11 Survival Uses of Witch Hazel: A Must-Know for Every Prepper

As a Prepper, you must always be ready for whatever comes your way. But sometimes all the flashlights, Mylar blankets, and paracord won’t be enough. That’s why every good Prepper should know about the often overlooked, yet incredibly versatile survival uses of Witch Hazel. This not-so-magical botanical extract has a wide range of medicinal uses, from reducing inflammation to relieving itching. In this post, we’ll explore 11 survival uses of Witch Hazel and how you can incorporate it into your Prepper’s gear and plan. So, let’s get started and learn how you can use Witch Hazel to stay ready for anything!

Quick Breakdown

Witch Hazel is a plant-based liquid extract with a variety of uses in medical and beauty applications. Some of the most common survival uses for witch hazel include treating insect bites, acne, poison ivy, bruises, minor wounds, hemorrhoids, and sunburns.

What is Witch Hazel?

Witch Hazel, or Hamamelis virginiana as it is scientifically known, is a shrub native to North America. The stem and leaves of the plant are used to create a natural astringent that has been used medicinally since ancient times. This astringent is known for its healing, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities. It is made by boiling the plant material in water with the addition of alcohol and then straining it through a filter cloth.

Proponents of this traditional remedy suggest that Witch Hazel can be used topically to treat skin problems such as itching, redness, bruises, bites, and blemishes. They also suggest taking it orally can help to improve digestive issues such as diarrhea and constipation due to its astringent properties. Additionally, some studies have shown that Witch Hazel may provide help with various other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and varicose veins.

On the contrary, critics point out that there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support the use of Witch Hazel for medical or health purposes. Furthermore, there are safety concerns associated with using products containing Witch Hazel due to its high alcohol content which can lead to skin irritation when applied topically.

Despite these debates surrounding its efficacy, many preppers recognize the potential benefits of Witch Hazel and view it as an essential survival tool due to its versatility and ability to offer more than one usage in emergency situations. Building off this knowledge of what Witch Hazel is and why it could be a valuable asset in any prepper’s toolkit, the next section will explore 11 practical uses of this traditional remedy during an emergency situation.

  • Witch hazel has long been used in traditional medicine as an astringent and anti-inflammatory agent.
  • A study published in 2017 found that witch hazel extract displays significant antifungal activity against a range of fungal pathogens.
  • A 2018 review examined the efficacy of topical witch hazel in the treatment of various skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis, and concluded it could help reduce inflammation and itching.

Crucial Summary Points

Witch Hazel, or Hamamelis virginiana, is a shrub native to North America. It has been used medicinally since ancient times due to its healing, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic qualities. It has been suggested as a topical treatment for skin issues and an oral remedy for digestive issues such as diarrhea and constipation. Some studies have indicated possible help with other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and varicose veins. However, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to back up these claims and safety concerns of using products containing Witch Hazel exist. Despite this, many preppers recognize the potential benefits of it and view it as an essential survival tool due to its versatility and ability to offer multiple uses in an emergency situation. Exploring 11 practical ways to use Witch Hazel during an emergency is the next step in understanding the value of this traditional remedy.

11 Survival Uses of Witch Hazel

Witch hazel has been used for ages as a remedy for various health, skin, and beauty problems due to its natural astringent, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains tannins which help reduce irritation, promote healing, and kill germs. With its wide range of survival uses, witch hazel is a must-know for every prepper.

From treating insect bites to reducing the effects of minor burns and scrapes to fighting infections, witch hazel is an incredibly versatile ingredient. Its antiseptic and astringent properties can be used to treat minor wounds such as cuts, scrapes and bruises; its cooling action can be used to reduce itching and swelling caused by bug bites; it also has anti-fungal properties which can be used to treat athlete’s foot. Ingested in tea form, it can reduce fever and induce sweating. Witch hazel can even be used as a fire starter: when the twigs are soaked in highly flammable alcohol and burned, they will create a steady flame source.

