Using witch hazel

My mom taught me about using witch hazel when I was a teenager fighting with zits. If dabbed on a blemish with a piece of a cotton ball, it worked as an astringent to clear away excess oils at the same time reducing swelling to the blemished skin.

Then after the birth of my daughter one of the gifts I received as a new mom was a container of Tucks pads for treatment of hemorrhoids, which I didn’t have at the time so I really wasn’t impressed and gave them away.

I have been able to control itching from hemorrhoids for the past several years with Gold Bond Comfort powder. Applying directly to the itchy skin soothed it immediately, for which I was truly thankful. However, for the past two days the powder which brought such relief was failing me.

Last Sunday my children and husband joined forces with my son’s girlfriend and five of her seven kids and took me to the park I love to celebrate my birthday. I was gifted drawings colored by Danielle and her daughters. All the love had me bursting into tears at their thoughtfulness.

We walked a very short trail while it was raining and a few of the newly hatched females mosquitoes decided I was a source of fine dining and tested their wonderful little probes through my skin making a meal out of me. I will be the first to admit that I don’t do well at bites and scratch the ever loving daylights out of them. I still have scars from scratching them as a child. Apparently I never outgrew this tendency because they were growing itchier everytime I so much as touched them.

I had recently bought a bottle of witch hazel but hadn’t tried it on anything yet. The mosquito bites seemed a perfect starting point. So I poured a small amount on some toilet tissue and swiped it across all the bites. The itching was reduced immediately. A second application a few hours later and all itching ceased. I was duly impressed!

Tonight after my shower I applied witch hazel to those nasty hemorrhoids. Again the relief began with contact with the affected area.

Now I am reading that witch hazel primarily used externally on sores, bruises and to reduce swelling from injuries. The astringent is made from the leaves and bark of the North American Witch Hazel shrub that grows throughout Canada and the United States. If you aren’t into making your own a distilled version is sold at pharmacies and in my case, the grocery store.

I highly recommend buying a bottle to have on hand for treating cuts, bruises and even soothing poison ivy rashes so prevalent this time of year. And if blemishes are a problem you may find help for that too.

Oh, and before I forget to mention it you don’t have to spend a lot on Preparation H to reduce bags under your eyes as part of your beauty routine because the main ingredient there is – you guessed it – witch hazel. Just dab over closed eyes. If you have been crying a lot dabbing witch hazel over closed eyelids will help reduce swelling and getting back to your beautiful pre-crying self.

Don’t let this old fashioned remedy be overlooked just to be trendy. I am too frugal to be persuaded to spend money on trappings rather than on other activities to make my life fulfilling, like writing about my discoveries.

I would love to hear how you use this amazingly simple remedy that works so well.

Go in peace and find all that helps you live a most fulfilling life!


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