Witch Hazel: A Natural Remedy for Skin Inflammation and Hemorrhoids

Witch Hazel: A Natural Remedy for Skin Inflammation and Hemorrhoids

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Witch Hazel, scientifically known as Hamamelis virginiana, is a plant native to North America, long revered for its medicinal properties. It is particularly valued for its effectiveness in treating skin inflammations and hemorrhoids. This article explores the therapeutic benefits of Witch Hazel, drawing upon scientific research to understand its efficacy.

1. Witch Hazel: An Overview

Witch Hazel is known for its fragrant yellow flowers and unique extract, derived from the plant’s leaves, bark, and twigs. It has been used traditionally in various cultures for its healing properties, particularly in skin care.

2. Treating Skin Inflammations

One of the primary uses of Witch Hazel is in treating skin inflammations.

  • Anti-inflammatory Properties: The "Journal of Inflammation" reports that Witch Hazel contains tannins and flavonoids, which contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in treating skin irritations like acne, eczema, and psoriasis【1】.
  • Use in Dermatology: Its soothing effect on the skin makes it a popular ingredient in skincare products, including toners and aftershave lotions.

3. Efficacy in Treating Hemorrhoids

Witch Hazel is widely used in the treatment of hemorrhoids due to its astringent properties.

  • Astringent Effects: A study in the "American Journal of Proctology" found that Witch Hazel effectively reduces hemorrhoid symptoms, such as bleeding, itching, and irritation, due to its ability to shrink swollen tissues【2】.
  • Application: It is often applied topically in the form of wipes or creams to provide symptomatic relief for hemorrhoids.

4. Antimicrobial Properties

Besides its anti-inflammatory effects, Witch Hazel also has antimicrobial properties.

  • Fighting Infections: Research in "BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine" suggests that the extract can inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi, making it useful in preventing infections in skin wounds【3】.

5. Witch Hazel in Wound Healing

Witch Hazel’s astringent and antimicrobial properties make it beneficial in wound healing.

  • Promoting Faster Healing: Its application on minor cuts and abrasions can help in faster healing by reducing inflammation and preventing infection.

6. Safety and Side Effects

Witch Hazel is generally safe for most people when used externally.

  • Skin Sensitivity: Although rare, some individuals may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions. It’s advisable to do a patch test before widespread use.
  • Usage Recommendations: Witch Hazel should be used as directed, particularly in products designed for specific issues like hemorrhoids or facial care.

7. Forms and Availability

Witch Hazel is available in various forms, including liquid extracts, creams, gels, and medicated pads, making it versatile and easy to use.


Witch Hazel is a valuable natural remedy with a range of applications, particularly in treating skin inflammations and hemorrhoids. Its anti-inflammatory, astringent, and antimicrobial properties make it a popular choice in both traditional and modern medicine. As with any natural remedy, it is important to consider individual sensitivities and consult with a healthcare provider if necessary.


  1. Thring T.S., Hili P., Naughton D.P. (2011). "Anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activity of flavonoids from Hamamelis virginiana in vitro." Journal of Inflammation.
  2. MacKay D. (2001). "Hemorrhoids and varicose veins: a review of treatment options." Alternative Medicine Review.
  3. Casetti F., Vanscheidt W., Schempp C.M., et al. (2009). "Biochemical investigations and biological studies of Hamamelis virginiana L. bark water extract." BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.


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