On the other hand, some argue that witch hazel is not entirely safe for use on wounds or ingested into the body. While witch hazel does have many beneficial properties, it contains tannic acid which may be too harsh for delicate or broken skin. Overuse of this product can cause significant skin irritation or lead to allergic reactions. Furthermore, ingesting witch hazel in any form should be done only with the approval of a doctor due to potential unwanted side effects such as nausea or intestinal pain.

Looking ahead at how we can apply this knowledge about witch hazel for survival purposes, let’s take a look into how it can be used to disinfect wounds.

Disinfecting Wounds

Witch hazel has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to disinfect wounds. It has astringent qualities which can help draw out infection from cuts, scrapes and burns. Its ability to fight bacteria makes it an ideal solution for cleaning wounds in order to prevent them from becoming more serious health issues.

Once the wound is cleaned using witch hazel, a protective antibacterial balm may be helpful when applied topically in order to avoid further infection. Witch hazel should not be used for treatment of seriously deep cuts or puncture wounds as it does not contain antiseptic properties. In this case, professional medical advice should be sought immediately.

The debate regards the effectiveness of witch hazel in treating wounds. Some experts argue that its power to cleanse and heal could lead to quick recovery within certain minor scratches, while others warn that it may not work as well as other treatments available. Because of this, it is important to look at the individual situation before deciding what will be most effective in each instance.

Ultimately, witch hazel has long been praised for its wound-healing abilities and could continue to be a viable alternative medicine option in some cases.

Next, let’s look at the use of witch hazel for treating skin inflammation, such as acne, eczema and other forms of dermatitis.

Treating Skin Inflammation

When it comes to treating skin inflammation, witch hazel is a natural remedy that can be used both internally and externally. On the external front, the astringent properties of witch hazel help reduce swelling, redness, and irritation commonly associated with inflammation. Witch hazel can also help cool and soothe the affected area, making it ideal for treating sunburns, razor burn, and even minor inflammations caused by insect bites.

It is important to note that not all herbs are created equal, and some sources of witch hazel may contain high levels of alcohol or other chemicals that could further irritate the skin. For this reason, it is best to opt for an organic or natural witch hazel extract if possible. Additionally, it is always a good idea to test any new topical treatments on a small area of skin before applying it over larger areas just in case of unforeseen adverse reactions.

For internal use, witch hazel may also help with skin inflammation when ingested. Drinking witch hazel tea can help soothe digestive issues such as cramps and bloating that may be contributing to skin inflammation. To make this herbal tea simply add one teaspoon of dried witch hazel leaves to one cup hot water and let steep for five minutes before straining and drinking.

Overall, while the jury remains out on definitively proving the efficacy of witch hazel as a treatment for skin inflammation due to inconclusive evidence from small studies, many people believe it holds promise as a natural remedy for inflammation due to its medicinal properties.

Leading into the next section: Relieving insect bites often requires quick action, and witch hazel can provide much needed relief when applied topically.

Relieving Insect Bites

When outdoor adventurers are exposed to insects, bites occur. Witch Hazel is an excellent remedy for helping to relive the sting or itch from insect bites. It’s strong antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce redness and swelling, as well as halt any possible infection at the bite site. Depending on the insect’s venom, these healing effects can be quite dramatic. For example, when applied topically, witch hazel can reduce pain due to bee stings by approximately 45% in just 5 minutes of application.

In addition to its healing properties, witch hazel has also been used for centuries as a natural bug repellent. Although it does not have quite the same potency as commercial bug sprays, it can still be used sparingly as protection from biting insects such as mosquitos and flies.

However, some research suggests that witch hazel should NOT be used on open sores or ulcers due to its high alcohol content; this could cause further irritation or even infection.

Now that we’ve looked at the many ways witch hazel can prevent and heal insect bites, let’s take a look at how witch hazel can help heal bruises and cuts.

Healing Bruises and Cuts

Healing Bruises and Cuts Witch hazel is known to have remarkable healing properties for bruises and cuts, but this may not be the case for everyone. Some studies suggest that applying witch hazel to minor abrasions can reduce pain and inflammation, while others believe it can make the condition worse due to its astringent-like quality. Those who do choose to use witch hazel should apply a small amount, massaged gently into the skin, several times a day. It is important to take extra care when using around open wounds as it could lead to further skin irritation or infection.

