Twenty-One Amazing Uses for Tea
Who knew such a delicious beverage could double as a health and beauty aid, cleaning product, and plant food? Tea offers you practicality to do things such as clean furniture and hardwood floors without the harsh chemicals and fumes. Finally, everyday tasks can feel luxurious with the rich aromatic scents of tea!
For Health and Beauty
- Cool Sunburned Skin
Did you forget your sunscreen? Grab a few wet tea bags and apply to the affected skin; it is a surefire treatment to alleviate the burning and stinging. If the sunburn is larger, add a few tea bags to your bathwater and soak in the comfort.
- Relieve Tired Eyes
Do your eyes appear tired, achy, or puffy? Go to your tea chest and soak two tea bags in warm water. Place them over your closed eyes for 20 minutes. The tannins in the tea reduce puffiness giving you refreshed looking eyes.
- Reduce Razor Burn
Nicks, cuts, and razor burn from shaving are not a pretty sight. To soothe these unsightly accidents, apply a wet tea bag to the area. Your skin will thank you.
- Get the Gray Out
Turn back the clock without an expensive trip to the salon. Create your own natural hair dye using brewed tea and herbs. Steep three tea bags in 1-cup boiling water. Add 1-tablespoon each of rosemary and sage (either fresh or dried) and let it stand overnight before coloring. The next day, shampoo as usual, then spray or pour the mixture on your hair, making sure to saturate evenly. Blot with a towel and do not rinse. Note: Several treatments may be necessary to achieve desired shade.
- Condition Dry Hair
Condition your hair with tea. Give dry hair a natural luster and shine using a quart of warm, unsweetened tea (freshly brewed or instant) as a final rinse after your regular shampoo.
- Tan Your Skin with Tea
Give your skin a tan without the sun or a tanning bed. Brew two cups of strong black tea, let it stand to cool, and pour into a plastic spray bottle. Be sure your skin is clean and dry before applying mixture. Spray tea directly onto your skin and let it air dry. Repeat as desired for that sun kissed appearance.
- Drain a Boil
Finally, an easy painless way to drain a boil. Cover it with a wet tea bag overnight. The boil should drain without any discomfort by the time you wake up in the morning.
- Soothe Those Bleeding Gums
Is your child in pain from losing a tooth? To stop the bleeding and soothe a sore gum after losing a tooth, dampen a tea bag with cool water and apply it directly to the affected site.
- Relieve Pain from Injections
Are you or your child still in pain from a shot? Get a wet tea bag and place it over the site of injection. Gently hold it in place until the discomfort subsides. The tannic acid in the tea soothes the soreness.
- Dry Poison Ivy Rash
Dry a draining poison ivy rash with strongly brewed tea. Dip a cotton ball into the tea, apply it to the affected area, and air dry. Repeat as needed.
- Stop Foot Odor
Help your feet smell good with a daily tea bath. Soak your feet in strongly brewed tea for twenty minutes per day and hello to pleasant smelling feet.
- Make Soothing Mouthwash
Toothaches or any other kinds of mouth pain are downright agonizing. To ease the pain, rinse your mouth with a cup of hot peppermint tea mixed with a pinch or two of salt. Peppermint tea is an antiseptic and contains menthol, which alleviates pain on contact. To make peppermint tea, boil one-tablespoon fresh peppermint leaves in 1 cup of water, and steep for several minutes.
Around the House
- Tenderize Tough Meat
Use unflavored black tea to tenderize the toughest meats. Place four tablespoons black tea leaves in a pot of warm (not boiling water) and steep for 5 minutes. Strain to remove the leaves and stir in 1/2-cup brown sugar until dissolved. Set aside. Season up to 3 pounds of meat with salt, pepper, onion, and garlic powder. Pour liquid over the seasoned meat and cook in a preheated 325-degree oven for approximately ninety minutes or until meat is fork tender.
- Clean Wood Furniture and Floors
Fresh brewed tea is a great way to clean wood floors and furniture. Simply boil a couple tea bags in a quart of water and let it cool. Dip a soft cloth into the tea, wring out the excess, and wipe away the grime. Buff dry with a clean, soft cloth.
- Shine Your Mirrors
Are your mirrors looking dull? Brew a pot of strong tea and let it cool. Use a soft cloth, dampen into the tea and wipe over the entire surface of the mirror. Finish by buffing with a soft, dry cloth for a sparkly, streak-free shine.
- Control Dust from Fireplace Ash
Keep dust contained in the ashes when cleaning out your fireplace. Before you begin cleaning, sprinkle wet tea leaves over the area. The tea will prevent the ashes from spreading as you remove them.
- Perfume a Sachet
Make an aromatic sachet from your favorite herbal tea. Open a few used herbal tea bags and spread them out on newspaper to dry. After they are completely dry use for stuffing in a sachet.
In the Garden
- Give Roses a Boost
Are your roses appearing droopy? Give them a midsummer boost by sprinkling new or used tea leaves (loose or tea bags) around and cover with mulch. When you water the plants, the nutrients from the tea are released into the soil, boosting growth.
- Feed Your Ferns
Your ferns like to drink tea too. Occasionally substitute brewed tea for water when feeding plants. Alternatively, work wet tea leaves into the soil around the ferns to give them a lush appearance.
- Prepare Planter for Potting
Improve the health of your plants with tea. Place a few used tea bags on top of the drainage layer at the bottom of the planter before potting. The tea bags retain the water and seep nutrients into the soil.
- Enhance Your Compost Pile
A good way to speed up the decomposition process and enrich your compost is to pour a few cups of strongly brewed tea into the heap. The liquid tea will accelerate the decomposition process and draw acid-producing bacteria, creating desirable acid-rich compost.
PLEASE NOTE: None of the uses for tea indicated in the Health and Beauty section are meant to take the place of conventional medicine. Go to a medical practitioner when necessary.
- "23 Ways to Use Tea" http://www.rd.com/advice-and-know-how/extraordinary-uses-for-tea/article24030.html. 16 Feb. 2009