Witch Hazel for Horses - Top 5 Uses
If you're not familiar with it, here's a quick overview:
“Witch Hazel Extract (Witch Hazel) is a clear, colorless distillate prepared from recently cut and partially dried dormant twigs of Hamamelis virginiana Linné, containing natural oils and alcohol"
Wondering how I use it? Here's my top 5 uses for Witch Hazel for horses:
Homemade Liniment - Witch Hazel has a natural soothing effect and can be applied directly to the skin without risk of causing burns. It's great to use under stable/standing wraps on horses that tend to stock up. It can also be mixed 50/50 with store bought liniment (which costs a fortune these days!). For a DIY option you can mix half a bottle of Witch Hazel with half a bottle of Wintergreen Rubbing Alcohol in about 2.5 gallons of cold water.
Stain Remover - If your horse has grass or manure stains you can dab it with Witch Hazel and let it soak for a few minutes, then rinse. It will lift away the discolouration without over drying your horse's coat.
Itch Reliever - Because of its anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties, Witch Hazel provides instant relief when applied to bug bites. My horses love to have the inside of their ears wiped with it in the summer.
Treat Bruises - Witch Hazel is very useful for reducing the swelling from a blow or collision. Apply a soaked cloth to a bruise as soon as possible for best results. Repeat daily as needed.
Heal Wounds - You can use Witch hazel as a substitute for hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol when cleaning out cuts. Just pour (or dab) a liberal amount of over the wound or sore and allow it to air dry.
My favorite thing about Witch Hazel, besides its versatility, is the cost. It's incredibly affordable and has a long shelf life. I use Dickinson's Witch Hazel which is less than $10 for 16 oz. I also highly recommend Thayer Cucumber Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera (Thayer makes an alcohol free version too).
If you have some extra Witch Hazel on hand you can also try my recipe for Homemade Coat Conditioner or DIY Grooming Wipes.
In case you're wondering, all of these uses apply to people as well. Don't forget to bring some home from the barn!
This may seem obvious, but Witch Hazel is NOT safe for internal use.
How do you use Witch Hazel for horses?