In preparing to present my Health Strategy: Creating your essential oil medicine chest seminar, I was reminded of the amazing uses for witch hazel! I use it as an essential oils carrier so often, that I forget that others may never have heard of it, let alone, know where it came from.
Witch hazel, in its retail form, is a bottled liquid marketed as an astringent. You may have seen it next to the Aloe and Epsom’s salts in the Drug Store. But beautiful Hazel is so much more! Like essential oils, witch hazel oils are extracted from the witch hazel shrub. The oil from the bark is distilled and combined in a 14% alcohol solution, it makes a soothing, hypoallergenic, non-drying astringent. The leaves can be used to create witch hazel leaf water, which contains no alcohol and can be taken internally, or when alcohol base is in appropriate.
Witch hazel is a vaso-constrictor, so in combination with other healing oils, this astringent base can be used to shrink swelling heal cuts, relieve inflammation and so much more! My favorite use for witch hazel is to combine it with tea tree essential oil and use for an acne skin toner. Witch hazel and tea tree on their own are powerful against acne, but together – what a team.
Because of the alcohol base, witch hazel dries quickly and can leave behind the healing essential oils. One such use that has saved many a mother’s sanity during (hold your breath) a lice break out at school. If your child has managed to avoid the lice, you can do a lot to keep it that way, by using a tea tree and baby shampoo treatment daily, and, just before they head out to school, spray their hair with a tea tree and witch hazel spray bottle – the liquid evaporates leaving the tea tree to protect your child!
Used with lavender and mandarin essential oils, witch hazel makes a wonderful skin toner, that can remove makeup, tone the skin and helps to fight acne and soothes rosacea. I am presenting a seminar on 6/30/10 Health Strategy: Creating your essential oil medicine chest and we will be talking about using wich hazel with essential oils! Come check it out!So the next time you are thinking of what carrier to use in your next essential oil application, think about my friend, Witch Hazel!