A while ago we shared our round up of the best immunity boosting smoothies, which are still our favourites today! We loved seeing your tags as you whizzed your blenders and took the goodness and vitamins in to put up a good fight and to radiate out! And as we get back to class we have had a few requests for your ‘at home apothecary’ for all those mixologists looking for a great antibac spray without the super high alcohol! Of course Spritz Wellness have the most beautiful and natural mix, already made in their Protect range - you can find more about that here.
For those of us with a little time and ingredients nearby, let’s jump right in and learn more about the wonder that is Witch Hazel! You will almost certainly have heard about Witch Hazel and may even have seen products on sale, but do you know how to use it?
WHAT IS WITCH HAZEL
Witch hazel is a bark and leaf extract of the Hamamelis Virginiana plant which is native to North America. It was known to traditional healers and was widely used by American Indians who used it in different ways in applications as diverse as treating hemorrhoids and fever. Witch Hazel contains tannins which are organic compounds which serve as an astringent, but how to use it best?
WITCH HAZEL HAS ANTIMICROBIAL AND ANTIVIRAL PROPERTIES
Witch hazel has traditionally been used to treat the pain of poison ivy or sooth a chicken pox itch. It also helps bruises, cuts, and boils to heal more quickly. What these conditions all have in common is that they are either caused or made worse by viruses or bacteria.
Witch hazel appears to be particularly effective at treating bacterial and fungal infections such as those caused by Staphylococcus Aureus and Candida Albicans and is therefore a useful treatment tool in the battle against microbial skin infections.
A recent study published has shown that the tannins in witch hazel might be a particularly effective antiviral agent having been proved to have an effect against both influenza A (the Flu) and Human Papilloma Virus with hope that it might be proved to be effective against other viruses in the future.
WITCH HAZEL IS A HIGHLY EFFECTIVE ASTRINGENT
The same tannins that make witch hazel an effective antiviral and antimicrobial agent make it an effective astringent which can help stop bleeding and support the skin’s natural healing process. This makes it a useful topical treatment for various conditions including Acne, Eczema and Cold Sores, even varicus veins!
Below is our homemade reciepe for a lovely spray you can carry around to class or just in your bag when needed, it is less potent than the alcohol rubs which dry out your hands so much, especially the little ones, so witch hazel mix is an excellent alternative between hand washing sessions. Plus, the aloe vera has anti-bacterial properties in spades. This spray is perfect for your hands after class, but might cause you to slip if used just before your session. Before class we recommend a mat cleaning or atmosphere spray, without moisturising properties.
Aloe Vera Gel
OnGuard essential oil (I use this for so many all-natural cleaning and disinfecting things around the house, and it lasts forever) or Thieves oil (people swear by this one too—both do about the same thing)
Spray bottle. Glass is preferred, since some essential oils can start to degrade plastic if left for too long, even recycled plastic.
Step 1: Fill your bottle about half full with the witch hazel.
Step 2: Add approximately 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel (or until bottle is ¾ full).
Step 3: Add 12–15 drops of OnGuard or Thieves oil.
Step 4: Add water till bottle is just short of full (you don’t want to overfill because you need room to screw on the spray nozzle), or add more aloe vera instead of water if you want to put this in a squeeze travel bottle instead of a spray bottle.
Step 5: Shake well.
Voila! Your your homemade anti viral spray bottle, perfect for straight after yoga class for your hands and car. The aloe vera adds some softness and condition to your hands, which can be rather helpful inbetween all those alcohol rubs!
Remember to tag us @katikaia if you have a go and share ;)