Witch Hazel is an alcoholic extract from the leaves, flowers and bark of the hamamelis tree. Contains a mixture of 85-86% aqueous witch hazel extract and 14-15 % ethyl alcohol as a preservative.
At Nurtured, we recommend using witch hazel to help with postpartum recovery. You can ease perineal pain with mama pads or cotton dressings soaked in witch hazel, kept cool in a tub in your fridge.
It is frequently used in products like after shave lotions, where it shows mildly styptic properties as well as helping to reduce razor burn and swelling through its cool soothing sensation. In skin care Witch Hazel can be used as toner or in place of a cleanser. It is particularly beneficial for oil and problem skin.
Witch hazel is mainly used externally on sores, bruises, and swelling. The main constituents of the extract include tannin, gallic acid, catechins, proanthocyanins, flavonoids (kaempferol, quercetin), essential oil (carvacrol, eugenol, hexenol), choline, saponins, and bitters. Distilled witch hazel sold in drug stores and pharmacies typically contains no tannin.
Witch hazel hydrosol is used in skin care. It is a strong anti-oxidant and astringent, which makes it very useful in fighting acne. It is often used as a natural remedy for psoriasis, eczema, aftershave applications, ingrown nails, to prevent sweating of the face, cracked or blistered skin, for treating insect bites, poison ivy, and as a treatment for varicose veins and hemorrhoids. (It is found in numerous over-the-counter hemorrhoid preparations.)
Witch hazel is also traditionally known as a good first reaction against shaving cuts and abrasions, and it is also recommended by The Doctors Book of Home Remedies as effective for helping soothe sunburn.
Witch Hazel distillate is made by Earthwise in Welland, ON.