In addition to being used as an astringent, the distilled extract of witch hazel made from the bark, twigs, and leaves mixed with alcohol and water can be used in cold compresses for applied to a feverish forehead. Witch hazel extract can also be poured onto a warmed cloth and applied to bruises and muscle strains. Added to lotion and rubbed onto the skin witch hazel can help take the sting out of bee stings and insect bites.
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References: Naturopathic Handbook of Herbal Formulas, 3rd Edition; Reader's Digest: Magic and Medicine of Plants, 1986; The Herb Bible written by Peter McHoy and Pamela Westland, 1994 Barnes and Noble Publishers