I thought you’d find this LIVESTRONG. Janet Contursi has been a writer and editor for more than 23 years. She has written for professional journals and newspapers, and has experience editing educational, cultural, and business articles and books. Her clients include Gale Publishers, Anaxos, Vielife and Twin Cities Wellness. University of Minnesota, where she studied cultural anthropology, South Asian languages and culture, and art history. Horse chestnuts on the forest floor. Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, occur when the veins and tissues in your rectum and anus become swollen and inflamed. If you have hemorrhoids, you may experience pain, bleeding and itching around your anus.
Herbs must act on tissues and blood vessels to shrink hemorrhoids. Some herbs for hemorrhoids have anti-inflammatory actions, affecting the body’s response to tissue damage and reducing swelling internally and externally. Astringent herbs may help reduce bleeding and tighten damaged tissues. Consult a knowledgeable practitioner for instructions on use and dosage. Horse chestnut, or Aesculus hippocastanum, is a deciduous tree with pink-spotted white flowers and large seeds. Traditional healers use the seeds to tone blood vessels and to treat hemorrhoids and varicose veins. The active ingredients include saponins and tannins, and the seeds have anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. Witch hazel, or Hamamelis virginiana, is a native of North America and a traditional remedy for hemorrhoids and other venous disorders.
The leaves and bark are rich in tannins, which have astringent and anti-hemorrhoidal activities. Herbalists use the bark to treat hemorrhoids and diarrhea. Active components include ellagitannins, catechins and proanthocyanidins, and you can use the herb internally or externally. Herbalist David Hoffmann advises using a decoction of the bark as an enema for hemorrhoids. Are There Herbal Remedies for Venous Insufficiency? Is Fenugreek Seed Tea Safe to Drink? Get the latest tips on diet, exercise and healthy living. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.
COM is for educational use only. Axe content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure factually accurate information. With strict editorial sourcing guidelines, we only link to academic research institutions, reputable media sites and, when research is available, medically peer-reviewed studies. The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by our trained editorial staff. Our team includes licensed nutritionists and dietitians, certified health education specialists, as well as certified strength and conditioning specialists, personal trainers and corrective exercise specialists. Our team aims to be not only thorough with its research, but also objective and unbiased. Today, we have hundreds of different beauty products available to us — acne washes, toners, scrubs and so on — but what did people use thousands of years ago before commercial chemicals existed to help heal their skin?
American Indians relied on for fighting swelling, sores and infections. There may be no plant more beneficial to your skin, as research showcases the many advantages witch hazel provides. So if you’re looking for cleaner, healthier skin, look no further than witch hazel and its seemingly infinite benefits for your epidermis. North America, is a member of the Hamamelidaceae plant family. The most popular use for witch hazel is for skin care, since its strong antioxidant and astringent properties are perfect for killing bacteria that lives within skin’s pores, stopping cellular damage that can lead to skin cancer, preventing signs of aging, and speeding up healing. How Witch Hazel Works How can witch hazel do so much? High levels of healing active ingredients reduce inflammation, cellular damage and swelling, while also soothing wounds. The bark, twigs and leaves of the plant are used to extract active constituents called polyphenols and tannins. They’re then added to either alcohol or water to make a concentrated product called witch hazel water, Hamamelis water or distilled witch hazel extract.
Tannins are responsible for making witch hazel extract a natural astringent, since they remove excess oil from skin. This is the reason why witch hazel is one of the most popular natural acne treatments worldwide and is used in dozens of over-the-counter treatment gels, washes and lotions. When it comes to the products that you apply directly to your skin, you always want to treat the surface of your body how you would the inside: Avoid as many chemicals and toxins as possible. Witch hazel extract is considered to be polyphenolic and has been shown to help inhibit cell proliferation in cancerous human cells. Oxidative stress and free radical damage build up over time from exposure to things like UV light, pollution, a poor diet, stress and so on. Proven Benefits of Witch Hazel The skin is our largest and most vulnerable organ, so it could use all the support it can get.
Skin is our natural barrier to the outside world and provides us with protection against UV radiation, chemicals in our food supply, bacteria and other germs, and environmental pollutants. Herbal plant therapies for skin disorders have been used for thousands of years, and today many traditional herbs are being reintroduced, studied extensively and experiencing a resurgence in popularity since many chemical treatments don’t always work or they have harsh side effects. But the benefits of witch hazel aren’t limited to the skin — it’s also an antioxidant and has antibacterial properties, which means it can fight symptoms caused by all kinds of illnesses. Witch Hazel Uses: 10 Ways to Help Treat Skin, Hair and Teeth Witch hazel products include Hamamelis water, distilled witch hazel extract and witch hazel tea. Ideally, purchase a pure organic witch hazel, and always check that the ingredient label lists the correct species name — Hamamelis virginiana. For sensitive or dry skin, you might want to use a non-alcoholic witch hazel water over an extract, since alcohol can add to dryness and scabbing. As a natural cleanser, it’s capable of reducing bacteria growth on the skin and speeds up the time needed to heal infections or scabs. Instead of opening up a pimple and making the problem worse, put witch hazel directly on the skin wherever you notice a zit forming or where acne tends to break out. Skip irritating acne products and turn to witch hazel to lower the severity of blemishes forming under the skin, prevent blackheads caused by dried sebum buildup in pores, and stop swelling and redness if you already picked at your acne.
Witch hazel can curb signs of past irritations and deal with skin infections gently. Dab witch hazel on your skin with a clean cotton ball or cotton pads up to several times per day anywhere you experience irritation, starting slowly and giving your skin time to adjust. Fight Signs of Aging and Damage from Sun Exposure If you’re looking for a natural way to tighten the skin and slow down signs of aging like scars, redness, discoloration, dryness and puffiness around the eyes, then look no further than witch hazel. Witch hazel tightens skin and is protective against skin cancer, melanoma and other damage caused by UV light because of its protective polyphenols and tannin antioxidants. Keep your skin free from irritating chemical products that can alter oil production and increase dryness. Witch hazel has been shown to help protect collagen and skin elasticity just as well as many commercial beauty products. Then apply it to discolored skin, bruises, old acne marks and bites to help fade their appearance and reverse damage.
Combine it with other skin-saving oils like evening primrose, frankincense and tea tree oils for even better results. Witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make it a great way to preserve skin’s elasticity, saving your complexion and helping you deal with the effects of environmental stress on your skin. To lower eye puffiness and inflammation, apply diluted witch hazel to the area around the eyes before bed, being careful not to get any in the eyes. Treat Insect Bites Many bug repellents and commercial products used for treating insect bites contain witch hazel. People turn to witch hazel to reduce the effects of bug bites, such as pain and swelling from stings, allergies and irritations. Certain studies have found that applying witch hazel cream to skin irritations can curb symptoms just as well as synthetic chemical creams, including dexpanthenol, which is often used to fight skin irritations in children.
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