing extract was effective in reducing scalp irritation.

It can also help relieve inflammation, which could be helpful in reducing scalp sensitivity caused by conditions like psoriasis or eczema . It is also sometimes used as a natural remedy to relieve symptoms of other scalp problems such as dandruff and dryness. However, further research is needed to assess the effectiveness of this plant in treating these conditions.

7. Helps Treat Inflammation:

Inflammation is a normal immune response designed to protect your body from injury and infection. However, chronic inflammation is thought to play a central role in the development of certain diseases.

In addition, it contains many compounds with potent anti-inflammatory properties, including gallic acid and tannins. It also contains antioxidants that help prevent widespread inflammation and neutralize free radicals, which are disease-causing compounds.

Therefore, witch hazel benefits  are far-reaching and may be helpful in treating inflammation-related problems such as acne , eczema , or psoriasis . Studies show that applied topically can effectively reduce inflammation and help soothe your skin.

8. Helps in the treatment of hemorrhoids:

Hemorrhoids  are caused by swelling and inflammation of the veins in the rectum and anus, resulting in symptoms such as constipation , itching, and bleeding. In addition, witch hazel  is often used as a natural remedy to provide relief from the discomfort and pain caused by hemorrhoids .

It is normally added to a cloth or cotton ball and applied directly to the affected area to soothe the skin. While research is limited, it is believed to help treat the itching, redness, pain, and swelling associated with hemorrhoids , due to its anti-inflammatory effects.

After all, it has hemostatic properties, meaning it can stop bleeding caused by hemorrhoids . However, more human studies are needed to examine its effectiveness on hemorrhoids .

Ways to use:

More studies are needed to look at the effects of witch hazel on viral infections in adults. Ointments and extracts can be applied to the skin multiple times and safely administered to treat hemorrhoids .

Some people may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions after applying it topically. Doing an initial skin patch test can help prevent unwanted side effects and reactions.

Therefore, taking 3-4 teaspoons (15-20 ml) a day is considered safe, ingesting large amounts can cause effects. However, it is best to use small amounts by mouth and any side effects speak to your doctor.

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