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Date: 28 January 2022. Witch Hazel.


Older folks tend to talk about everything under the sun. Subjects that never would be discussed in polite company become dockside conversation topics. In that regard, one day we were chatting about medicine cabinet contents from our youth. Witch hazel was always in the lockers on our 40'er. The question now is, do you need to make space aboard for this item too?

To cut to the chase, yes. Witch Hazel deserves a spot in your medicine locker:

This is item is inexpensive too, costing less than $4 at Walmart for two bottles.

By now you must be wondering why you might want to have Witch Hazel in a locker. Well, that's where we get into the "not so pleasant parts" of life portion of this vignette. Hemorrhoids. Yes, those!

There is a product called Tucks which is a hemorrhoid remedy marketed extensively in America. Tucks contains small round paper disks impregnated with the medicine. The problem is in removing individual medicated pads from the container. People with clumsy fingers find this difficult at best. Basically, it cannot be done easily.

So I wondered what made Tucks special. The ingredient list was enlightening.

The first ingredient is WITCH HAZEL, which acts as an *astringent.

*Astringents tighten things up. So pores on your face, or elsewhere, will shrink. Many facial cleansers for teens with acne contain witch hazel too.

Please Note:
I'm not a doctor nor do I pretend to be one online.

As soon as I noted the witch hazel on the Tucks package ingredients list I knew I had a solution for the pad dilemma. Due to Tucks pads being difficult to remove one at a time AND rather small, I had a theory. Pouring some witch hazel into a container of baby wipes would in essence create larger, softer cleansing wipes. This worked!

Bilge work can be grimy. I discovered a witch hazel infused (soaked) baby wipe is refreshing. It feels cool on the skin, plus it cleans off oil found in other bilges. For the record, Seaweed's bilge is oil-free. Most boats I work on however are not quite so spiffy.


Ideally boaters and folks living off-grid should have everything necessary for the most common issues that occur. Medicines are a part of that. The Missing Medicines article has some of my initial errors in provisioning Seaweed. This vignette details why Witch Hazel is a part of my medicine chest.


Mostly though I am grateful. Years ago we had a glass bottle of Witch Hazel aboard our 40'er. I never knew why it was there. Now that I have experienced the properties, I will continue to keep this astringent handy. If you are stocking your vessel, consider adding witch hazel to your supplies.

That's it from my beautiful miniature trawler Seaweed. ←That is a hint... with more to be divulged shortly. Thank you for reading. 

Did your parents have witch hazel in their medicine cabinet?
Have you ever used witch hazel, or is it simply an old-fashioned remedy of old-timers?

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2022, 2023

Categories: Money, Security, Unmentionables, Vignettes,

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