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Witch Hazel Essential Oil : Benefits, Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, And Precautions

There are several uses for witch hazel, a plant with potent therapeutic qualities.

There are several varieties of witch hazel, but Hamamelis virginiana, a plant native to North America, is the most frequently employed in US folk medicine. (1).  Teas and ointments are prepared from the bark and leaves. They are bright yellow flowers that grow on a small tree which helps reduce swelling, calm irritated skin, and reduce allergic reactions.

Native Americans were the first to recognize this plant. Peer-reviewed studies have shown that witch hazel trees have invaluable service due to their properties and benefits.

Witch hazel is well recognized for its ability to reduce inflammation and calm sensitive skin and is often utilized on the skin and scalp.

It can also be taken orally in small doses and incorporated into herbal teas as a natural remedy for different ailments.

21 Benefits Of Witch Hazel Oil

There are several uses for witch hazel, from natural cosmetic treatments to domestic cleaning solutions. Since ancient times, North Americans have gathered this naturally occurring substance from the witch hazel plant, using it for anything from enhancing skin health to warding off diseases and breaking on troublesome pests. Scalp burnout to contact dermatitis, this oil, and other witch hazel products have proven very beneficial for people.

  1. Reduces Inflammation

  • The immune system's natural defense against damage and infection is inflammation.

  • However, persistent inflammation is believed to be a key factor in the emergence of several illnesses.

  • Gallic acid and tannins are only two of the numerous substances in witch hazel that have strong anti-inflammatory actions.

  • Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory properties and neutralizes free radicals, substances that can accumulate in your body and cause disease.

  • Thus, witch hazel may have several advantages and help manage inflammatory-related conditions like acne, eczema, or psoriasis.

  • According to studies, using witch hazel topically can significantly reduce inflammation and calm your skin.

  • Skin conditions can be reduced by using American witch hazel on the affected area. Popular articles detail how to use witch hazel to treat health conditions and fight bacteria.

  1. Lessens skin irritability

  • An estimated 45% of Americans are thought to have sensitive skin characterized by aberrant sensory complaints.

  • According to some studies, topical witch hazel on exposed skin may help treat irritated, inflamed, or damaged skin.

  • In fact, it has been demonstrated that witch hazel can reduce erythema, a skin reddening brought on by damage or irritation, by as much as 27%.

  • A lotion containing as low as 10% witch hazel extract was shown to be helpful in one research on 40 individuals in decreasing skin irritation and alleviating erythema.

  • Similar to this, smaller research discovered that a topical witch hazel treatment might soothe inflamed or sensitive facial skin.

  • People apply witch hazel on broken skin, and by using witch hazel and witch hazel water, they reduce skin irritation.

  1. Aids in Hemorrhoid Treatment

  • Hemorrhoids are characterized by symptoms like itching and bleeding and are brought on by the enlargement and aggravation of the veins in your rectum and anus.

  • Witch hazel is frequently used as a home treatment to ease the discomfort and agony associated with hemorrhoids.

  • It is often incorporated into a cloth or cotton ball to calm the skin and administered directly to the troubled region.

  • Despite the little study, witch hazel is said to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve hemorrhoids' itchiness, redness, discomfort, and swelling.

  • Additionally, it possesses hemostatic qualities, which means that it can stop bleeding

  • But additional research on witch hazel's effects on people's hemorrhoids is required.

  1. Combats acne

  • According to some studies, witch hazel may help cure acne because of its potent anti-inflammatory qualities.

  • Use it straight to your face for the best efficiency after cleaning or steaming.

  • It soothes your skin and reduces irritation while acting as an astringent, forcing your tissues to constrict to aid in shrinking pores.

  • By doing this, you could stop skin-infecting germs from creating acne. Due to its benefits for those with oily skin, witch hazel is frequently included in many over-the-counter acne treatments.

  • However, there have only been a few studies on witch hazel's effects on acne, and further investigation is required to determine its effectiveness.

  • Applying witch hazel helps the skin, and many wellness professionals and healthcare providers recommend it as one of the treatment options.

  1. It helps treat minor wounds.

  • Witch hazel is considered a natural disinfectant that helps heal cuts and scrapes.

  • Witch hazel has antiseptic properties that help treat minor wounds and skin irritation.

  • It soothes the skin and helps calm the wound.

  • Make sure that witch hazel is not used on extensive wounds.

  1. Treats sunburn

  • Witch hazel is rich in antioxidants, one of which is polyphenols which help in treating the skin inflammation caused due to sunburn.

  • Polyphenol compound protects from the ultraviolet radiation emitted from the sunlight, which can cause stress on the skin resulting in sunburn. (2)

  1. Reduces the sensitivity of the scalp

  • Skin diseases like psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, as well as cosmetic hair treatments, can all contribute to scalp irritation.

