What is Witch Hazel?
Witch Hazel is a popular and natural shrub that is used to treat various conditions. It is made from bark and leaves of a plant named Hamamelis Virginiana. The other common names for this plant are Winter Bloom and Potted Alder. This plant is native to North America; however it can be also found in some parts of Asia. It can be said that this plant is not very choosy in terms of climate since different species of this shrub can bloom in warmer climates of US and also in Canada during quite cold winter.
The extract from this plant was used by people for many years in order to treat various illnesses. Today Witch Hazel is being used both topically and orally. Some of the most common topical uses of this extract include treating acne and piles, healing bruises, minimizing varicose veins, stopping itching, cleaning wounds and others. Oral use of Witch Hazel is more common for conditions like fever, diarrhea, cold, mucus colitis and etc. Even though there are number of possible Witch Hazel uses, not all of them are well researched. Some of the most researched uses of this extract are for minimizing piles symptoms, reducing skin irritation and minor skin bleeding. So there is a higher chance that Witch Hazel would work for these conditions.
Does it work for treating Hemorrhoids?
The main reason why Witch Hazel works well for treating piles is because this plant has astringent and antiseptic features. These properties are beneficial since they allow minimizing swelling of tissues and as a result inflamed veins of hemorrhoids start to shrink.
The other reason why it helps to shrink hemorrhoids is because it contains a chemical – tannin. Due to the fact that it works by lessening swelling of tissues it provides quick relieve from symptoms like irritation, bleeding and burning sensation.
While Witch Hazel is effective in most cases it is important to point out that it doesn’t work for all people. So in case you do not notice any improvement in your condition after using it for a few weeks you should consider other treatment options for piles.
Directions on how to use Witch Hazel for Piles.
Due to the fact that Witch Hazel is a popular remedy for piles and its symptoms you can find it included in many OTC treatments for hemorrhoids. For instance it is included in products like VenaPro and Avatrol. If you prefer to use Witch Hazel in a form of pill you can get all of the benefits from this plant by using one of these products.
Since it is also a popular home remedy for treating piles many people use Witch Hazel by applying it directly on affected area. To do that you can simply soak some cotton balls into Witch Hazel liquid and apply it on affected area. Leave it for a couple of minutes and then change it with new cotton balls. It is also worthwhile to repeat this procedure every time you have a bowel movement. This can greatly help to reduce discomfort. Also some people tend to apply cotton balls with Witch Hazel before going to sleep, so that the liquid would be in contact with piles for longer period of time and work more efficiently.
The other way that you can use Witch Hazel for piles is to buy Pads containing this ingredient. These pads are available in most local drug stores or you can also buy them online from popular websites like Amazon. For instance there are Tucks Cooling Pads available on Amazon, which you can get for less than $10. Since they contain Witch Hazel they will help you to relieve symptoms like burning and irritation due to piles quite quickly. Also some people tend to use these pads for wiping after they have a bowel movement, since it helps to minimize discomfort.
In addition to that there are also wipes available, which contains Witch Hazel inside. Some people tend to use them instead of toilet paper after having a bowel movement. Using these wipes a few times per day can help you greatly reduce swelling and irritation caused by piles.
Are there any Side Effects?
In general it can be said that Witch Hazel is a safe ingredient to use and it will not cause side effects for most users. In rare cases when it is applied directly on the skin there is a possibility that it might cause a side effect like irritation. When Which Hazel is used orally it is also safe if it used in moderate dosages. Only small number of people might experience a side effect like stomach upset.
On the other hand large dosages of this plant (when taken orally) might cause some more serious problems like liver damage, so it is important not to overuse it and follow dosage recommendations provided on the label.
What type/brand of Witch Hazel to buy?
Due to the fact that there are quite a lot brands offering Witch Hazel it might be quite difficult to choose the best product for you. In case you are buying it for treatment of piles it is worthwhile to choose only a product that would be free from alcohol. This is important tip to follow because alcohol might cause burning sensation when you apply it on affected area. One of the products that don’t contain alcohol in formulation is Witch Hazel Distillate. You can buy it on Amazon for about $10.