Contrary to popular belief, tea is not just for drinking. Tea can be used for many different things, from cookery to relieving tired eyes. If, like the rest of the UK, you’re a tea addict why not make the most of your tea? Whether you’re a strictly Yorkshire girl, you indulge in the Japanese health tea culture or you take your tea on ice, you can always get more from your cup.
Tea bags, you have heard how placing them on your eyes will relieve a tired, sunken look – however, there is a lot more you can do with those bags before you place them in the compost bin.
- Prevent smelly feet; do you have teenage sons, a daughter who insists on wearing converse with no socks, a runner in the family? – Smelly feet are an unpleasant side effect of exercise, bad shoes and teenage hygiene. If you’re sick of the stench, place your old tea bags in a bowl of warm water and soak feet for 20 minutes – not only will it ease the smell, it is an extremely relaxing process, perfect for at the end of a long week.
- Fertiliser; do you love your garden? Tea bags make a great fertiliser, especially for plants such as rose bushes. Instead of chucking your tea bags, open the bags and sprinkle the used tea leaves around the base of the plant, onto the soil. The tea leaves will help to enrich the soil and encourage your flowers to flourish.
- To relieve stings and bites; anyone who has been stung by poison ivy knows how painful and itchy the rash can be – and how quickly it can spread. Whether you have been stung by a nettle, poison ivy or even bitten by an insect, old tea bags can be a great relief if you have no antihistamines to hand. Old, dry tea bags will work fine, but the relief will be greater if you chill the bags before holding them over the affected area.
- DIY conditioner; as we move through 2015, more and more people are switching to healthier, natural alternatives for their beauty regime. Many different studies claim that using natural products is a lot kinder on our skin and hair, than mass produced products with manmade ingredients. To give your hair additional shine without using any products simply rinse your hair with herbal tea water (make some herbal tea in a jug and leave to cool whilst you shower) after your normal hair washing process.
- Healthier skin; we all want it, but we don’t all have it. To help your skin look and feel better, as well as being healthier over all, add a few bags of green tea to your next bath. The antioxidants will encourage healthier skin, whilst the aroma of the green tea will completely relax you, and your state of mind – perfect for a Friday night bath, after a long week at work.
- Cleaning wooden flooring and furniture; not many people are aware that tea can help clean many things in your home, with wood being the most effective. Next time you mop the house or polish the wooden furniture within your home, simply add 3-5 regular tea bags to a quart of hot water, leave to cool and use a soft cloth to shine up the wood.
- Place them in your plant pots; placing tea bags at the drainage holes of your plant pots will release nutrients from the tea into the soil, encouraging growth and health in your potted plants.
- Relieving tired eyes; most tea drinkers are very aware of how old, cold tea bags can feel like a massage for your eyes after a long day staring at a computer screen. If you’re feeling tired, and your eyes are propped with match sticks too often, simply keep your old tea bags in the fridge, ready to revive yourself after a long day.
Article courtsey of Robyn Edwards who currently writes for The Tea Makers, a London based gourmet tea specialist. The Tea Makers obtain all of their teas directly from the source and take the best care to preserve traditional cultivation and production techniques. Visit theteamakers.com to discover a world of fine loose tea in a variety of flavours, styles and types and speciality tea-ware.