Best Pennies-a-Day Beauty Tip

Last night I was watching one of my fave retro TV shows, Bewitched  — the one where Samantha considers confessing her witching ways to the world.

1968…were we ever really that innocent?

Ah well, the good old days. I still wish I could twitch my nose and make some magic.

Since that’s def not gonna happen, it seems like the perfect segue for this post.

Do you know about Witch Hazel?

It comes in an unassuming little bottle, not like an uber expensive jar of La Mer. And yes, it does have a certain unique and pungent odor, but I like it…the benefits outweigh that one little detraction.

Witch Hazel CVS

I like to call it “bewitched” hazel ‘cos I  keep it  on my bathroom counter along with some cotton balls to make sure I don’t forget to use it as part of my daily routine. It also comes in pre-moistened pads and creams, but I like the old-school way.

It’s magic!

I use it twice a day, morning and night. After washing my face, witch hazel not only clears the skin of any remaining dirt or soapy/creamy residue, but acts as a toner, perfectly prepping the face for moisturizer or makeup. It leaves my skin feeling silky soft and refreshed.

It’s also magic {twitch your nose here} to make puffy eyes disappear and obtain relief from itchy insect bites.

Witch Hazel tree

                                        Witch Hazel tree

Witch Hazel Facts

  • Witch-hazel is a genus of flowering plants in the family Hamamelidaceae, with three species in North America, and one each in Japan and China. The North American species are occasionally called winterbloom
  • Witch hazel may have gotten its name from its association with dowsing, which was once thought to be a form of witchcraft.
  • Witch hazel’s branches were once the wood of choice for dowsing rods, whose purpose was to locate water, or “witch” a well.

Other Uses for Witch Hazel

  • The bark, leaves, and twigs of witch hazel are all high in tannins, giving this plant astringent properties. Astringents are substances that can dry, tighten, and harden tissues. You may use an astringent on your skin to tighten pores and remove excess oil.
  • A styptic pencil is a type of astringent, too, for astringents also stop discharges. The astringent tannins in witch hazel temporarily tighten and soothe aching varicose veins or reduce inflammation in cases of phlebitis (an inflammation of a vein). Witch hazel also contains procyanadins, resin, and flavonoids, all of which add to its soothing, anti-inflammatory properties. A cloth soaked in strong witch hazel tea reduces swelling and can relieve the pain of hemorrhoids and bruises. 
  • A throat gargle of witch hazel, myrrh, and cloves reduces the pain of an uncomfortable sore throat.
  • Use fresh tea or tincture, not the drugstore witch hazel, which contains isopropyl alcohol.
  • Rinse your mouth with witch hazel and myrrh for swollen and infected gums. Place a dropper full of tincture of each herb in 1/4 cup of water and use as a mouth rinse.
  • A teaspoon of strong witch hazel tea combined with one drop each of myrrh and clove oil makes a pain- and inflammation-relieving gum rub for use in teething babies. (I’d ask a doctor about this before I did it!!!)
  • A cotton swab dipped in a witch hazel, goldenseal, and calendula tea and applied to the outer ear is useful in treating swimmer’s ear. Witch hazel helps dry up the secretions, while goldenseal and calendula fight infection.
  • Witch hazel combined with arnica makes an excellent topical remedy for the treatment of  bruises, bumps, and sprains to relieve pain and promote speedy healing.

I’ve read information that recommends the use of  witch hazel internally to treat a variety of illnesses, but I’m staying away from that and concentrate more on the external application.

Witch hazel is sometimes combined with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol for use on external skin lesions; this form of witch hazel should not be used internally. 

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. The author does not take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.