September 16, 2009

Witch Hazel for Treating Bruises

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Witch hazel is a shrub that contains astringent properties in its barks, leaves, and twigs. Used as an ancient medical remedy by American Indians, this shrub is now part of a number of healthcare products. Witch hazel is mostly used for external injuries like bruises, sores, and swelling.


  • Witch hazel is used both externally and internally for certain conditions. Due to the high content of tannin that is present in the bark, leaves and twigs of witch hazel, this shrub contains astringent properties.
  • Astringents help in tightening and hardening tissues; thus, it could be used to tighten pores and get rid of extra oil from your skin.
  • The astringent also aids in soothing and tightening varicose veins.
  • It also helps in decreasing swelling if a vein is inflamed.
  • Witch hazel also contains flavanoids, procyanadis and resin that give it anti-inflammatory and calming properties. Dipping a cloth in concentrated witch hazel tea decreases inflammation and can alleviate pain due to bruising and hemorrhoids.
  • The shrub witch hazel is also used to treat cuts and wounds, and when combined with arnica, it works as a remedy that quickly heals bumps and sprains. Witch hazel can also be used for bruises.
  • A combination of isopropyl alcohol and witch hazel are also used for skin lesions, but should not be ingested and only used externally.
  • Witch hazel can also be found in some lotions, suppositories and hemorrhoidal pads.


  • Witch hazel can be used internally if you are suffering from hemorrhoids, a prolapsed uterus, or varicose veins. Avoid using the witch hazel preparation along with isopropyl alcohol that is available in drug stores.
  • Witch hazel helps with a number of conditions in the mouth. The shrub also contains qualities that enable it to shrink inflamed tissues, which is why it is used for people suffering from laryngitis. Use a mix of cloves, myrrh, and witch hazel to create a mouth gargle that helps ease a sore throat. Make sure that you use witch hazel tincture or fresh tea and not witch hazel that is readily available at the drugstore. A blend of ¼ cup of myrrh and witch hazel helps with infected and inflamed gums.
  • Witch hazel is also used to treat swimmer’s ear; a combination of calendula tea, goldenseal and witch hazel can be applied in the affected ear with a cotton swab. This concoction helps get rid of the infection and dry the secretion.
  • Witch hazel also helps people with irritable bowel syndrome or colitis as it decreases the secretions. If you are suffering from diarrhea or the stomach flu, drinking tea that contains chamomile, witch hazel, mint and a little thyme should help. Consult your herbalist for correct proportions.

Side Effects of Witch Hazel: The only side effect associated with witch hazel is that in case of frequent use or a large dosage, you could feel nauseous because of the tannins. Be cautious while using lotions that contain other ingredients in them as well.