Tea is one of those things that has so many wonderful qualities, it’s easy to understand why it has been a staple of societies for thousands of years. Several types of tea are easy to grow in pots on your patio or to keep as container plants on a window sill indoors, which is great for sprucing up any yard, garden or kitchen.
From the health-supporting antioxidants in green tea to the soothing effects of herbal teas such as chamomile and ginger, tea can seem like a magical elixir of sorts. But it’s even more magical than you thought, because in addition to steeping and sipping all of its delicious varieties, tea bags can be used for purposes beyond brewing a soothing or refreshing beverage.
Though we have gotten used to running to the drug store in search of over-the-counter treatments for minor ailments and personal care products, we don’t actually need to be quite so aggressive with how we handle everyday health and wellness issues.
In fact, tea leaves can soothe and aid in the healing of a myriad of minor aches, pains, and injuries as well as being an invaluable addition to your beauty routine.
1. Soothe skin irritations
Got a bug bite? From mosquito to flea bites, the itch that comes with those pesky little bumps can be overwhelming. One quick and natural way to relieve the agonizing irritation is with tea. Wet a bag of black tea and hold it gently to the bite. If you have already scratched and broken the skin, don’t worry! This same trick is great for helping to soothe minor scrapes as well as skin irritations like razor burn.
Black tea is also a good way to soothe a springtime sunburn. If it’s just a small spot you happened to miss when applying your sunblock, treat it in the same way you treat a bite or scrape. Yet, if you have really messed up and gone and turned yourself into a lobster you can add a cup of loose tea leaves to your bath water. Go with green tea to avoid staining your tub, though.
Pre-brewed tea bags can be used for:
- Insect bites
- Puffy eyes
- Razor burn
2. Around the home
Instead of cleaning your glass mirrors, tables, and windows with the harsh chemicals in those commercially produced solutions, brew a strong pot of tea. Once it’s cooled down dip a rag in the tea and wipe away the dirt and smudges and polish with a dry cloth to get a sparkling clean surface.
As crazy as it sounds, used tea leaves are effective carpet deodorizers, too. After brewing, let the leaves dry until just slightly damp. Sprinkled them over the area you want to treat and let them dry. Once they are completely dry you can sweep or vacuum them away.
This same odor-fighting power works in a litter box (just add the used leaves to the liter), in your garbage can (put the leaves or bags in the bottom of the can) or even in your refrigerator (keep a used tea bag on the back of the shelf).
3. Beauty boosters
You pulled an all-nighter out with your bestie or cried a little too much in your twelfth viewing of The Notebook and now your eyes resemble a pair of parade balloons. Soak tea bags in warm water, squeeze to remove excess water and then place tea bags on eyes for 10 to 20 minutes to reduce the swelling.
Tea also helps prevent bad breath. No need for the sting and burn of alcohol-based mouth wash. Make your own mouth wash with peppermint and green tea. Brew a weak pot of tea, add a 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt and let cool. The salt helps fight bacteria and the antioxidants in the green tea promote a healthy environment. Plus, the peppermint will leave you feeling minty fresh. The mixture will stay fresh in a jar with a lid for 2 to 3 days.