I discovered witch hazel in college. I was not exactly the owner of the clearest skin in Britain, and dabbing a little witch hazel extract on my blemished skin stopped me enduring a mountain of abuse. But there are way more uses for this shrub than clearing up spotty skin. (See also: 5 Best Acne Treatments)
To get slightly technical for a moment, witch hazel is (according to Wikipedia):
…an astringent produced from the leaves and bark of the North American Witch Hazel shrub (Hamamelis virginiana), which grows naturally from Nova Scotia west to Ontario, Canada and south to Florida, and Texas in the United States. This plant was widely used for medicinal purposes by American Indians. The witch hazel extract was obtained by steaming the twigs of the shrub.
The essential oil of witch hazel is not sold separately as a consumer product. The plant does not produce enough essential oil to make production viable, however, there are various distillates of witch hazel (called hydrosols or hydrolats) that are gentler than the “drug store” witch hazel and contain alcohol.
Witch hazel is mainly used externally on sores, bruises, and swelling. The main constituents of the extract include tannin, gallic acid, catechins, proanthocyanins, flavonoids (kaempferol, quercetin), essential oil (carvacrol, eugenol, hexenol), choline, saponins, and bitters. Distilled witch hazel sold in drug stores and pharmacies typically contains no tannin.”
Most drug stores and online pharmacies carry witch hazel in one form or another. My favorite is the handy Witch Stick. But when you get your hands on the mightily useful little medicinal marvel, what can you do with it? Here’s a rundown. It’s very useful, so put it on the top of your next shopping list.
15 Uses for Witch Hazel…
Read on at Source: 15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel