Witch hazel is used to stop bleeding and is believed to be effective on both internal and external injuries.
It is used to stop the bleeding on cuts, reduce bruising directly after an injury and as part of the treatment for stomach ulcers.
It is believed that the tannins present in witch hazel (especially the bark), along with various oils, help speed coagulation.
What causes anti-inflammatory reactions of the herb is still under investigation, though several possible causes have been found. These include pronounced activity against superoxide, a property which may be valuable in fighting wrinkles and aging.
Additionally, the resin, flavonoids, and procyanadins in witch hazel are known to soothe hemorrhoids.
Both extracts and poultices of this herb have shown to be effective in soothing the pain and itching of insect bites and stings.
Various Native American tribes have used it to reduce swelling, soothe sore muscles, treat scrapes and sores, and ease back pain. They also believed it was effective in treating tumors.
Additionally, the extract is a choice ingredient for personal care products including soaps, skin creams, deodorants and much more.
Cold sores may be especially susceptible to witch hazel.
Evidence supports the belief that specific extracts of witch hazel are effective against the Herpes simplex 1 virus. A recent study has supported the theory as well as showing positive results against other viruses.
Recent studies using Hamamelis virginiana to treat eczema have returned positive results.
It is believed that the tannins and volatile oils found in the plant help strengthen veins and reduce inflammation in treating eczema, dermatitis and related skin conditions.
Witch hazel has also been used to treat the effects of a prolapsed uterus, a sore throat, swimmer’s ear, swollen or infected gums, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome, and to ease the teething pain in babies.
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