  • Before shampooing your hair, dab some witch hazel on your scalp to cure scalp hypersensitivity and ease symptoms like itching and discomfort.

  • Using such a shampoo incorporating witch hazel extract successfully minimizes scalp irritation, according to one study including 1373 participants.

  • Inflammation may also be reduced with witch hazel, which may be helpful in lowering scalp irritation brought on by psoriasis or eczema.

  • In other cases, it's utilized as a home treatment to treat the signs of other scalp issues, including dandruff and dryness.

  • Shampoos containing witch hazel help reduce red scalp. According to professional medical advice and alternative medicine review, witch hazel is also effective in fixing sensitive scalps. (3)

  1. Controlling excess oil

  • Witch hazel is a natural facial cleanser that helps balance excess oil from the skin by cleaning it deeply.

  • Witch hazel has natural astringent properties and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a perfect cleanser to clean the oiliness from the skin.

  1. Fights signs of aging

  • Witch hazel is a boon for fighting signs of aging. It tightens the skin and is rich in antioxidants that are required to fight the signs of aging.

  • Witch hazel promotes collagen production and boosts skin elasticity.

  1. Reduces the Risk of Skin Damage

  • When applied topically, tannins, a plant-origin ingredient with potent antioxidant qualities found in witch hazel, can help shield your skin from harm.

  • According to one study on animals, tannins can be a barrier to stopping inflammatory agents from penetrating your skin cells.

  • Additionally, a test-tube study revealed that witch hazel stopped the development of skin cancer cells and assisted in the neutralization of damaging free radicals.

  • Similar to this, different research on animals found that the tannins in witch hazel might inhibit the development of skin tumors in radiation-exposed mice.

  • However, test-tube and animal studies still make up the majority of research today. More research is required to determine hazel's effects on people.

  1. Prevents infection

  • According to several research, witch hazel may help prevent or treat some viral infections.

  • For instance, a test-tube investigation discovered that the tannins in witch hazel had antiviral properties against the human papillomavirus and influenza A. (HPV)

  • According to other test-tube research, witch hazel extract suppressed the activity of the herpes simplex virus 1, which is frequently the cause of cold sores.

  • Because of this, witch hazel is frequently utilized topically as a natural treatment to treat symptoms and cold sores.

  • Although encouraging effects have been observed in test-tube experiments, human trials are still missing.

  • The benefits of witch hazel and its possible impact on viral diseases in healthy persons require further research.

  1. Reduce bug bites

  • In addition to treating other skin responses like poison ivy, witch hazel can also relieve the itching, redness, and irritation brought on by insect bites. Be sure to carry witch hazel for your upcoming outdoor adventure or camping trip.

  • Just bear in mind that you might want to try using witch hazel cream if you have sensitive skin. Additionally, keep an eye out for formulations without alcohol.

  1. Relief from varicose veins

  • Varicose veins are an issue in which the veins in the legs get dilated and cause discomfort.

  • The appearance of varicose veins bothers many people.

  • Using witch hazel can help bring relief from the pain and appearance of varicose veins. (4)

  1. Cut down on stretch marks.

  • Witch hazel is a potential candidate for the treatment of stretch marks since it may provide some advantages for promoting healthy collagen fibers. Pregnant ladies frequently use it to avoid stretch marks.

  • Use witch hazel during a bath to take advantage of the various advantages of the plant on all parts of the body for the ideal fusion of skincare and self-care. Remember that witch hazel is acidic and might irritate delicate skin if used excessively.

  1. Soothe Razor burns

  • Since witch hazel has an anti-inflammatory effect by nature, it can aid in reducing razor burn's itching, redness, and irritation. Witch hazel products with a high alcohol concentration should be avoided since they may not be beneficial.

  1. Reduce scars

  • Witch hazel can be used to reduce the appearance of scars. It helps tighten the skin and reduce scars.

  1. Managing cold sores

  • Simple as that, managing cold sores is a nuisance. You're left trying to figure out how to conceal them with cosmetics in addition to treating them. Witch hazel is a natural astringent, so even if we aren't here to discuss the latter, you might be able to use it to cure a cold sore. Cold sores could get drier and heal faster.

  1. Eliminate makeup

  • That witch hazel can assist in removing your makeup at the end of the day shouldn't come as a surprise. To gently remove remnants of makeup and pollutants, saturate a cotton pad with Witch Hazel water with Rosewater and massage it over your face.

  1. Helps treat skin conditions in children

  • Kids usually suffer from minor skin issues like rashes, swelling, itchiness, etc.

  • According to a study conducted in 2007, it has been found out that witch hazel can be used to treat different skin issues faced by kids. (5)

  • Children easily tolerate witch hazel treatment.

