When I was growing up, there were always three bottles in our medicine cabinet: rubbing alcohol, peroxide, and witch hazel. Now, I understood what the rubbing alcohol was for - disinfecting tweezers when I got a splinter. Peroxide was the much-feared, pain-causing stuff Mom put on my knees before she dabbed on Mercurochrome (the pre-historic antiseptic later removed from the market because it contained mercury). BUT WHAT WAS WITCH HAZEL FOR?
Recently, I found some in my medicine closet and, thanks to menopause, can't remember buying this shit nor why we have it. So I researched this mystery substance and discovered it's got a MULTITUDE of purposes. So here are
10 USES FOR WITCH HAZEL
- Acne – This is probably the most commonly-known use for witch hazel, but don't think it's exclusively for teenagers! As those of us in middle-age know, pimples happen well into adulthood. Dab a little witch hazel on those dots to reduce inflammation.
- Varicose Veins – Soak a wash cloth in witch hazel and lay it on those veins which pop above the skin. The witch hazel tightens the veins to temporarily reduce discomfort. Great for those late nights when EVERYTHING aches!
- Stop Bug Bites From Itching – The anti-itch magic of witch hazel is great for treating bug bites (for more treatments for mosquito bites, click here. Just tab a bit on the bite.
A witch hazel shrub
- Clean Your Kitchen Counters – Save money with this easy cleaner! Mix ½ cup of witch hazel with 1 cup of water and a tablespoon of lemon juice in a spray bottle. The combo cuts through grease, kills bacteria and leaves a lemon-fresh smell. Watch your countertops sparkle!
- Heal Bruises – Sometimes I look down and see a random bruise I can't remember getting. Dab witch hazel on a bruise three times a day to reduce the healing time.
- Peel Away Price Stickers – One of the banes of my existence are those price stickers they place on merchandise from The Dollar Store. Saturate a piece of paper towel with witch hazel and hold it on a sticker for about 30 seconds. The witch hazel breaks down the bonding agents in the sticker and makes it easier to peel off.
Witch hazel leaf
- Make Your Own Air Freshener – Mix ½ cup of witch hazel, 1 cup of water, and 15 drops of your favorite essential oil in a spray bottle. Spritz it around the house to kill odor-causing bacterial and add wanted scents to your house. Especially useful in teenagers' rooms!
- Sooth And Prevent Razor Burn – This anti-inflammatory wizard stops itchy bumps from forming around irritated hair follicles. Use it before or after shaving the face, armpits or legs and see if it helps with red skin.
- Heal Cuts And Scrapes – Known as “nature's version of Neosporin” by some pharmacists, witch hazel kills bacteria and reduces swelling. Use instead of peroxide to clean scrapes.
- Clean Vinyl, Linoleum, And Tile Floors – Just mop with ½ cup of witch hazel to 1 gallon of warm water. You can also stir in 1 tablespoon of borax before you mop for extra cleaning power. Witch hazel strips away old wax, making floors nice and clean.
As I've said before, I am no medical professional, so if you have any questions about using witch hazel for medicinal purposes, please double-check with your doctor. These uses for this drug store staple have worked for me, at a fraction of the cost of other products. NOW I remember what I bought that white bottle for!
What do YOU use witch hazel for? Let me know!
Thank you for reading!