witch hazel

New research coming out of London’s Kingston University and published in a recent issue of the Journal of Inflammation points to a number of health benefits in using folkloric remedies including witch hazel, rose and white tea.

The research, titled Antioxidant and potential anti-inflammatory activity of extracts and formulations of white tea, rose, and witch hazel on primary human dermal fibroblast cells,” conducted through a partnership between Kingston University and British company Neal’s Yard Remedies, found that naturally occurring substances in several plants show the potential to block and even reverse inflammation, which is linked to a wide variety of health problems including cancer, diabetes and arthritis, as well as the effects of aging, particularly on the skin.

Twenty-one plant extracts were tested for their ability to fight cancer and issues associated with aging, and according to the researchers, three showed “considerable potential” in suppressing damaging enzymatic activity to the skin: witch hazel, white tea and rose.  Human skin cells were treated with different concentration levels of white tea, witch hazel and rose extract which the researchers found could help to slow the aging process, thwart cancer cells and have a healthful effect on the skin.

Witch hazel has been used for a variety of topical and internal applications including treatment for eczema, psoriasis, acne, hemorrhoids and other skin conditions. White tea is the unfermented buds and young leaves from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) long revered by Chinese royalty for healing powers. The rose has been treasured for centuries for its great beauty, fragrance and medicinal properties including calming and soothing stressed or problem skin when used topically, and soothing the digestive tract, improving circulation and balancing the reproductive organs, especially in females.

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