Witch Hazel

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Witch Hazel
  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
Minor Skin Irritation
+1 (Slight Evidence)
0 (Unclear Effectiveness)


  • Witch hazel or Hamamelis virginiana, is a deciduous flowering shrub that is native to Eastern North America
  • The leaves, stems and bark contain tannins, distillate made from these parts are thought to have astringent, hemostatic, anti-inflammatory and anti-irrititant effects
  • Native American Indians have long used witch hazel as an astringent for treatment of many skin conditions, hemorrhoids, and menstrual problems
  • Witch hazel preparations are readily available today for use in treating hemorrhoids, skin irritations, minor pain and itching
  • Preliminary studies have shown effects of witch hazel in helping minor skin irritation.


  • Witch hazel should not be ingested. Applied topically, it carries a known risk of an allergic reaction and/or skin irritation. While it has been shown to have some benefit for treating skin inflammation, it has not been as effective as steroid creams.
  • Individuals with known sensitivity should avoid the product, and it should not be used on open wounds in anyone

DOSAGE:Follow the directions on the bottle. Apply only to skin, and do not drink it.

CONCLUSION: If you elect to try Witch Hazel, remember to include it in your list of medications when you visit your doctor and other health care providers.

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