Studies have also shown that witch hazel might provide relief from hemorrhoids as it helps reduce swelling and inflammation without the need for expensive creams or lotions. To find relief from hemorrhoids, mix one teaspoon of witch hazel in boiling water, strain the solution, and then add liquid honey before drinking daily.

Moving forward into the next section, let’s explore how witch hazel can be used as a boil remedy.

Boil Remedy

Witch hazel is a known treatment for boils, which are painful inflamed and pus-filled skin lesions. It is often used by preppers to combine its astringent properties for relieving pain and inflammation with its disinfectant powers for helping lower the risk of spreading an infection.

To start out, prepare small cloths soaked in witch hazel diluted in water (the ratio usually being 10 parts water to 1 part witch hazel). The cloths should then be pressed on the area of skin affected by the boil. This treatment should be done daily until the symptom lowers or the boil has disappeared completely. This method can also be applied to other areas of the body that show similar symptoms caused by other bacterial or fungal skin infections like rashes or thrush.

Opinions mainly vary between two extremes when it comes to boil treatment with witch hazel. Some users vouch for its effectiveness as it plays a double role in easing inflammation and controlling bacteria growth; while others warn that while it may provide short-term relief, it won’t get rid of any deep-seated infection, washing away the top layer of bacteria without treating the underlying cause.

Regardless, it is still widely recognized as a viable treatment for minor cases involving skin infections due to its accessibly and affordable price point, making it a great option for preppers without access to medical care or resources in emergency situations.

With this being said, the next section will look more closely at using witch hazel as an acne treatment.

Acne Treatment

Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can be used to treat skin conditions such as acne. Topical application of this oil to blemishes can help reduce inflammation and redness while helping disinfect and speed healing. Witch hazel works by acting as a mild antiseptic, so it helps to fight bacterial infections on the skin. It is also highly absorbent, which helps reduce the amount of excess sebum – a form of oil – produced by the skin. This makes it beneficial for both reducing the visible effects of acne and preventing future breakouts.

In recent years, it has become increasingly popular among people suffering from stubborn or chronic forms of acne due to its natural antimicrobial properties and its ability to reduce oil production in the skin. While witch hazel has been found to be effective in some cases, it’s important to note that not all skin types respond to it in the same way, and it may not work for everyone. Also, some studies suggest that prolonged use could potentially irritate sensitive skin.

For those considering using witch hazel for acne treatment, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional before doing so. With proper guidance and usage, witch hazel can make an effective addition to your acne treatment routine.

Next, we will discuss how witch hazel can be used as a natural remedy for reducing body odor.

Reducing Odor

The astringent properties of witch hazel make it incredibly effective for reducing odors. This water-based solution helps to diminish bacteria on the skin and clothing that may be causing unpleasant smells. Witch hazel has antiseptic qualities, meaning it can be applied in a variety of settings and scenarios to keep areas smelling as fresh as possible.

When using witch hazel to reduce odor, one must bear in mind that it is important not to apply undiluted witch hazel directly to the skin since this can cause dryness and irritation. For best results, dilute the witch hazel before use with equal parts warm water. This solution can then be soaked and sponged onto the affected area until odor is significantly reduced or eliminated altogether.

This use of witch hazel is further aided by its numerous other benefits such as cleansing pores. Some will debate that using other cleansing products such as soaps or essential oils may be more effective for smell reduction, but many preppers stand by the natural capabilities of witch hazel for this task. Regardless of the opinion, what’s certain is that when used responsibly, witch hazel has an impressive ability to reduce odor efficiently and naturally.

With that sorted out, let’s move on to another practical use of witch hazel – cleansing pores.

Cleansing Pores

When it comes to cleansing pores, witch hazel is a great natural remedy to help clear up skin blemishes and acne. Not only does it have anti-inflammation properties, it naturally cleanses the skin by drawing out impurities and providing astringent healing. Witch hazel can be used as a spot treatment for breakouts and whiteheads, as well as an all-over facial cleanser.

