By Fredrica Syren:
Witch hazel, a shrub that grows in the eastern and midwestern U.S. as well parts of Canada, has been used by native Americans as medicine for a long time. It’s best known for its anti-inflammatory properties because it contains tannins that help reduce swelling and fight bacteria. Today, major skincare companies use it as a base in toners, cleaners and makeup remover. Witch hazel is great for treating lots of skin problems, but make sure to buy only alcohol free witch hazel. My favorite brand is Essential Living Witch Hazel Toner.
Sore postpartum bottoms-—This was my saving grace after giving birth to all three of my children because it really did help reduce swelling.
Sunburn—Make a paste of equal amounts of baking soda and witch hazel and apply to burn.
Hemorrhoids—Keep witch hazel in the fridge for cooling effect. Soak a cotton ball in it and hold on affected area as long as possible.
Pain and itching from poison ivy and bug bites—Make a paste of equal amounts of baking soda and witch hazel, and apply to bite or rash to help alleviate discomfort.
Dandruff—It’s good for both hair and scalp, and can help treat dandruff. Make a rinse by diluting one part witch hazel with nine parts water, and use before shampooing—or rub witch hazel directly onto scalp before shampooing.
Bruises and swelling—To ease, apply directly onto bruise a couple of times a day.
Cuts—Clean cuts and scrapes with undiluted hazel.