I held the bottle of witchhazel in my hands at the store and wondered why it was clear. Plant extracts are never clear! There are pigments in plants. I decided to make my own. That was years ago and my face wash in my shop was one of my best sellers. It is astringent without being drying. It clears skin. It heals up wounds. It works as deodorant. It has many uses. So, are you ready to see how easy it is to make? Here is my recipe.
You will need 4 Tablespoons of either witch hazel bark or leaf. If using to heal varicose veins (yes, topically it does this) then get the bark. If you are not lucky enough to have it growing by you (it does not grow in Colorado) then you will need to order some. mountainroseherbs.com or starwest_botanicals.com are both good sources.
Place the 4 Tablespoons in a pint canning jar. At this point I like to add other herbs. Calendula, lavender, and roses are all lovely on the skin. Goldenseal and arnica could be added for wounds. Nettle for bug bites. Yarrow could be added for veins. A fresh leaf of aloe. Maybe 2 Tablespoons total of extra herbs. It doesn’t really matter, you can’t mess it up!
Now pour vodka over the herbs leaving 1/2 inch head space. Yes, all extracts whether in shampoo or witch hazel are indeed alcohol based. Alcohol is what pulls the plant medicines from the plant. Screw on lid and label what you put in it and the date. You will likely forget, trust me!
Place in window for two weeks, shaking when you see it. Now the base is complete.
It is important to cut this extract as it would be too strong for the skin. 1 part base to 3 parts water will make a lovely extract. Add some essential oils and make your own face wash/deodorant. This is a great gift. Add aloe or a tea of chamomile and comfrey for a wound healer. Use in a spray bottle with essential oils to make a room spray. Or a facial spray.
Witchhazel is a wonderful thing to keep on hand. Now that you see how easy it is to make I hope you will whip up a batch!