Many agree that witch hazel is an effective way to reduce inflammation and cleanse pores, but others are skeptical about its healing abilities. It is often said that it does not do as much for conditions such as cystic acne or adult acne where deeper, more stubborn blemishes exist. Some people also express concern about potential side effects, such as skin dryness or even discoloration due to its high levels of tannic acid.

Despite both sides of the argument, witch hazel remains one of the most widely used natural remedies for cleansing pores. Its natural astringent healing properties make it an ideal choice for reducing inflammation and clarifying skin complexion. With continuous use, this must-have prepper product can help keep your skin looking fresh and balanced throughout the season.

Next up on our list of survival uses for witch hazel: discover how this natural remedy acts as a natural anti-inflammatory!

Natural Anti-Inflammatory

The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel make it a natural remedy for a variety of ailments, including rashes and insect bites. Used topically, the liquid extract of this plant can reduce redness and swelling in affected areas, and can even help soothe burns and cuts. Studies have also shown that witch hazel extracts can suppress inflammation caused by free radicals.

In addition to treating skin issues, witch hazel is usually used as an antiseptic because it has antimicrobial properties which can protect against infection. Witch hazel works as an astringent, drawing out any debris from a wound or sore and aiding healing. This extract is also believed to reduce discoloration by increasing cell regeneration, while preventing swelling and pain associated with inflammation.

Many experts believe that using witch hazel topically is safe, especially when applied to minor burns or blunt cuts. However, others may suggest wearing gloves or washing hands after use to remove any potential toxins present in the extract. Witch hazel should not be swallowed and should not be applied directly to open wounds.

Overall, witch hazel offers multiple benefits due to its natural anti-inflammatory properties. With proper precautionary steps taken, it is a safe and effective alternative for those who want to reduce inflammation without resorting to over-the-counter medications.

Next, we will explore the medicinal uses of Samara—the dried seeds of the witch hazel tree—and how they can further enhance preppers’ first aid supplies.

Samara for Medicinal Uses

Witch hazel, with its sharp chemical smell, has long been used for a variety of medicinal purposes. Samara, witch hazel’s scientific name, is derived from the Greek word for “healing” and refers to the plant’s traditional use as a natural healer. In particular, many preppers turn to samara when dealing with cuts, scrapes and insect bites in order to reduce inflammation, swelling and itching. Witch hazel also boasts anti-bacterial properties and can be used as an astringent to cleanse skin and wounds of dirt and bacteria.

Some people debate whether the medicinal benefits of samara are backed by science. On one hand, proponents point to centuries of anecdotal evidence across cultures indicating that witch hazel does possess healing powers. Additionally, lab studies have established that plant compounds found in witch hazel are likely responsible for its various medicinal properties. On the other hand, detractors argue that more research needs to be done to support these claims.

Given these pros and cons, it is ultimately up to preppers to decide if they want to include samara in their survival kits. When done safely and responsibly, witch hazel certainly offers a range of natural health benefits that could prove invaluable in an emergency situation.

Moving on from samara for medicinal uses, let’s take a look at how witch hazel can serve as an organic plant healer.

Organic Plant Healer

One of the most compelling reasons to include witch hazel in your prepper’s medicine set is its ability to heal organic ailments. High concentrations of tannins and volatile oils make it astringent, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic. Witch hazel has been used for centuries as a traditional remedy for skin irritations and infections, insect bites, bruises, strains and sprains, sores and boils(1). The best part is that it can be applied topically without introducing further bacteria or synthetic chemicals into the body.

Those who don’t prefer a natural approach may believe that conventional remedies are more effective in treating skin irritations and infections. However, there are many medicinal studies showing the efficacy of witch hazel’s active compounds in treating and healing organic ailments (2). Furthermore, unlike some traditional medicines and pharmaceuticals that can cause allergic reactions or interact with other medications, witch hazel is safe for all ages (3).

With relatively few side effects, you should consider adding this natural healer to your survival kit if you’re looking for an all-natural way to treat common ailments in an emergency situation. By having access to both traditional and natural treatments, you will be better prepared to meet any challenge. So let’s turn our attention now to unraveling witch hazel’s hidden benefits.

Now that we’ve discussed witch hazel’s healing potential as an organic plant remedy, let’s take a closer look at its many benefits in the next section.