  1. Treats ear infection

  • Witch hazel contains antibacterial properties that help fight the bacteria causing infections like ear infections and supports speedy recovery.

  • Witch hazel can deal with different ear infection issues like infection within the ear, break up wax, remove pus or odor, and fight overgrowth bacteria.

  1. Treats issues of mouth, lips, and gums

  • Witch hazel can help treat blisters on lips or inner cheeks. It offers relief from pain and swelling.

  • It can also be used to deal with issues like bad breath odors, sores, infections, toothaches, etc. 

How To Use Witch Hazel Oil?

With little chance of negative side effects, witch hazel is generally safe to use.

After every bowel movement, ointments and extracts can be safely applied directly to the skin multiple times daily to cure hemorrhoids.

Moreover, while taking 3-4 teaspoons (15-20 ml) of witch hazel daily is typically considered harmless, consuming high amounts may result in nausea and vomiting.

Witch hazel should be used in diluted form. It should be diluted with carrier oil like coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, etc. This diluted mixture should be used for topical application.

*Note: It is recommended to conduct a patch test before applying witch hazel to see if there are any allergic reactions.

Uses Of Witch Hazel Essential Oil

Following is the list of different skin conditions and how witch hazel should be used to treat these skin issues:

  • For aging: Witch hazel oil can be mixed with other essential oils like frankincense oil that helps fight signs of aging. It can also be combined with vitamin E oil, which helps in reversing skin damage and helps treat signs of aging.
  • For acne: Before opening up the pimple, apply a few drops of witch hazel oil directly on the skin. It can be used in diluted form with a carrier oil like coconut oil. To treat acne, witch hazel can also be mixed with other effective essential oils that help treat acne, like tea tree oil.
  • For ear infection: With the help of a dropper, take a few drops of witch hazel oil and insert it in the ear to treat ear infection. You can do this twice a day.
  • For eye puffiness: Dilute witch hazel oil with any carrier oil and apply it under the eye carefully to avoid getting any oil in the eyes.
  • For varicose veins: Take a cotton swab, dip it in witch hazel oil and rub it across the skin where varicose veins are forming.
  • For sore throat: You can add 2 drops of witch hazel oil in your tea along with honey to treat sore throat.
  • For cleaning hair: You can add several drops of witch hazel oil to your shampoo and use it to clean your hair and treat scalp issues, dandruff, and dry scalp. You can further experiment with your shampoo by adding other essential oils, argan oil, and coconut oil.
  • For mouth: You can add a few drops of witch hazel to your tea along with clove oil and consume it. You can also add witch hazel to your toothpaste.
  • For hemorrhoids, apply a few drops of witch hazel on the affected area.

Possible Side Effects

  • Witch hazel being a natural ingredient, rarely have any side effects.

  • But this can be said for the application of witch hazel and not for its consumption.

  • Some possible side effects that can be experienced after swallowing witch hazel are liver damage, nausea, and vomiting.

  • It is recommended that people suffering from rosacea, in which redness and swollen bumps are caused on the skin, should avoid the use of witch hazel.

  • People that have sensitive skin or dry skin should consult their doctors before using witch hazel to avoid any possible side effects.

  • After using witch hazel topically, some people may have skin irritation or allergic responses.

Witch Hazel Essential Oil Dosage And Instructions

  • Strictly adhere to the recommended doses, warnings, course of therapy, and mode of administration.

  • It is recommended that you should use witch hazel only 4 to 5 times a day.

  • Even though two essential oils have similar names, never substitute one for the other if you are unfamiliar with it.

  • Always thoroughly wash your hands after handling an essential oil. Essential oils can be diffused.

  • Never expose essential oils to high heat.

  • Observe the usage directions.

  • Keep an eye out for potential essential oil interactions if you are taking medication.

  • Never completely rule out an allergic response, especially in susceptible or hypersensitive individuals.

  • Some witch hazel products might contain alcohol which can cause skin irritation and dryness.

Precautionary Measures

Numerous essential oils are prohibited both during nursing and pregnancy, particularly during the first trimester. Similarly, some are not suggested for kids under the age of 7. Always see your family doctor before beginning any medical treatment or long-term illness if you have kidney or liver issues, epileptic disorders, heart pathologies, epilepsy or asthma sufferers, or any other listed conditions. 

Summary

Witch hazel has been used to deal with different skin issues since ancient times. Witch hazel contains medicinal properties that can offer relief from redness, itching, etc. The use of witch hazel has provided comfort in bug bites, rashes, hemorrhoids, acne, skin irritation, inflammation, etc.

It should be kept in mind that witch hazel has been recommended as safe for topical application, and one should avoid swallowing it as it can cause possible side effects.

D.Ac., L.Ac, M.S
Kerry Boyle

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