by Todd Walker
What if wicked chickens laid deviled eggs?
That’s probably not going to happen. But then again, Monsanto hasn’t tried – yet.
Either way, here’s a wicked sounding herbal remedy that you should consider adding to your home apothecary.
Witch hazel is a common flowering shrub found in North America. The witchy name came about by its limbs being used in divining, dowsing, or witching for water. A dowser would use a witching wand made out of a stick or branch of witch hazel to find a vein of water underneath the earth. Finding water by witching is still used today.
This practice was considered witchcraft by some religious folk. Whatever your beliefs on witches and magic, this scary sounding plant actually offers many healing qualities.
Here’s 13 of the wicked good benefits of using witch hazel:
NOTE: Witch hazel tinctures made from the plant can be ingested in small amounts. However, the witch hazel on the drug store shelves contains isopropyl alcohol and should never be used internally.
A.) Acne. The leaves, twigs, and bark of the plant are loaded with tannins which act as an astringent. When applied to the skin they help tighten and dry skin.
B.) Hemorrhoids are a pain in the arse! Witch hazel is one of the main ingredients in Preparation H because it works so well to shrink blood vessels. When the SHTF and your run out of over the counter medication, this herbal remedy will be your bottom’s new best friend.
C.) Sore throat and laryngitis. Gargle with a mixture of WH and cloves to relieve and heal sore throats. Again, NOT the drug store kind!
D.) Teething babies with diaper rash. WH will help sooth both ends of your baby.
E.) Bruises, bumps, and sprains. Soak a cloth with WH and wrap it around a bruise overnight to reduce swelling and discoloration. Test your skins reaction before applying any new herbal remedy.
F.) Bleeding. Minor internal bleeding (ulcers and gums) can be treated with WH. Some doctors prescribe WH to help stop bleeding after surgery when appropriate.
G.) Cleanse wounds and reduce inflammation. On my last tattoo, I asked the my artist what he was applying on my tat. Witch hazel. It works as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Use WH on minor scrapes and cuts on your body.
H.) Diarrhea from stomach flu and irritated bowel. Make a sipping tea with WH. Add some mint for taste.
I.) Itchy skin. From poison ivy to sun burn, apply witch hazel to stop the itching. Bug and spider bites respond well to WH, too.
J.) Shaving aid. WH stops razor burn. Styptic pencils contain astringents and use the same properties found in WH to stop bleeding.
K.) Fever. Apply a damp cloth with WH to the forehead or back of the neck to help break a fever. I’ve never tried this, but lots of people swear by this trick.
L.) Swimmers ear. This one I’ve tried. As a kid, my brother and I spent lots of time in the water and got swimmers ear often. Mama would stick a cotton ball soaked in WH in our affected ear(s) to wick the moisture.
M.) Dry and cracked hands. Though it removes oils, the astringent properties also seal moisture in the skin. Use it on your hands when they begin to show signs of cracking from hoeing on your homestead.
Witch hazel is one of the few remaining American medicinal plants allowed by the FDA in over the counter drugs. Our earliest American pioneers knew the effectiveness of witch hazel for all manner of ailment and illness – even without the Food and Drug Administration’s stamp of approval. And they stocked it in their home apothecaries and covered wagons.
How about you? Got any good witch hazel stories? Share them if you’d like in the comment section.
Doing the stuff,
This information is solely for educational purposes. IT IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. I am not a licensed physician, just sharing information, folks. Do your own due diligence before using any herbal remedy.
- Witch Hazel, Healer in the deep dark woods. (apothecarysgardenblog.wordpress.com)
- The diy bug spray challlenge (derivingmommyhood.wordpress.com)