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Is Witch Hazel a hoax?

Reading this: Witch-hazel - Wikipedia, I was wondering...

The leaves and bark of the North American witch-hazel, Hamamelis virginiana, were used in folk medicine, herbalism, and skincare decoctions by Native Americans, and is commonly used for folk remedies in the European Union. Extracts of witch-hazel may be used as a remedy for psoriasis and eczema, in aftershave and ingrown nail applications, to prevent dehydration of skin, and for insect bites and poison ivy. There is no clinical evidence to support witch-hazel as an effective treatment for any of these conditions. Prepared by distillation, the essential oil of witch-hazel has such a small proportion of tannins or other polyphenols that it is unlikely to have any therapeutic effect, and may cause contact dermatitis when used topically.

In 2017, one manufacturer of skincare products containing witch-hazel was warned by the Food and Drug Administration for making unsubstantiated health claims and for not providing evidence the products are safe.
 
Reading this: Witch-hazel - Wikipedia, I was wondering...

The leaves and bark of the North American witch-hazel, Hamamelis virginiana, were used in folk medicine, herbalism, and skincare decoctions by Native Americans, and is commonly used for folk remedies in the European Union. Extracts of witch-hazel may be used as a remedy for psoriasis and eczema, in aftershave and ingrown nail applications, to prevent dehydration of skin, and for insect bites and poison ivy. There is no clinical evidence to support witch-hazel as an effective treatment for any of these conditions. Prepared by distillation, the essential oil of witch-hazel has such a small proportion of tannins or other polyphenols that it is unlikely to have any therapeutic effect, and may cause contact dermatitis when used topically.

In 2017, one manufacturer of skincare products containing witch-hazel was warned by the Food and Drug Administration for making unsubstantiated health claims and for not providing evidence the products are safe.
For psoriasis and eczema you need to see a dermatologist. Home remedies don’t seem to have an effect, and it may not even be psoriasis or eczema. That’s a medical issue best discussed with your doctor and not on this forum.
 
For psoriasis and eczema you need to see a dermatologist. Home remedies don’t seem to have an effect, and it may not even be psoriasis or eczema. That’s a medical issue best discussed with your doctor and not on this forum.
I don't have any skin conditions, I am simply CURIOUS about the claims in the Wiki article.
 
I don't have any skin conditions, I am simply CURIOUS about the claims in the Wiki article.
Gotcha. I doubt witch hazel would help either condition. My grandson and his dad have eczema and have tried everything under the sun and the only thing that helps is the medication the dermatologist prescribes for them.
 
Gotcha. I doubt witch hazel would help either condition. My grandson and his dad have eczema and have tried everything under the sun and the only thing that helps is the medication the dermatologist prescribes for them.
Sure... I've no idea TBH. my skin's as clean as a 20y/o's...

But what about so many wet-shavers people using WH regularly as part of their routine...? Is it just a waste?
 
I tried a few of the Thayers including the astringent, and also the rose and the lavender scented. The purpose of using them was purely as a skin toner after shaving. I found they afforded me no tangible benefit and I did not enjoy using them; I suspect they are little more than scented water. I gave them to my wife to use as a facial cleanser and she prefers the non scented astringent one of the three but not enough to buy again. That said, many members enjoy using witch hazel and perceive a benefit, real or imagined; that is reason enough for them to continue using it, no other justification is required.
 
Sure... I've no idea TBH. my skin's as clean as a 20y/o's...

But what about so many wet-shavers people using WH regularly as part of their routine...? Is it just a waste?
No, it has some astringent properties that are beneficial. I’ve personally never used it, opting instead for an alum block, Hyaluronic Acid and moisturizer. My skin has not been this soft and smooth since I was a young boy.
 
I don't think you should use it as a medical product, and I do believe some people probably get a negative reaction from it (law of averages), but overall I think people have made good experiences with products containing witch hazel (especially Thayers, which actually is more Water/Glycerin Dillution containing Witchhazel and Aloe).

I'm always a bit sceptical when I see US studies that dismiss natural remedies, that usually means some big pocketed pharmaceutical lobbyist had their fingers in it, as they have some chemical **** they want to sell :D

In 2017, one manufacturer of skincare products containing witch-hazel was warned by the Food and Drug Administration for making unsubstantiated health claims and for not providing evidence the products are safe.
Well this isnt much to go on - the product contains witch-hazel, among what else? what claims were made by the manufacturer?
 
