- What other names is Witch Hazel known by?
- What is Witch Hazel?
- How does Witch Hazel work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Dosing considerations for Witch Hazel.
Witch hazel is taken by mouth for diarrhea, mucus colitis, vomiting blood, coughing up blood, tuberculosis, colds, fevers, tumors, and cancer.
Some people apply witch hazel directly to the skin for itching, pain and swelling (inflammation), eye inflammation, skin injury, mucous membrane inflammation, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, bruises, insect bites, minor burns, and other skin irritations.
In manufacturing, witch hazel leaf extract, bark extract, and witch hazel water are used as astringents to tighten the skin. They are also included in some medications to give those products the ability to slow down or stop bleeding. Those medications are used for treating insect bites, stings, teething, hemorrhoids, itching, irritations, and minor pain.
Possibly Effective for...
- Hemorrhoids. Applying witch hazel water to the skin may help to temporarily relieve itching, discomfort, irritation, and burning from hemorrhoids and other anal disorders.
- Minor bleeding. Applying witch hazel bark, leaf, or water to the skin reduces minor bleeding.
- Skin irritation. Applying witch hazel cream seems to relieve mild skin irritation, but not as well as hydrocortisone. Other research shows that applying a specific witch hazel ointment (Hametum) to the skin appears to improve symptoms of skin injury or irritated skin as effectively as a dexpanthenol ointment in children.
Possibly Ineffective for...
- Itchy and inflamed skin (eczema). Applying a cream containing witch hazel to the skin for 14 days does not seem to improve itchy and inflamed skin in people with moderate eczema. Applying hydrocortisone cream seems to be a more effective treatment option.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Vomiting blood.
- Coughing up blood.
- Eye inflammation.
- Varicose veins.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
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