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Witch Hazel is Not Just A Normal Herb! See Why Everyone Should Have it At Home!

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Witch Hazel is Not Just A Normal Herb! See Why Everyone Should Have it At Home!

Witch hazel – it sounds like a hocus pocus ingredient that’s used in spells and magic potions. But if you have ever suffered from acne, stretch marks, hemorrhoids, or varicose veins, or if your baby has ever been plagued by a dreaded diaper rash, then you’ll be glad to know that witch hazel isn’t a mythical ingredient, and that it has the power to cure these and other common ailments.

But what exactly is witch hazel?

    In its most common form, witch hazel is a clear, inexpensive liquid that doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves. With its multitude of uses and cure-all solutions, you’d think that witch hazel would be a staple in every medicine cabinet in the world. Yet many people still don’t realize how powerful this magical elixir can be.

    Witch hazel comes from a compound made of the leaves and bark of the North American witch-hazel shrub. Native Americans used to boil the stems of the shrub and use the resulting decoction to treat swelling, inflammation, and tumors. In modern times, witch hazel is still commonly used to treat swelling and inflammation, among other health woes like acne, bug bites, hemorrhoids, and bruising.

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    6 Major Benefits of Using Witch Hazel

    Relives Post-Partum Pain

    Hospitals usually give chilled witch hazel pads to women recovering from childbirth. Witch hazel has long been know to reduce swelling and soothe wounds, both of which are experienced by post-partum mothers.

    Soothes Diaper Rash

    A baby’s sensitive skin can be prone to the rubbing of the diaper, along with prolonged exposure to moisture in the diaper. Witch hazel offers a safe, natural alternative to diaper creams and chlorine wipes. Its astringent properties are similar to zinc oxide, a common ingredient found in most diaper creams.

    Cools Sunburn

    The anti-inflammatory properties can help cool your sunburn and provide much needed relief. Although this is a temporary solution, as it doesn’t actually make your sunburn disappear, it can feel soothing against burnt skin and help divert your attention from your pain.

    Repel Bugs

    Witch hazel can help you keep bugs at bay the natural way. Rather than coat your body in potentially hazardous bug sprays and chemicals, you can use witch hazel as a base in a homemade bug spray to keep those bloodsuckers from sharing their germs with you.

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    Prevent Body Odor

    You can create your very own all-natural deodorant using just one ingre dient: witch hazel. Just dab some under your arms to prevent body odor. This is an exceptional alternative to traditional deodorants that might contain harmful, hormone-disrupting ingredients, as well as a good solution for people with sensitive skin.

    Treat Acne and Other Skin Conditions

    As an astringent, witch hazel helps to tighten pores which can help prevent acne. This makes sense, since witch hazel has long been used to help fight infections, cure poison ivy, and reduce inflammation.

    The Side Effects to Using Witch Hazel

    Just because something is all natural doesn’t mean that it there aren’t any consequences to using it. However, in witch hazel’s case, risks of using it are relatively low.

    Although witch hazel is often used to reduce inflammation, it can actually cause inflammation if you rub it into your skin too often. In addition, some people might naturally be allergic or become allergic to witch hazel. Most doctors recommend you do not take witch hazel by mouth; rather, use it as a topical remedy only.

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    There’s only the slimmest chance of any of these side effects happening to you, but be aware that they can occur.

    How to Use Witch Hazel

    Depending on what you are wanting to treat with witch hazel will depend on how you use it. For those who want to try witch hazel as an acne or sunburn solution, it’s best to spot treat your acne by dabbing it directly onto the affected area. Spot treating can help ensure you do not further irritate your skin by rubbing large areas.

    You can also add witch hazel to a spray bottle to use as a deodorant or bug spray. You can then spray the solution directly on your skin.

    For post-partum treatments, you can apply witch hazel to sanitary pads and apply directly to swollen areas. Many moms recommend freezing the pads before using them, as the coolness of the pads can add extra relief.

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    Where to Buy Witch Hazel

    You’re in luck! Witch hazel can be found at pretty much any major grocery store, wellness stores, mass merchandise store, or pharmacies. It’s usually, but not always, found in the first aid aisle, alongside rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. It’s also relatively inexpensive, too, about $3 for a 16 oz. bottle.

    If you can’t find witch hazel in any of your local stores, you can order online from retailers like Amazon, or sites that specialize in all natural solutions.

    What Makes Witch Hazel Better Than the Alternatives

    Granted, there are lots of solutions out there that offer the same solutions for the above benefits of witch hazel. So why wouldn’t you buy Desitin for your baby’s diaper rash or Proactiv to treat your acne?

    Keep in mind that most of those solutions don’t offer the all-natural benefits that witch hazel does.

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    Witch hazel helps you eliminate your exposure and intake to potentially harmful chemicals, ones you may not even realize you’re exposed to. In addition, given witch hazel’s all-around versatility and inexpensive price tag, you can save yourself some space and money by stocking one product to take care of a multitude of tasks.

    But the only way to know for sure it to try it for yourself.

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    Alli Hill

    Lifestyle Writer and Marketing Consultant

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    Last Updated on January 27, 2022

    5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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    5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

    Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

    “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

    Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

    Food is a universal necessity.

    It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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    Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

    Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

    Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

    Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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    The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

    Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

    This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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    Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

    Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

    Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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    So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

    Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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