I think there are two different aspects. The one is if WH has a medical purpose in treatment of medical conditions, the other if WH has some benefit when used in skin care products for healthy skin. The first is debated or disproved, the second has some reports, that the pure WH destillate has mild anti-inflammatory properties, like other natural and synthetic substances. And there are also people who have contact allergies to WH.
 

ackvil

Moderator
I have always used WH and switched to Thayers on the recommendation of my dermatologist. Here is a discussion of WH on WebMD.


If you go to the Mayo Clinic website you will find many uses for WH.
 

Owen Bawn

"Ask me about a fluffernutter"
For several years I have used Thayers' Medicated 'Superhazel' after each shave, as it contains not only WH but eucalyptus and camphor; but alas, it has been discontinued. When my current bottle runs out I don't know whether I'll continue using some form of WH or not. I should probably investigate to see if another manufacturer makes something that approximates the Thayers' Medicated.
 

BigJ

Ambassador
I like Lucky Tiger which I believe uses WH rather than alcohol to produce a very soothing splash. LT is terrific for me, especially after a ‘rough’ shave!! :clap: :clap:

I have not found much, if any, benefit of WH for other purposes. YMMV for sure!
 

emwolf

Contributor
My dad was a dermatologist and never recommended Witch Hazel for anything. I, however, enjoy the feeling of my face after using it and so continue to use it. I also had a girlfriend who used it for acne when we were teens (and she had a beautiful complexion). So no clinical evidence, only anecdotal evidence.
 
This, this right here pretty well hits the nail on the head.

I'm always a bit sceptical when I see US studies that dismiss natural remedies, that usually means some big pocketed pharmaceutical lobbyist had their fingers in it, as they have some chemical **** they want to sell :D
Here's the deal, the FDA also threatened General Mills that to make the claim that Cheerios was clinically proven to lower cholesterol, they could be in violation for selling drugs without a license. Their (FDA) definition of what classifies as a drug is essentially as such, "Anything intended for use in the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of disease."

So, you tell me...

That doesn't mean every herbal homeopathic remedy out there is a home run, but I wouldn't discount it on that basis alone.

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Witch Hazel to me is a great product. I have used Alum(potassium salt) and have switched to witch Hazel more often because it does basically the same thing as long as you get the %14 alcohol type with what ever combined. Thayers medicated is good stuff and has clove and other important ingredients.
Another thing not mentioned is it can be used for cleaning the skin also after surgery's & prep for medical devices & that I was grateful for(might not be as aggressive & toxic as the cleaners medical professions prescript). I use a little after each shave with a mister attachment to the Dickinson's witch hazel bottle and just like it because it will remove soap residual + clean the face. Some use it for last cleanups while shaving!
I also use witch hazel for diluting certain strong scented after shaves and colognes and it has worked well for myself (it will cloud some aftershaves so decanter into a smaller vessel and leave the virgin aftershave or colognes as is in its own original bottle 4:1 ratio works for me usually).
If you go on Amazon and see some of the reviews & pictures who swear by witch Hazel and how their skin has come back from rashes & pimples you will realize there is something amazing happening for some folks but not all because of other issues that comes from more internally perhaps (Not a doctor).

Have some great shaves! Stay & think safe in these times!
 
It's a mild astringent and a very - very - mild antiseptic (the alcohol distillate). Those qualities have a generally beneficial effect on generic dermatitis or folliculitis. It can also cause dermatitis, depending on your sensitivity to any of the dozens of non-volatile components, as with any natural product. It is not the recommended primary treatment for a diagnosed serious skin condition, although may be recommended as a daily adjunct for other therapies, along with cleansing agents. Depends on your condition and your Dermatologist (and actually, your Internist, your Gastroenterologist, your Oncologist, your Surgeon or your OB doc). Physicians are not uniform in their therapeutic recommendations, any more than the community of wet shavers. As far as the medical utility of natural products, Aspirin, BTW, comes from tree bark, and penicillin comes from mold. :001_smile
 
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thombrogan

Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
I’m grateful the “hoax” regards the perceived properties/benefits of witch hazel and not the existence of it.
 
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