10 Reasons Witch Hazel Should Be in Every Medicine Cabinet

Witch hazel works wonders on sunburn, bug bites, poison ivy, acne, wrinkles, ear infection, sore throat and even skin cancer. If you don’t want to buy it, you can grow your own!

An ancient Native American remedy for all kinds of ailments, witch hazel has become a must-have natural skin care product.

In addition to keeping your skin young and beautiful, witch hazel is one of the most useful  first aid items to keep on hand for all kinds of injuries and illnesses.

You can grow it and prepare it yourself or buy it on Amazon. My two favorite all-natural brands are:

Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Toner:


Humphrey’s Natural Astringent:

Here are 10 ways witch hazel can save the day:

1. Clear Up Acne

A study published in the Journal of Aesthetic and Clinical Dermatology showed witch hazel to be one of the most effective acne treatments of 52 products.

It slows bacterial growth and speeds up healing of scabs, while reducing inflammation, redness, oil production and development of blackheads and whiteheads.

2. Reverse Wrinkles and Signs of Aging

Witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help protect collagen and skin elasticity just as well or better than many commercial beauty products. You can easily blend witch hazel with vitamin E oil and other natural ingredients to make your own Homemade Anti-Aging Serum.  Combine it with other skin-saving oils like evening primrose, frankincense and tea tree oils for even better results.

3. Protect Against Skin Cancer

A study published in Chemical Research in Toxicology found the polyphenols and tannin antioxidants in witch hazel reduced free radicals and prohibited the proliferation of melanoma cells.

4. Bug Repellent and Treatment for Bug Bites

Witch hazel’s astringent properties make it effective at reducing pain, stinging, swelling and allergic reactions to bug bites. It’s also used in many commercial bug repellents.

5. Heal Rashes

Witch hazel is a time-tested treatment for all kinds of skin rashes including diaper rash, eczema, psoriasis, razor burn, and general dry or itchy skin. (Make sure to use alcohol-free witch hazel for this.)

5. Cleanse Hair and Soothe the Scalp

Witch hazel reduces oil build-up, leaving your hair shinier, healthier and more volumized.

According to one study, it also helps soothe dry, itchy and irritated scalps. (Make sure to use alcohol-free witch hazel for this.)

6. Treat Ear Infections

As an effective antibacterial, witch hazel is an excellent natural ear infection remedy. It’s especially great for “swimmer’s ear.” Just insert a few drops in each ear several times a day.

7. Soothe a Sore Throat

Sipping Smallflower Witch Hazel Leaves – Cut (Hamamelis virginiana) Loose Herbs, 4 ounces can soothe a sore throat. Its astringent properties fighting infection, while soothing pain.

9. Treat Hemorrhoids

Witch hazel mixed with water is a great way to reduce hemorrhoid inflammation, itching, burning, and bleeding. (Make sure to use alcohol-free witch hazel for this.)

10. Heal Mouth and Gums and Freshen Breath

Witch hazel helps heal blisters, sores and infections on your lips, inner cheeks or gums and freshens breath. You can apply it directly or add it to a homemade mouthwash.

It’s also great for toothaches and teething infants.





16 responses to “10 Reasons Witch Hazel Should Be in Every Medicine Cabinet”

  1. kat murphy Avatar
    kat murphy

    If you were using it for bug repellent…. would you need the alcohol free?

    1. Sandi Avatar

      I mix my wn bug repellent oils with witch hazel. Shake and spray.

  2. Darcy G Avatar

    Great article! I love witch hazel and use it as one of the primary ingredients in my facial toner. You can check it out at https://preservingmysanity.com/2018/04/10/natural-facial-toner/ if you’d like!

  3. Evelyn Meredith Avatar

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge of Witch Hazel astringent for all of us who can use it.

  4. Mgt Avatar

    What does it do for wrinkles can you buy from health shop

    1. Sandi Avatar

      Any pharmacy and its cheap!

    2. Robyn Avatar

      I buy it from the Supermarket and have been using as a toner for the past 20 years.

  5. Gladys Geis Avatar
    Gladys Geis

    I have used witch hazel for years on my face every morning. It works wonders on scratches and small sores.

    1. Andrea Avatar

      Which one did you use?

  6. e Avatar

    I’ve used witch hazel for fire ant bites…soothes immediately. Irritation and pain,itch gone!

  7. Martha Nichols Avatar
    Martha Nichols

    What would be the recipe for using it with Vitamin E and other essential oils?

  8. Donna Avatar

    Witch hazel has been used by my family for many years. I never knew this deeper story though, or that one could grow it themselves! Thank you for sharing this knowledge with us.

  9. Sarah Avatar

    A dermatologist told my teen age daughter to use for acne. He told her she could go buy one of the fancy named products that cost lots of money or just get a bottle of Witch Hazel and it would do the same as the expensive product. He was right it worked like a charm.

  10. Nickie Avatar

    I don’t understand why witch hazel is credited with doing all these things. Ive tried several different brands and it won’t even clean my face. My face literally feels grimy when I’m done. The feeling I get when I wipe my face with it is it won’t even penetrate the surface of my skin whatsoever. I grab a cottonball with some rubbing alcohol or even plain water and you can visibly see all the dirt the witch hazel never touched. Ive tried it for other things it’s supposed to be good with with the same 0 results. So how come people claim this stuff works?

  11. JEAN Avatar

    Could it be used for Applying to legs and zrms to help with Lymphedema and moisturize skin? Would it do any harm? Thanks

    1. Connie Avatar

      This article from Massage Magazine refers to 5 Citrus oils and Geranium oil for Lymphatic drainage (you could try adding to the witch hazel perhaps): https://www.massagemag.com/6-essential-oils-lymphatic-drainage-massage-36085/

      Also, I found these E.O. options: http://radiantbodyrestfulmind.com/restoring-lymphatic-flow/
      I cannot speak from experience, but I believe not harmful.