Benefits of Witch Hazel

Witch hazel has many therapeutic benefits, making it a must-have for every prepper’s collection. Its leaves and bark are known to have astringent, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which makes it helpful in treating wounds, gastrointestinal disturbances as well as skin conditions. Studies show that witch hazel can be used to reduce inflammation caused by acne, bug bites or even diaper rash. The astringent properties of witch hazel can even help protect the skin from environmental toxins like smoke, smog or harsh chemicals as well as reducing itching from insect bites. Witch hazel is also known to be rich in tannins and polyphenols that can help ease sore throat and coughs. In some countries, witch hazel is even used to treat hemorrhoids due the its anti-inflammatory effects and ability to reduce pain, itchiness, swelling and bleeding.

Although there are plenty of benefits of witch hazel, there will always be dissenting views on its use. Some people counsel against ingesting witch hazel in any form since it may cause vomiting and/or diarrhea when taken internally or applied as a compress externally due to its high tannin content. It also might interact with some drugs so it’s important to consult your physician first before using it medicinally.

With so many potential benefits of witch hazel, preppers should consider adding this multi-use plant to their emergency preparedness plans. But like all herbal remedies, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before using any forms of the herb medicinally. Now let’s look at the conclusion of our article about the 11 Survival Uses of Witch Hazel: A Must-Know for Every Prepper.


Witch hazel is a valuable tool that should be known by every prepper. Its various survival uses can be found in numerous areas, from antiseptic first aid to self-defense. While its benefits are numerous, it’s important to remember that it’s not a substitute for more advanced medical care and should only be used as a stopgap measure until professional help is available.

Those considering using witch hazel for any of the previously mentioned reasons should consider several factors before attempting any of the methods described. It’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable person when using this plant for medicinal reasons, since some studies have shown it can interact negatively with certain medications, or even cause skin irritation.

Additionally, individuals should be aware of the potential dangers associated with harvesting wild plants, including the possibility of ingestion of poisonous varieties. With these risks in mind, preppers must decide whether the use of witch hazel is right for them before deciding to incorporate it into their preparedness plans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any risks associated with using witch hazel for survival purposes?

Yes, there are some risks associated with using witch hazel for survival purposes. Witch hazel can be very irritating to the skin and eyes and should therefore never be used directly on wounds or broken skin. Also, if ingested in large amounts it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Finally, it is best to dilute witch hazel before use since it can be toxic due to its alcohol content. Therefore, it is important to read up on the safety information found on product labels and consult a medical professional when in doubt.

How do I use witch hazel for medical purposes?

Witch hazel has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries and can be an effective remedy for many ailments. It contains tannins which have antibacterial, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.

One of the most common uses for witch hazel is to reduce inflammation and swelling from wounds, bruises and insect bites. Simply apply a small amount of witch hazel with a cotton ball or swab to the affected area two or three times per day until the swelling goes down. It can also be used as a compress to soothe symptoms of hemorrhoids, eczema, psoriasis, varicose veins, sunburns and other skin inflammations.

In addition, witch hazel can be used topically to reduce eye redness and irritation, eliminate bad breath and heal mouth ulcers and sore gums. When taken orally, it may help relieve digestive issues including upset stomach, indigestion and constipation. It may even provide relief from urinary tract infections by preventing bacteria growth in the bladder.

Overall, there are many medical benefits of using witch hazel for both external and internal use. It is safe for adults when taken in moderate amounts, but is best not administered to children unless advised by their physician.

What are the health benefits of using witch hazel?

Witch hazel has a number of health benefits that are especially beneficial for preppers. Witch hazel is an astringent, meaning it can contract tissues and help reduce inflammation. It works to cleanse and tighten the skin, reducing breakouts and promoting healing. It also contains tannins which can be used to soothe cuts, rashes, psoriasis, sunburns, insect bites, and ulcers. Witch hazel is also known to reduce bags under the eyes, promote circulation and reduce puffy eyes. Additionally, witch hazel is antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial – making it great for treating minor wounds. As a result of these properties, witch hazel is widely used in topical treatments for many forms of skin conditions including eczema and other inflammations.

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