Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Everyday Uses for Witch Hazel

A couple months ago I hit the jackpot at our local Walgreens and bought 2 massively huge bottles of Witch Hazel for $2 each. I've been using witch hazel off and on for a year or more as a facial astringent and at $2 it was a deal I couldn't pass up.
The bottle I've been using was less than half the size of the two bottles I bought on clearance. (I've been using the same bottle for that entire time and it's still half full! Talk about an economical staple!) I decided to start doing some research to see what else I could use witch hazel for since I now had an abundance of it and if I would only use as an astringent it would probably last until I'm close to 100. Here are some of the other uses I found for witch hazel.

* Apply Witch hazel to a cotton ball or pad and gently apply to any blemishes to help reduce the inflammation on a pimple.
* Use witch hazel on baby’s bottom if your infant has a rash. Witch hazel will heal the rash quickly.
* Apply witch hazel to hemorrhoids to help soothe the discomfort, itching, pain, & inflammation. If you want something that is more like a cream or gel mix witch hazel with aloe or petroleum jelly before applying to the hemorrhoids.
* Use witch hazel to reduce and soothe bags under your eyes. Pour some witch hazel onto cotton pads or a cold compress and lay or dab on your eyes. (Do NOT pour witch hazel into eyes.) For best results apply a cold compress with witch hazel and let it sit on your eyes for 10 minutes.
* Witch hazel can also be used to soothe and reduce the inflammation from chicken pox.
* Take witch hazel on your next camping trip. Apply it to bug bites, poison oak, and poison ivy for immediate relief from itching and swelling. Just pour some into a trial size shampoo bottle that has been cleaned for easy packing. (Also soothes sunburns! Talk about being multi-purpose!)
* Witch hazel has been rumored to help heal bruises and the discomfort of varicose veins. Apply several times throughout the day for best results. Soak some gauze in witch hazel and wrap it around the problem area.
* Apply witch hazel to areas prone to razor burn (bikini area!!) before and after shaving to help prevent ingrown hairs and itchy redness.
* Witch hazel is supposed to help your skin stay moisturized when applying it immediately after showing. (Moist lotions, oils, etc will give you the most benefit if applied within a few minutes of getting out of the shower/bath.)
* You can use witch hazel to clean and heal cuts. It will help heal the cut quicker and will help protect it from an infection.
* You can also make your own deodorant. I have never tried this but am considering trying it just because - assuming I can find all the items listed without too much trouble. I’m not real sure of using a liquid as deodorant though. I have enough problems with wet arm pits right now as an aftermath of my hysterectomy! Here is the recipe:

1 tsp high proof vodka

10 drops geraniun

10 drops cypress

8 drops bergamon

5 drops neroli

4 drops lavender

3 drops black pepper

4 tbsp (40 ml) witch hazel

2 tbsp (25 ml) cornflower water

2 tbsp (25 ml) orange flower water
1. Measure the vodka into a 4 oz (100 ml) glass bottle with a spray attachment.

2. Carefully add the essential oils, one by one.

3. Shake vigorously to dissolve the essential oils.

4. Pour the witch hazel into the bottle, using a funnel if necessary, followed by the two flower waters. Shake well.

5. Label the bottle and the deodorant is now ready to use.

6. Before you use the deodorant each time, give the bottle a good shake to ensure the essential oils are fully mixed.

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